On the traces of Germany in Vancouver/British Columbia

Did you know...

... that many German tradesmen came to Vancouver during the 19th century?

The first settlers of western Canada arrived in British Columbia in the search for gold. Discovering the uncertainties of this vocation, many of them turned over to trade and business. A German called Gustav Konstantin from Alvensleben tried his luck in Vancouver and became extremely successful. David Oppenheimer even made it into the municipal council of Vancouver, together with his brother. And so, these personalities left their traces in the cityscape throughout Canada. Even a credit union derives from a German concept.

Traces in and around Vancouver

The Holocaust Education Centre in Vancouver © Goethe-Institut Montreal

German Traces in Vancouver
The Holocaust Education Centre

This centre for further education on Holocaust studies was founded by survivors in Vancouver as a permanent institution in 1994. 

The estate of Gustav Roedde © Goethe-Institut Montreal

German Traces in Vancouver
The bookbinder Gustav Roedde

Over 120 years ago, Gustav Roedde had this house in Barclay Street built for his family in Vancouver’s modern-day West End. This magnificent building from Victorian times can be found right next to the beautiful Barclay Heritage Square Park.

Plaque of Edelweiss Credit Union, German Canadian Heritage Plaza © Goethe-Institut Montreal

German Traces in Vancouver
Edelweiss Credit Union

In 1943, the Edelweiss Credit Union of Vancouver was founded on the guiding principle of self-help by Michael Bach. Historically, the idea of credit unions can be traced back to the co-operative rural "Raiffeisenbanken" and urban "Volksbanken", which originated in the mid-19th century in Germany. 

Statue of Oppenheimer © Goethe-Institut Montreal

German Traces in Vancouver
David Oppenheimer

The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside doesn’t look all that spectacular at first glance. It had been built for the German Oppenheimer brothers for their grocery wholesale business in the 19th century.

"Baron’s Manor Pub” © Goethe-Institut Montreal

German Traces in Vancouver
Baron von Mackensen

In Port Kells (Surrey), there is a house on the corner of 96 Ave. and 192 St. that is truly steeped in history. The today's pub was originally the estate of a German baron.

House of the von Alvensleben family in Kerrisdale, now „Croften House“ © Goethe-Institut Montreal

German Traces in Vancouver
Alvo von Alvensleben

In the first decade of the previous century, Germans had a determining influence on life in British Columbia. Immigrants streamed to Vancouver to try their luck. Among them, Gustav Konstantin von Alvensleben (Alvo von Alvensleben for short) made his way to Canada.

One Trace in British Columbia