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Hastings-Sunrise

Hastings-Sunrise

Hastings-Sunrise is best known as the home of the Pacific National Exhibition, at Hastings Park. The area is mainly residential, with shops and services along Hastings Street's East Village and in pockets along other major streets. Hastings-Sunrise is an ethnically diverse and working-class area that also attracts young professionals. On its north slope, Hastings-Sunrise has impressive views across Burrard Inlet and the mountains, while to the east it borders the City of Burnaby, at Boundary Road.

The western edge of Hastings-Sunrise is included in the community plan underway for:

Neighbourhood history and heritage

Hastings-Sunrise sits on the northern half of a block of land which the provincial government set aside in 1863 for a town they expected to develop along the shores of what was considered one of the finest harbours on the West Coast. Although it was Gastown farther west that eventually developed into the great port city, a small resort, New Brighton, did develop on the shoreline roughly where New Brighton Park is today.

New Brighton was a popular weekend retreat for residents of the province's capital city, New Westminster. By 1868, vacationers, loggers and mill workers made the 16 kilometre journey from New Westminster to the Brighton Hotel via stage coach. From there a ferry, the Sea Foam, commenced a triangular route, first across Burrard Inlet to the logging operation at Moodyville, then back to Stamp's Mill (at the foot of Dunlevy Street), then along the northern shore of the inlet back to New Brighton.

The settlement's name was changed to Hastings (officially the Hastings Townsite) in 1869 to commemorate a visit to the area by Admiral George Fowler Hastings. As Hastings grew, it laid claim to virtually every first for Vancouver: first road, first hotel, first post office, first telephone,first real estate transaction, first subdivision, and even the first ferry between Burrard Inlet and Victoria.

Hastings' role as a resort continued until the turn-of-the-century, with leisure-seekers drawn to the area for the New Brighton Hotel (destroyed by fire in 1905) and the half-mile race track at Hastings Park. Local residents began lobbying for more wholesome activities such as tradeshows for dairy farmers, loggers, and horticulturists. This pressure resulted in the first exhibition, staged by the Vancouver Exhibition Association, in 1910. By 1946, the event's success caused the site to be renamed "Exhibition Park." Today's Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is the modern day descendent of the Vancouver Exhibition. The PNE's lease with the City was held by the provincial government until 1994. A new agreement was signed by the City and the province, establishing the City as the owner of the site. The city has begun the redevelopment of Hastings Park by removing buildings and developing natural areas, gardens and water features.

Growth in the area was slow, significant development didn't begin until 1911; the year the Hastings Townsite voted to join the City of Vancouver. Hastings laid claim to many of the city's firsts, including first road, first wharf, first post office, first museum and first subdivision. Other firsts included first hotel, first telephone, first real estate transaction, and first ferry between Burrard Inlet and Victoria. Most of the northern half of Hastings-Sunrise, the Hastings portion, was developed for residential use in the 1920s, while the southern portion, Sunrise (the area south of First Avenue), was not developed until the 1940s.

Did you know?

  • The named Sunrise wasn't associated with the Hastings-Sunrise area until the 1940s, when a new subdivision called Sunrise Ridge was developed and a nearby park was named Sunrise Park.
  • In 1911, the citizens of Hastings Townsite voted 1,200 to 1 in favour of joining the City of Vancouver.
  • During the British Empire Games of 1954, held at Hastings Park, runners Roger Bannister and John Landy both completed the mile in under four minutes - a world first. A bronze statue at the corner of Hastings and Renfrew commemorates their achievement.
  • The place where New Brighton Pool sits today was once the site of the New Brighton Resort. Established in 1865 at the foot of Windermere Street, the resort was a popular watering hole and summer place for residents of Moodyville, Hastings, Gastown and New Westminster. The resort was a popular place to swim and boat, with amenities that included a hotel, bar, and dining room. New Brighton pool opened in 1936.

TriumphA number of notable 1920s Craftsman homes remain in the area around north Hastings Street. One prominent landmark is the 1912 Girl's Industrial School on Cassiar Street. The building is one of the few remaining examples of the Mission Revival style in the city, and features symmetrical massing with a formal entrance that leads into an arched colonnade.

A number of older elementary schools, including Franklin, Begbie and Hastings, were built in the area during the post-WW I population explosion and remain to this day.

The Pacific National Exhibition grounds have a good collection of Moderne style buildings. This includes the Forum Complex and the Garden Auditorium (which was originally built as the Education Building and is one of the best examples of the Moderne style in the province).

See detailed information on the city's heritage and a complete list of heritage buildings.

Additional information is available through the City of Vancouver Archives.

Initiatives in Hastings-Sunrise

View looking northeast over the future Hastings Park.

Hastings Park / PNE Master Plan

Hastings Park / PNE Master Plan: The Fair in the Park — a 30-year initiative to transform the Hastings Park of today into a greener, year-round destination for park use, culture, sport, recreation, and fun.

Guiding land use in your area

The Hastings-Sunrise Community Vision Plan describes the kind of community that people who live and work in the area want it to be.

Read the Hastings-Sunrise Community Vision Plan  (1.20 MB)

The East Vancouver Port Lands Area Plan helps balance the Port's business interests with the needs of residents.

Read the East Vancouver Port Lands Area Plan  (2.54 MB)

Community organizations and events

Road closures and construction

Find information about road closures and traffic delays due to road construction projects and special events in Vancouver.

Explore public art

Discover our featured public art. Go on self-guided walking tours. Find public art by neighbourhood, artwork, or artist.

Grants and awards

View information on grants and funding for arts and culture, strong communities, and sustainability.

Growing food

Vancouver supports and promotes growing local food, through community gardens and other urban agriculture initiatives, promoting sustainability, and building stronger communities.