Built in 1889, this is one of the oldest buildings on Granville Street. It was designed by William Blackmore for John Vermilyea, who had moved from Ontario to farm on Lulu Island (the main island of Richmond). He was unusual for the time in being a Quaker. He mortgaged the farm, built two buildings on Granville Street, and waited for the city to grow in his direction. But by 1901 there were still 100 feet of vacant land on either side – and nothing across the street – his idea was good but his timing wasn’t and he lost the farm.
By 1925, as the photograph shows, Bert Love had become the tenant of the store, running Love’s Cafe until 1942 when his sons took over as Love’s Skillet. Upstairs was residential. Back in the 1890s Walter Vermilyea (John’s son) was listed as occupying both Vermilyea Blocks (the other was a block north and is no longer standing) as well as a number of others including Mrs Sam Greer. Presumably Sam was away – he was locked up for shooting a constable when he was being evicted from the 160 acres he had bought (including Kitsilano Beach), but which he was kicked off without compensation (but not without as fight – including 3 court cases that he won while failing to get title or compensation).
These days the building still looks good, housing a bar, sports goods store and upstairs a dance studio as well – a conversion from housing back in 1975.