July 5, 2022

Stanley Park’s Tally-Ho: Equine to Engine in 1906

The word “Tally-ho” used to refer to the cry of a huntsman chasing a fox on horseback, and also applied to a very fast stage coach that could carry many passengers. That word was also used to describe the horse coach in the above photo, used in Stanley Park in the 1900’s.

Diana Samson has posted the  photo of the first motor driven tourist bus service in Stanley Park on the Facebook page Sentimental Vancouver.  This photo was taken in 1908 and is in the City Archives.

This was a truly new way to travel anywhere in a specially built large conveyance vehicle, and being in it was a true novelty. This specialized service started in 1906 and  the vehicle was advertised as  holding 14 people just as in the photo.

There were two runs through the park every  day in this vehicle, which picked up passengers at the major city hotels downtown. This vehicle was called a “Cheerie”.

In the photo below, the owner and driver of the business, Alvin Sturton is wearing a conductor’s hat.  You can also look at the advertisement for the service in the Daily News Advertiser on July 19, 1907.


And by October 1910, the Province proclaimed that there were three Tally-ho vehicles operating in Stanley Park, and that service was just about to wind up for the year. Mr. O’Brien the owner  had counted his trips  and was able to state he had completed 365 trips around the park “without a serious accident”, carrying 10,000 passengers.  The article also lists that one horse had made the circuit over a thousand times, information that probably would not be shared today.


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