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At its beginnings in 1886, Vancouver jumped over all the previous urban forms of density – it had neither terraces of row housing nor districts of apartment buildings. Hotels, yes, to serve the transient miner, logger and fisherman, but an immigrant arriving by train in this colonial port could reasonably expect to purchase a separate lot on which to build his own house, in a neighbourhood of house-proud citizens, in a community defined by front lawns. From its beginning, Vancouver City has been a suburban city – a collection of single-family subdivisions strung along streetcar lines.

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