Salmon’s Transfer – History

When Frank George Salmon arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia after his long voyage from Hampton, England, no one looking at him would have suspected that this young man would end up having such a profound impact on the fledgling city that was Vancouver. Working his way across Canada, milking cows and doing odd jobs, Frank Salmon settled in Vancouver, worked hard and in 1913, with the purchase of his first team of horses and a flat deck wagon, began Salmon’s Transfer–no small feat for a 21 year old, newcomer.

Largest mover of pianos in the Vancouver area In 1915 Frank married Jenny Nelson
With the demands of a rapidly growing Vancouver, came the need to transfer goods with which to build the city and its infrastructure. Frank Salmon saw that need as his opportunity. Initially delivering lumber and other building materials, Salmon’s Transfer soon graduated to household goods and furniture and also became the largest mover of pianos in the Vancouver area. Frank Salmon indeed could be called one of the unsung pioneers of Vancouver. The original Court House (lion on the right), City Hall, the original Vancouver Hotel, and many others–Frank Salmon and Salmon’s Transfer had a hand in all of it.

In 1915 Frank married Jenny Nelson, who became the dispatcher and the first of more than 30 employees that would eventually staff this family-owned and operated business. It was common place for a dozen employees to be seated at the Salmon family table for a meal together at month’s end. Not until 1936 did the business’ base of operations, office and storage facilities expand beyond the Salmon home to its location on Grandview Highway.

Frank Jr. returned from war in 1946 and according to brother Bill, “took the business to a new level”. In the booming economy of the post-war era, Salmon’s Transfer prospered and by 1972, when the company was sold to Atlas Van Lines, it was a thriving business with multiple corporate clients, a special events rental division (Salmon’s Rentals), and a flourishing residential relocation and office relocation division.

Special thanks to Bill Salmon and Beulah (Hayden) Neely for providing the historical data used in the writing of this page.