Commercial Drive is a retail-and-restaurant oriented street on the east side of Vancouver. The Drive, as the neighbourhood is universally known, is a wildly entertaining, multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-sexual district with a reputation to match. But how did it get that way?
The history in this book looks at a time before the Drive became overwhelmingly multicultural, a time before even the Italians were here in any numbers. Focused on the period 1935 to 1956, it looks at how local citizens turned a suburban backwater into a vibrant and important part of Vancouver by encouraging better roads, transit systems and community services. Culturally, this same period witnessed seismic changes in the private history of individuals and familes — from their choice of vacations to the pyschology of shopping, from music choices and food choices to the types of social recreations enjoyed. It was a period that saw women flood the employment market to replace the men who went off to war; and which saw another set of adjustments as the soldiers came home.
By the end of the period, the first baby boomers are working their way through high school, and ideas about what a family needed by way of furnishings and appliances and services had rapidly matured. “The Drive” shows how Commercial Drive changed to meet those needs.
“The Drive” has 292 pages with more than 60 illustrations. “The Drive” is available for sale online now from:
or direct from me (autographed copies) via the PayPal BuyNow button
“The Drive” will be available online at Barnes & Noble soon. You can also support your local businesses by buying your copy at
People’s Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive
Urban Empire, 1108 Commercial Drive
For Jak’s more random writings and artistic endeabours visit Jak’s View From Vancouver. But first — please buy a book. Thanks!