Anvil Press

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Land of Destiny cover

Land of Destiny: A History of Vancouver Real Estate

By Jesse Donaldson

Series 49.2: Tales from the Off-beat, #1

Even before it was a city, Vancouver was a property speculator’s wet dream.

Ever since Europeans first laid claim to the Squamish Nation territory in the 1870s, the real estate industry has held the region in its grip. Its influence has been grotesquely pervasive at every level of civic life, determining landmarks like Stanley Park and City Hall, as well as street names, neighbourhoods — even the name “Vancouver” itself.

Land of Destiny explores that influence, starting in 1862, with the first sale of land in the West End, and continuing up until the housing crisis of today. It also examines the backroom dealings, the skulduggery and nepotism, the racism and the obscene profits, while at the same time revealing that the same forces which made Vancouver what it is — speculation and global capital — are the same ones that shape it today, showing that more than anything else, the history of real estate and the history of Vancouver are one and the same.

And it’s been dirty as hell.

Praise for Land of Destiny:
“Reading author Donaldson’s concise history of the real estate industry in Vancouver, it’s impossible not to laugh cynically. The degree to which speculation and global capital has defined the development of every aspect of life in this ‘world-class’ area is less a case of history repeating itself than a continuous case of nips and tucks to that original 1886 plan to refine it even further to benefit the haves at the detriment of others.”

“Such a series will be welcome if they are written in as lively a manner as this volume…”
—Patricia Roy, The Ormsby Review

Land of Destiny is the first title in Anvil’s new series, 49.2: Tales from the Off-Beat, an ongoing series dedicated to celebrating the eccentric and unusual parts of the city’s history. From Jesse Donaldson, author of the Bill Duthie-shortlisted-book This Day In Vancouver, and a host of other local historians, the series will be an in-depth examination of the weird, the wonderful, and the terrible, injecting fresh details into well-worn local lore, or digging deep into the obscure people, places, and happenings of the last 130 years. From psychedelic hospitals to town fools, from communist organizers to real estate scumbags, 49.2 will take pains to shatter the myths surrounding the City of Glass.

ISBN 978-1-77214-144-3
4.75 x 6.5 | 248 pp.
$20 CAN / $20 US
Rights available:  World


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