5 Ways Vancouver Changed the World (That May Surprise You)

Vancouver-based Adbusters’ ad/poster that incited the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Photo: Adbusters / Wikipedia

I’ve had the pleasure of writing for Inside Vancouver since its debut in April 2009, and I’ve loved every minute! This is my final post for the blog (sniff!), so I wanted to say an official farewell to our editor, Darren Johner, to my amazing colleagues Remy Scalza and Taraneh Ghajar Jerven, and to all the readers and commenters who have contributed their ideas and opinions to our posts—Thank you for a fantastic 3+-year run!

For my last post, I wanted to do something fun. This list represents five things I learned about our city in my years of writing/researching for Inside Vancouver that surprised me. Hopefully, you’ll find the list fun and intriguing, too, and if you have more fun facts to add, please do so in the comments.

5 Ways Vancouver Changed the World (That May Surprise You)

1. Vancouver invented Cosmetic Botox – Yes, the Real Housewives of Vancouver (and Real Housewives the world over) owe a debt to Vancouver: Without the work of Vancouver-based cosmetic surgeons Drs. Alastair and Jean Carruthers, who discovered the wrinkle-killing effects of Botox, upper middle class people and Hollywood celebrities would just have to look their age.

2. Hidekazu Tojo of Tojo’s invented the California Roll – Chef Tojo’s (of Vancouver’s famous Tojo’s Restaurant) claim of inventing the California Roll—plus several other famous sushi rolls—is controversial, but the man himself says it’s true: check out his on-air claim in this video featuring our own Remy Scalza.

3. Vancouver Started the Occupy Movement – Occupy Wall Street—the protest movement that made headlines in September 2011 and created Occupy protests/movements around the world (including Occupy Vancouver)—was initiated by Adbusters, the Vancouver-based “anti-consumerist” magazine.

4. Vancouver invented Chinese Buffets – Chinese immigrants played an enormous roll in the history of Vancouver; their labour was vital to the creation of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which led to Vancouver’s incorporation as a city in 1886. While the railway was built, Chinese cooks in Gastown invented the first Chinese buffets: Chinese smörgåsbords for Scandinavian loggers and mill-workers.

5. Greenpeace Started in Vancouver – Greenpeace, the world-famous NGO that works on global warming, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling and anti-nuclear issues, started right here in Vancouver in 1971, when it grew out of peace movement and anti-nuclear protests. Today, Wikipedia describes Greenpeace as “the most visible environmental organization in the world.”

Vancouver is an innovator; it always has been. I’ve no doubt it will continue to change the world in big and little ways in all the years to come!

Think you might miss me? Check me out at About.com’s Vancouver Guide.

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