With the city experiencing a population boom, the Vancouver Morning Sun published its first issue on Feb. 12, 1912. But the paper changed hands twice before the Sun became profitable under Robert Cromie.

By Eric Mark Do, Reporter

The Vancouver Morning Sun published its first issue on Feb. 12, 1912. John P. McConnell—who previously started the Vancouver weekly Saturday Sunset and had also bought and sold the Edmonton Journal—and Richard S. Ford founded the paper during a population boom in the city. But the boom ended and paper had to be financially rescued by a trio of railway contractors three years later. The group became embroiled in a government scandal, and control of the paper went to Robert Cromie. The circumstances surrounding the transfer have become something of a legend. 

“One story has it that Cromie fished out some Sun stock that was being thrown out from a wastebasket, which gave him control of the paper,” wrote Sun journalist John MacKie. 

Under Cromie, the Sun became profitable after he secured financing and bought out two rival papers: the Daily News-Advertiser and The Evening World. From 1924 to 1926, the Sun published both a morning and evening paper until the early edition was sold. That same year, former owner McConnell—who’d returned to his Ontario roots and worked for the Toronto Globe—died at age 51 after surgery. 

The Sun published an editorial that named him “one of the most virile forces in the history of Canadian journalism.”  

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.