Comment 67633

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted August 08, 2011 at 10:23:36

Perhaps I should have been clearer. Although Vancouver never had the huge manufacturing base that Hamilton did, its economy until the 1970s or so was based on servicing the mining and forestry industries together with significant light and heavy industry employing thousands of people based around False Creek until the late 1960s.

The point I was trying to make is that the Vancouver example shows that a city can entirely shift its economy, and doesn't require manufacturing, government, finance or a lot of head offices to be successful.

A brief summary of what Vancouver's economy used to look like:

There were canneries, lumber mills and pulp and paper right in the city. In the early 1900s there were 17 lumber and shingle mills along False Creek employing 10,000 people. False Creek and North Vancouver also hosted shipyards (Coughlans in the early years, and Versatile in North Van until the 1990s). Of the many shipyards that have operated in Vancouver, only one remains (Seaspan Vancouver shipyards), most building barges. In the 1930s Vancouver was an extremely polluted city because of the pulp and paper industry along False Creek and the Fraser River.

In the 1930s the Hamilton Bridge Company constructed a large steel fabrication plant on False Creek, During WWII Canron steel employed over 5000 unionized workers at their False Creek plant.

However, starting in the early 1960s one by one all these industries left, leaving False Creek as a massive contaminated industrial brownfield.

Regarding head offices, one of the biggest forestry companies headquartered in Vancouver was MacMillan-Bloedel and it was bought out by the American company Weyerhauser in 1999. As far as I know, Vancouver no longer has many mining or forestry head offices and has no significant concentration of head offices in general.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2011-08-08 10:24:47

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