Malcolm Alexander MacLean

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Malcolm Alexander MacLean
Malcolm Alexander MacLean.png
1st Mayor of Vancouver
In office
Succeeded by David Oppenheimer
Personal details
Born (1842-08-14)August 14, 1842
Tiree, Scotland
Died April 4, 1895(1895-04-04) (aged 52)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Margaret Anne Cattanach
Children Three daughters and two sons
Occupation Schoolteacher, businessman, politician, Justice of the Peace, magistrate, immigration agent, and author

Malcolm Alexander MacLean (August 14, 1842 – April 4, 1895) was the first Mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, serving from 1886 to 1887.


In the election on 3 May 1886, MacLean beat his opponent, sawmill manager Richard H. Alexander by just 17 votes. The favourite going into the election was Alexander, of Alexander Street fame. But a strike at Hastings Sawmill divided the community, particularly after Alexander announced he would hire Chinese workers to replace the white strikers. The strikers talked real estate salesman Malcolm MacLean into running in opposition. MacLean won in a squeaker, 242 votes to Alexander’s 225. Allegations at the time that the election had allowed for voting by at least 100 unqualified voters were confirmed decades later.[1]


Following the Great Vancouver Fire in June 1886, MacLean and his council members successfully convinced Governor General Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne to give the military reserve in Burrard Inlet to the city, which became Stanley Park.[1]

In December 1886, MacLean faced another election, launching a platform to extend the franchise in some ways, but to restrict the property rights of the city's ethnic Chinese residents.[1]

Later life[edit]

Following his mayoralty, MacLean was appointed police magistrate of the city, and continued in that position until 1890. In 1893, he was appointed a special commissioner of immigration in the United States by the Canadian government.[1]

Malcolm Alexander MacLean died in 1895 at the age of 50. He was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver.

Photo of the metal fabricated replacement top for the gravestone of Malcolm Alexander MacLean


  1. ^ a b c d Richard Mackie, MacLean, Malcolm Alexander, Dictionary of Canadian Biography