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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

RELEASE: Pauline Johnson’s ‘Legends of Vancouver’ – online map and guide


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The website ‘Legends of Vancouver’, is an online map and virtual self-guided walking tour of First Nation legends in downtown Vancouver. 

Available on smartphones, the self-guided tour allows the visitor to map the location of an indigenous legend, read that legend in-situ and view archival images of Vancouver from the late 19th Century. Those legend locations include some of Vancouver’s most famous landmarks, like Stanley Park, Granville Island, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge.   

The website is based on the famous book ‘Legends of Vancouver’ by E. Pauline Johnson written over 100 years ago. Johnson documented the indigenous legends as told to her by the Squamish Chief, Joe Capilano. Some of the legends like Siwash Rock and The Two Sisters might be familiar to Vancouver locals. However, other legends like The Lure in Stanley Park, Deadman’s Island and Point Grey are little known but equally fascinating.

After reading the legends and visiting the sites, as you walk around Vancouver, you can never think of the city the same way again. The visitor to the website comes to appreciate that Vancouver is not only a contemporary settler city but also a place of rich First Nations culture and heritage.  

The City of Vancouver is on the traditional territories of these three First Nations: the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh people. They have a special spiritual, cultural, and economic connection to this land that goes back thousands of years. The ‘Legends of Vancouver’ website is a window into that culture.  


For more information about the Legends of Vancouver, visit the website.