Plate 92 of Vol II of 1912 Goad's Atlas of Vancouver showing Trout Lake


You have been to Cedar Cottage before no doubt. It’s the hip East Side neighbourhood that hosts the very popular Trout Lake Farmer’s Market and the enchanting midsummer Illuminares Lantern Festival. It is a wonderful neighbourhood with a lot of interesting little streets laid out at odd angles with a nice mix of old houses.

Thomas Bell House & view of St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Fleming St.

I have been wanting to come up with a History Walk for Cedar Cottage ever since I did a house history research project on the Thomas Bell House on East 15th Avenue near Fleming Street. This beautifully restored Arts and Crafts bungalow has an intriguing history which I will be sharing on the walk. The house is located just across the street from Clark Park—Vancouver’s second oldest civic park, after Stanley Park—and was home of one of Vancouver’s most notorious gangs.

If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend Aaron Chapman’s THE LAST GANG IN TOWN. I can only imagine what the occupants of the Thomas Bell house thought about their neighbours.

During our walk we will tour what I think is one of the most interesting little business enclaves in Vancouver, the two blocks of Commercial Street between Victoria and East 22nd.

CVA Photo LGN 504 showing Commercial Street

Later we will explore the streets around Trout Lake. Trout Lake was once the source of water used in the boilers at the Hastings Saw Mill and was connected to the mill with a wooden flume. On our walk around Trout Lake I will show you a house that has a connection to the infamous Chicken Coop Murders that took place in Wineville, California in 1928. These horrific murders were the basis for the 2008 movie CHANGELING with Angelina Jolie and directed by Clint Eastwood. 

If you haven’t seen the movie, you might want to watch it before the tour. I warn you, it is heart wrenching. For those of you interested in finding out more about the story, there is also a book out on the subject called The Road Out Of Hell by Anthony Flacco.

Departs: SW corner of Commercial Drive & East 18th Avenue at 10am. 

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours depending on the size of the group.

Cost: $25 per person

E-mail: to reserve a space on my regularly scheduled tours (See current tour schedule), or for more information on how to book a private History Walk.

See TripAdvisor Reviews. History Walks in Vancouver have received an Award of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

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