Literary Nonfiction. 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.
Jesse Donaldson is an author and journalist whose work has appeared in Vice, The Tyee, The Calgary Herald, the WestEnder, the Vancouver Courier, and many other places. His first book, THIS DAY IN VANCOUVER, was a finalist for the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (BC Book Prizes). He is also the author of the first two volumes in the 49.2 Series, LAND OF DESTINY: A HISTORY OF VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE, and Fool's Gold: The Life and Legacy of Vancouver's Town Fool. He lives in Vancouver.