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Time Traveller: Fear of diseases led to chlorination plants like this one in North Van

The City of North Vancouver Chlorination Plant was built near Rice Lake
NVMA 10663

During the Second World War, the fear of the spread of contagious diseases on the home front was central in the minds of public health officials. Outbreaks of cholera or typhoid could drastically impact the production of war materials and disrupt an already precariously balanced economy.

To combat these fears, the City of North Vancouver and federal government agreed to build a modern chlorination system for the city’s water supply. In 1943, the City of North Vancouver Chlorination Plant was built near Rice Lake, which is pictured above.

Despite the many complaints sent by concerned citizens to the city clerk, the water supply remained chlorinated past its originally planned end date of March 1946. The plant was demolished in 1983.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver, at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open by appointment only. Contact: [email protected]

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.