David Oppenheimer and his four brothers left Bavaria in 1848 to seek their fortunes in America before travelling to Victoria. Victoria would become the base of operations for their stores in the interior mining towns of BC. In 1886, David and his brother moved to Granville, the town which would become known as Vancouver.
Oppenheimer was an enthusiastic booster of his new home, serving as the first president of the Vancouver Board of Trade and as alderman for an east-end, working class district in 1887. The next year he was elected mayor for the first of four terms. As Vancouver’s second mayor from 1888 to 1891, Oppenheimer organized the city’s water supply, built bridges across False Creek and to the agricultural area of Richmond, established the Parks Board, and procured the land for and officially opened Stanley Park.
Oppenheimer died in 1897 having been involved in everything from business and politics to the founding of the Alexandra Orphanage and the Y.M.C.A.