Time Traveller: Craftsmen built the Japanese Tea Gardens more than 100 years ago in North Vancouver

An ornate Japanese tea house opened on Lonsdale Avenue in 1910

Photo: NVMA 2382

This image from ca. 1909 shows the construction crew for the Japanese Tea Gardens, located at 21st Street and Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.  

The Japanese Tea Gardens and tea house officially opened in April 1910 with local prominent city officials and business owners in attendance. The Rev. Goro Kaburagi, an influential community leader and editor of the first Japanese daily in Canada, Kanada Shinpo [Canada News], presided over the event.  

According to Vancouver Daily World newspaper accounts of the time, after the opening ceremonies were complete, “a trip through the grounds was the concluding item on the program, and this revealed the wonderful skill of the Japanese workmen.”

The sign beside the workers reads “Yugen Sekinen Japanese Garden Limited Liability Co.”  

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver ,at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open by appointment only. Contact: archives@monova.ca

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.

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