Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


April 22, 2020

Spring in Vancouver.

April 5, 2020

Good news for anyone seeking to learn more about things British Columbian.

The Encyclopedia of British Columbia is now free online. My publisher, Harbour Publishing, has decided generously to make the EBC available at a time when the public, and especially students, are looking for reliable sources of information. So it has torn down the paywall. All you have to do is get yourself...

April 2, 2020

For several years I have been a member of the local heritage advistory committee, which as the name suggests advises local government on heritage issues.

As a committee, we spend a lot of time regretting the disappearance of yet one more valuable heritage structure. So it is nice to have a small success story to report.

The home pictured above is known as the Copper Cottage. Built in...

March 31, 2020

As many readers know, I've been working on a new book for the past couple of years, a history of Vancouver. 

Becoming Vancouver: A New History was in the middle of the editing/design process, scheduled for fall publication, when the epidemic hit. My publisher (Harbour Publishing) and I agree that it makes little sense to bring a new book into such an uncertain world: stores closed, festivals cancelled; readings dangerous. Especially a book which is not time-sensitive. 

March 17, 2020

I suppose one thing we can be thankful for in the present health crisis is that we are not fighting a world war at the same time.

You'll have seen lots of references to the 1918-19 flu epidemic (it is often called the Spanish flu but in fact it originated in China) which swept the world and killed in the neighbourhood of 50 million people. At least that is the number we seem to have...