History books typically show Vancouver as a pioneer city built on forestry, fisheries, and tourism, but behind the snow-capped mountains and rain forests, the Vancouver of the first half of the 20th century was a seething mass of corruption. The top job at the Vancouver Police Department was a revolving door with the average tenure for a police chief of just four years.
In those early years, Detective Joe Ricci's beat was the opium dens and gambling joints of Chinatown, while Lurancy Harris- the first female cop in Canada -patrolled the high-end brothels of Alexander Street. Later, proceeds from rum running produced some of the city's iconic buildings, cops became robbers, and the city reeled from a series of unsolved murders. But Vancouver is more than bookies, brothels, and bootleggers-the city also produced legendary women, world-class entertainers and ground-breaking architecture.
Sensational Vancouver is a fully illustrated popular history book about Vancouver's famous and infamous, the ordinary and the extraordinary, filtered through the houses in which they lived. Sensational Vancouver covers legendary women including Elsie MacGill, Phyllis Munday, Nellie Yip Quong and Joy Kogawa; high-end brothels, unsolved murders, and the homes and buildings of artists, architects and entertainers including Frederick Varley, Arthur Erickson, Bryan Adams, and Michael Bublé. Includes a Walking Tour map of historic Strathcona and Chinatown.
"You might call her the Sherlock Holmes of home history. Lazarus's stories bring Vancouver's past back to life." - The Outlook
"A mix of old black-and-white street-scene photos, jovial stories, and unique neighbourhood profiles, the book crushes the idea that Vancouver is a city without history." - The Georgia Straight
"Lazarus reveals the hidden stories of a number of Vancouver's heritage homes, setting each within the larger context of its neighbourhood bootleggers rub shoulders with financiers, prostitutes with police, murderers with mayors." - The Vancouver Courier
By Eve Lazarus
7.4 x 9.4 inches