Archive for the ‘Downtown’ Category
Remarkably, in a city that likes to reinvent itself (or at least its buildings) on a regular cycle, these single storey retail stores have sat on the corner of Robson and Burrard for over a century. They were built in 1911 by builders Allen & Jones at a cost of $9,500 for C N Davidson, and designed by Parr and Fee. A year later the same owner hired Braunton & Leibert to design a much more expensive proposition, the $132,000 stores and apartments called Irwinton Court, behind the stores. Those are still there today as well.
In 1890 jewellers Davidson Brothers had a store on Yates Street in Victoria, and another in Vancouver on Cordova, which had opened in 1888. We know the brothers were previously in business ‘in the east’ because Dr Guthrie managed to borrow money (with insufficient funds to cover the loan) on the basis of earlier acquaintance.
In 1891 C N Davidson is listed in the census record as a jeweller aged 32, and his family are living in Vancouver with 1-year-old daughter, Elaine, his wife’s mother, Frances Haskett and their domestic, Maggie Johnson. Mr Davidson’s father was shown as an American, although he was born in Ontario (apparently in Guelph). His wife’s family were from Quebec; (it looks as if she was born in Montreal but had moved to Ontario before she was 14). The street directory had his home on the corner of Seymour and Georgia
In 1894 the Provincial Building and Loan Association formed a local board in Vancouver, with C N Davidson as president. That year saw the family living at 731 Burrard, seen in this 1898 picture. In 1896 he was on the board of the Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway along with William Templeton and other leading members of the Board of Trade. Unlike many of the proposed railways of the day, this one was actually built, and eventually became a subsidiary of the Great Northern.
As we have seen with a number of other pioneer developers, Mr Davidson did not limit his interests to his main profession. In 1897 he was involved in gold mine prospecting. He and his brother, A A Davidson (who ran the Victoria jewellery store) were two of the four owners of a $250,000 mining company, Winchester Gold Mines of Fairview, Victoria, formed to purchase the Winchester claim in Yale. The same year they were also partners in the $250,000 Shamrock Mining Co with the intent of taking over the Shamrock claim in Osoyoos. Cicero was also briefly a defendant in a case against the Orphan Boy Gold Mining Company on McCulloch Creek where the owners (including C N Davidson) were accused of defrauding shareholders. While his brother seems to have maintained active involvement in the region, there’s no mention of Cicero retaining an interest.
In 1899 Mr Davidson was severely hurt in a fall from a ladder at his home, but obviously recovered. In the 1901 census Cicero and Cecilia have a son Freeman, younger son Irwin N, her mother Fanny Haskell and their domestic Stella Struthers. In this census Cicero’s family background is Scotch, and his wife’s Irish.
In 1911 the family are living at 779 Burrard (a renumbering of 731), Cicero and Cecilia are both aged 52, their sons Freeman and Norman (aged 18 and 14), his wife’s mother, Frances Haskett and their domestic, Rachel Cullen. The development of their home into the Irwinton Apartments must have taken place in 1913 – by 1914 all but one of the 54 suites is occupied. The family have moved to 1609 Harwood. Freeman appears to have fought in the First World War, but after that we have not been able to identify him. Cicero was living in retirement on Dunbar Street in 1926 (when this picture of his developments was taken), and was still living there in 1940. At this point his wife was Rose E Davidson.
In 1981 Irwinton Court was restored by architects Lort and Lort and strata titled.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-1522
Here’s a 1956 picture of a two-storey building on the corner of Burrard and West Pender. If it’s looking a bit shabby, that’s because it’s heading for demolition. It was built in 1910 by owner, and supposed architect E W McLean, and built by R P Forshaw at a cost of $50,000 as stores and apartments. This was not the only project developed by the same owner / builder combination - there was also a $5,000 house on the corner of Nelson and Bute. While Mr McLean’s skills were surprisingly varied, architecture wasn’t something mentioned by his biographers, despite his claim to be the architect on the Building Permit. This is confirmed by an entry from a 1910 copy of the Contract Record that notes the construction of a “commercial block for Arthur E. McEvoy and E.W. MacLean” designed by J S Helyer, the architect of the Dominion Building and Stock Exchange Building.
There’s a bit of confusion about how Mr Mclean spelled his name. The Building Permit, and the 1901 census both have McLean, but his Biographer spells it MacLean – so that’s what we’ll stick with. Ewen Wainwright MacLean was described in 1914 as ”one of the most prominent capitalists in Vancouver and on the Pacific coast of Canada, has been engaged in the real-estate, loan, investment and insurance business for about two decades and is an active factor in the control and management of various enterprises.” E W’s father was Scottish, his mother from Canada (born in PEI into a Scottish family) but E W was born in Nagasaki, Japan, where his father acted as superintendent of the lighthouse service. He was sent to school in Hong Kong, so was fluent in Chinese, explaining why his 1901 Census entry gives his employment as a Chinese Interpreter.
He left college aged around 14 and went to San Francisco for ten years before moving on to Victoria in 1886. He worked there as a fur sealer until that practice was banned, at which point he moved to Vancouver (around 1890). He initially ran a coal business, which he sold after a few years to become a broker, involved in insurance, stocks and real estate. He also obviously used his language ability as a number of items of correspondence between Chang Toy, the Chinese merchant who ran the Sam Kee Company, and other businessmen were routed through Mr MacLean. This would also explain an entry in Chang Toy’s biography “During the night of 6–7 September, following a rally organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League, a mob rampaged through Chinatown. Chang responded by sending his two younger sons to stay in the homes of prominent Vancouver citizens Ewan Wainwright McLean and John Joseph Banfield“
Mr MacLean had significant property development interests in addition to the modest building at Burrard. He was vice president of the Exchange Building, Limited (hence the connection to J S Helyer as architect). In association with J. W. Weart he organized the Investors Guarantee Corporation, Limited, where he was vice-president, and built the fifteen-story Weart building at the corner of Hastings and Richard streets. (although a deal with tenants ensured it became The Standard Building). He also had a railway interest as vice-president of the Southeast Kootenay Railway.
Arthur McEvoy had arrived in Canada in 1889 from England, and the 1901 Census says that at the age of 26 he was already a barrister (having been called to the bar in 1899). There’s a Sam Kee connection to Mr McEvoy as well. In 1908 the company the company purchased standing timber in the Hastings Townsite and then approached Arthur McEvoy to offer the cut wood to City Hall, the City Hospital, schools, churches and “any other big buildings” to clear the stock before the summer. A Director of a number of companies including the Howe Sound Development Co and vice-president of the Howe Sound Northern Railway, in 1913 Mr McEvoy acquired the Coalmont Colliery and as president of the company saw 4,850 tons of coal hauled from the mine in 1914 before the war put a temporary halt to operations.
Both developers of the building were members of the Liberal Party and members of the Terminal City Club. While Mr McEvoy and his family lived across False Creek at 1290 West 12th Avenue in 1910, but a year later was at 1147 Nelson Street, while Ewen MacLean lived at 1184 Nelson Street. (Actually there were two Ewen MacLeans at that address as Ewen MacLean junior was an assistant cashier in his father’s company, but was still living at home in 1911).
The building that replaced the MacLean and McEvoy investment was Bentall’s first office tower downtown. Charles Bentall was present in 1965 (aged 83) when the ground-breaking for the 21-storey tower took place, and exactly a year later he was present with the mayor when the final concrete was poured to ‘top out’ the building. The Bentall family construction company, Dominion, moved into the building on its completion in 1967, the year that Tower Two started construction. Both were designed by Frank Musson who worked until 1965 for Dominion Construction, and then founded Frank W Musson and Associates, later the Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, responsible for designing the other two towers of the complex.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-336
We don’t know who designed the Golden Gate Hotel (on the corner of Drake Street) but the possible architects are on a relatively short list, as it dates back to 1889, making it around the same age as the Yale Hotel a block away. In fact it’s slightly older than the Yale (which was then called the Colonial Hotel), as it was connected to the water system in March, while the Colonial wasn’t hooked up until July.
The Colonial Hotel and the Golden Gate first appear in the 1889 Directory and the Colonial was designed by N S Hoffar (as was 1286 Granville nearby) so he may have designed this building as well.
O S Bergland is listed as proprietor of the Golden Gate in 1889, (offering First Class Board, Pool and Billiards) although in 1890 and 1895 F G Twigg is the listed proprietor (and the building is also called the Holman Block for some of this period). In 1894 Captain Tatlow had addressed a friendly crowd in the hotel in support of the government. In 1896 it’s listed as being vacant, and there’s no sign of it in the 1897 Directory either. This may have been connected with a pair of unfortunate incidents recorded in the Times Colonist. On the left you can read how Mr Twigg lost $265 and a gold watch when he was held up as he was stabling his horse.
To add insult to injury, two days later his horse and buggy were stolen. Note the somewhat random use of initials in the 19th century press.
In 1898 and 1899 the Golden Gate Hotel is back in business, McHugh and Kelly, proprietors. From 1899 to 1904 Samuel J Teese, an Irishman who had arrived in Canada in 1881 is back running the hotel. In 1901 the Census shows us there were a number of boarders - four Americans including two carpenters and a car repairer, another car repairer from Cape Breton, a carpenter from Ontario, a barber from Ontario and a fireman, also from Ontario and a labourer from Nova Scotia. (we assume the car repairers worked at the CPR yards nearby – many earlier tenants of the hotel were CPR employees too). William Hinson was the cook and Anne Vincent the waitress.
By 1905 the hotel’ proprietor changed again to George Mottishaw, and in 1906 Quintin Trotter bought the hotel. A native of Bobcaygeon in Ontario, Mr Trotter took 3 months to remodel it (he was a skilled carpenter having worked at the sash and door works and on fitting out the Princess Victoria). Mr Trotter renamed it the Tourist Hotel and sold it to George Trorey in 1908, who retained ownership to at least 1941.
In 1908 the Tourist cafe was listed – but the hotel was not mentioned. In 1909 the Tourist Hotel has Montagu Gladwin as the barman along with James McIsaac, Phillip Hacquoil was listed as proprietor and only 2 boarders were mentioned. In 1911 and 1912 J Montgomery Reeves is listed as proprietor, but we know the hotel was owned by G E Trorey, who used W H Pawson to design alterations in 1911 carried out by Western Sheet Metal Works. George Trorey was a wealthy jeweller who had his own company which he had sold to Henry Birks, becoming Birks’ General Manager. Presumably the hotel was an investment and the various ‘proprietors’ listed in the directories carried out the day-to-day management of the hotel and bar.
Staff changed frequently and comprehensively: in 1911 Clyde Gladwin was the bartender (Montague Gladwin was now at the Yale, a block south) . In 1912 Mr Reeves was still shown as the proprietor, Fred Dunn was the bartender with James McIsaac, Joseph King and Hector Ross clerks, Minnie Donovan and Margaret Elder were waitresses, William Wilson the steward, John Conroy and Jeremiah Maroney, both stonecutters were resident along with John Glasgow a checker with a dairy and William Haley (who worked for the Western Sheet Metal Co) and a fitter and carpenter.
A year later the proprietors were Tony Cianci and Joseph Feren and barmen Ernest Appleton and Thomas Barry had joined James McIsaac. Herbert Carr was clerk, Nellie Reid and Anna Wachholtz were waitresses, J H Simpson who operated the Canadian Film Exchange was the only listed resident. In 1915 there were only two residents, James Wilson and John McNeil, both loggers and Rebecca McNeil was the maid. James McIsaac was still at the bar, joined by John Smith.
By 1920 the building was no longer a hotel; there were 6 apartments as well as Dr Geer and Dr Gibson in the Tourist Block, with the Bank of Nova Scotia occupying the ground floor. That arrangement was still in place in 1925, although the doctors were no longer there. By 1931, when our VPL image was taken, the main floor was listed as vacant, the bank having moved, but all eight apartments were occupied.
Today it has almost the same arrangement – there are eight rental units (self-contained, renovated in 1974) and retail below – these days the Two Parrots Taverna.
Painter and paper hanger J C Rowley wasn’t in this building for all that long. We assume he is in the picture, presumably with his employees. We don’t know if bowler hats were required for painters, or just a fashion statement in 1894. We’re not sure when Mr Rowley took occupation of these premises as there’s currently no directory for 1893 available. He wasn’t around in 1892 when 508 Pender was occupied by T Prest & Co, real estate agents. In 1890 Mr Prest was still there, but the block was numbered as 408, and there was no 408 Pender in 1889 so that’s probably when it was built.
By 1896 J C Rowley had moved to 1 Pacific Street and 508 Pender was occupied by Andrew Armstrong who was a cleaner and dyer with a home in Mount Pleasant. That’s the last reference to J C Rowley in Vancouver – it seems quite possible that he moved on to New Zealand – there’s a painter called J C Rowley who won a contract in Auckland in 1898.
It looks as if the building stayed undeveloped for nearly 100 years. Here’s a late 1980s image that suggests it was still standing with surprisingly little change. In 1912 J P Matheson had designed an office for the North West Trust Co that took a slice off all three Pender Street lots, but that was a little way up Richards Street. Today it’s called the Lumberman’s Building, and it’s still standing.
In 1990 Kingsley Lo’s design for a 246 space parkade and retail building was completed – one of the last new parkades built downtown. It’s unusual in that it’s ‘L’ shaped, wrapping round the Richards Street office building.
It took two years to build, and when it was first completed in 1925 the Devonshire was the big kid on the block. It soon became far less significant as the Hotel Georgia was built to the east two years later and the Georgia Medical Dental Building (by the same architects as the Devonshire) to the west two years after that; both several storeys taller. It wasn’t really a hotel at that point, but rather an apartment hotel. It was designed by McCarter Nairne early in their career and set them on the road to success and even bigger buildings (especially the Marine Building).
The Devonshire advertised for tenants – here’s a billboard at Clark and Kingsway from 1931. In 1930 there were engineers, a stenographer, clerks and a seamstress – but the directory also shows there were nearly as many maids and other staff (including two telephone operators) working there as there were tenants, suggesting it was already more of a hotel than an apartment building. The hotel advertisement said it was “Canada’s Finest Apartment Hotel” with “Modern and luxuriously comfortable Kitchenette suites and Hotel rooms, all with bath . . . just a few minutes walk from the stations, waterfront, and the glorious Stanley Park.” The hotel offered free telephone service, and charged $3.50 for a single and $5 and up for a double.
In the early 1930s the manager was T Karl De Morest, who also ran the Devonshire Cafe, while the Devonshire Cab Service was run by Messrs Brown and Walker. DeMorest could well be Thomas DeMorest, born in the USA and living as a child in the Okanagan in 1911. In 1937, quite early in his career, CBK Van Norman designed alterations and additions to the building, almost certainly when it became simply a hotel.
The Devonshire was never a huge success, overshadowed by the grander Hotel Georgia and Hotel Vancouver, but it had a popular bar. Our image shows it in 1974, but this earlier postcard shows the relationship to its neighbours. In 1977 Eleni Skalbania took the hotel on and managed to generate a profit before moving on to the Hotel Georgia. In July 1981 at 7.05 am the hotel was imploded with the help of 100 lbs of high explosive – (you can find the video on youtube)
Not long after the dust settled, many publications will tell you that work began on building the HSBC Bank Canada building. That isn’t completely accurate, what was really being built was the Bank of BC Tower designed by Webb Zerafa Menkès Housden Partnership. The second bank to bear the title (the first having disappeared in 1901) it was founded in 1966, the creation of Premier W A C Bennett. By 1986, following financial difficulties arising from poor management, HSBC was allowed to rescue the company. It’s a post-modern stumpy block covered in granite supplied from Quebec. A huge internal public atrium is lined with granite from South Dakota - over two billion years old – featuring Alan Storey’s ‘Broken Column’ pendulum artwork.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-30
In 1929 the brokerage firm of S W Randall Co saw their new office building completed on West Georgia. The design is attributed to R T Perry; it had elements of gothic and some art deco, and a somewhat unusual arrangement of two double bays of windows to the west and a single, slightly offset bay to the east. It bears some resemblance to Townley and Matheson’s Stock Exchange Building, completed a year later, but there are several other buildings by other architects, all taking the same gothic theme, and built around this time.
Sam Randall was born in Ontario in either 1878, 1881 or 1882, (depending which record you believe) and probably arrived in Vancouver in 1914. (One version of his biography says it was 1908, but the 1911 census shows him still in Ontario). He was initially the sales manager of a hardware company, Fittings Ltd, and lived at the St Regis Hotel when he first arrived, but soon found a house on Main Street. By 1920 he had become president of the Canada Pride Range Co, and had a house on W 49th Avenue, and he was still in that same house and holding the same job in 1928. That same year he appears to have established his own brokerage company, having been a member of the Vancouver Stock Exchange before 1927.
Randall’s main passion was horse racing, initially entering the business in 1919. He became the dominant figure during the 35 years he directed the Ascot Jockey Club of Vancouver and the Vancouver Thoroughbred Association. The long-time operator of Exhibition Park, formerly Hastings Park in Vancouver from 1920, he also operated Lansdowne Park on Lulu Island from 1924, and managed the Willows track in Victoria until 1947 and also operated Brighouse Park in Richmond and Colwood on Vancouver Island. Randall was the first Canadian track owner to adopt the photo finish and the first western manager to install an electric starting gate 1939.
This wasn’t his first property development; in 1926 Townley & Matheson had designed a smaller building on Richards Street for him. He sold Lansdowne Park and the Randall Building in 1945, reportedly for a million dollars, to the BC Turf and Country Club, concentrating his efforts on the Hastings course. He retired due to ill health in 1955, and died in 1961.
In 1991 jeweller Toni Cavelti gave the building a comprehensive but completely sensitive upgrade, adding a penthouse floor (set back from the parapet) in the process. The project, designed by Blewett Dodd Ching Lee, gave the building an almost identical appearance to our 1929 image. Only the recently restored mural of medieval goldsmiths on the east side of the building (by Kitty Mykka) in 1993 made the building look any different. In 1999 Cavelti sold his company to Henry Birks who still sell Cavelti designed jewelry, and now Time and Gold operate in the store location.
Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-3763.
In 1888 well-connected American architect Bruce Price designed the New York Block on Granville Street. It was one of a series of fancy new office buildings the Canadian Pacific Railway commissioned for their land holdings, particularly along Granville Street. The New York Block was in the 600 block of Granville, just down the hill from the Donald Smith Block, also designed by Price, and the CPR’s Hotel Vancouver. In 1889 it was valued at $25,000, and was faced and trimmed with granite, described by the Daily World as “certainly the grandest building of its kind yet erected here, or for that matter in the Dominion”. You can see that in 1889 even grand buildings still had plank sidewalks and uneven streets in front.
The building housed the CPR’s ticket, telegraph, and land offices until the turn of the century. It appears that a number of people, many of them CPR employees, lived in apartments in the building as well, an early example of ‘mixed use development’ in the city. A P Horne recalled attending parties in the building. “Father Fay was a fine fellow; he was popular; he could sing; had a good voice. Williams, of Williams Bros. and Dawson, surveyors, had a flat in the top of the New York Block; the Canadian Pacific Railway offices were below, and Sir George McLaren Brown was in them. Williams used to give parties in his flat, and Father Fay used to come and sing. Mr. Buntzen could play the piano in those days, and so could Mrs. Buntzen; play it well; and we used to have parties up in Williams’ flat.”
Bruce Price’s residential designs were important enough to influence Frank Lloyd Wright, particularly his designs in a New York planned suburb, Tuxedo Park. His early designs for hotels and stations for the CPR established the château style they continued to reference for decades. Among others, Price designed the Château Frontenac in Quebec and the Banff Springs Hotel. In New York, as in Vancouver, he favoured the Richardson Romanesque style, although in New York (where his office was based) he soon moved on to skyscrapers in a classical style.
The building lasted until the early 1920s when it was replaced with the current Hudson’s Bay store. We’ve already shown in another post how the first Hudson’s Bay store was added to in 1914, and then the first store was replaced with this second phase of construction. The contemporary image shows the new glazed canopies that replace the heavier steel design that was in place until 2012.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu P79
Our building on Granville Street is almost certainly designed by W T Dalton for Hope and Fader Co., Granville Street, ‘next to the Imperial Bank’, 1898. The Imperial Bank was the building to the north – still standing today, although it ceased to be a bank many years ago.
The ‘Hope’ in Hope and Fader is almost certainly Charles E Hope, partner with Walter Gravely in the firm of Hope and Gravely, real estate agents. Hope was English, and in 1891 was living in New Westminster where he was identified in the census as an architect. He was born in Bradford, trained as an architect with his father and brother and then moved to Vancouver in 1889. He designed a public market in 1889 and the Alexandra Hospital, West 7th Avenue at Pine Street in 1891. He didn’t pursue an architectural career for very long; after 1896 he became interested in mining development at Rossland, B.C. but clearly remained linked with the city as he was on the Vancouver School Board from 1906 to 1909. He opened a real estate office in Fort Langley in 1910. His brother, Archibald followed him to Vancouver and was responsible for the design of Postal Station C on Main Street – today known as Heritage Hall.
Silas Fader was the owner of the site, living at 544 and selling groceries from 546 (he’s described in the street directory as a “provision dealer”). His family were originally from Germany, but he had been born in Nova Scotia, as had his wife Edith and two older children. He had moved to British Columbia somewhere between 1886 and 1894, when the first of three more children had been born.
In 1901 when our picture was taken the building was occupied by Walter Boult, a music dealer, and Norman Caple’s stationers. Dr Campbell had his consulting rooms upstairs. Caple had been in the city from before 1890 and was one of the city’s earlier photographers – we’ve seen his first premises on another post. He moved a little later up the street. The September photograph shows the building decorated for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. Mrs Bonnallie, in conversation with Major Matthews, recalled that the first run of the city’s first motor ambulance (that she had helped to raise funds for) ran over and killed American tourist outside Fader’s grocery store on Granville, becoming the first passenger to be transported in the vehicle.
Later in the 1920s Arnold & Quigley men’s clothing would occupy the building, and by 1981 as this picture shows Marks and Spencers were the tenanta and the building had been extensively changed. Most recently another clothing store has taken the space, with a total rebuild to modern retailing standards for the Loblaw ’Joe Fresh’ brand, designed by Turner Fleischer with interior design by Toronto company burdifilek. Underneath it’s possible that a few sticks of the original 1898 structure still help keep the roof up (although if they do, it’s at the back – the front of the building has been totally rebuilt at least twice in recent years).
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives LGN 572 and CVA 779-E02.01
We don’t know who built this structure, although we know it dates from around 1908. The 1901 Insuarnce map of the city shows there was a house on a lot located 25 feet north of Georgia (just on the right edge of this picture). The lot had been owned by A K Stuart since 1886.
Mrs A K Stuart obtained a permit for a house on Richards Street in 1902, and A K Stuart obtained another for a house on Georgia Street in 1906. In 1903 James L Duff, a dentist lived here, and next door, to the west, was William Lonergan, a contractor, who stayed for a number of years. In 1905 the dentist had been replaced by Oswald Trowse, a dyer, and in 1907 A K Stuart, recorded as being a civil engineer, was shown living in the house.
Mrs A K Stuart would have been Margaret, who Allan Stuart had married in 1892. Stuart was a former CPR draftsman who helped bring the railway through the Rockies, and then settled in Vancouver in 1885 working for Thomas Sorby, helping design the first CPR buildings including the first Hotel Vancouver. From 1893 to 1901 he worked as Assistant City Engineer, before joining an engineering company supervising mines in Canada and Mexico.
By 1908 we’re reasonably certain this structure had been completed, as the building here housed the Cabello Cigar Manufacturing Company. (The Archives image is dated 1906, but we think it’s probably a year or two later). A K Stuart had obtained two further permits in1907 for alterations and remodelling on bothe Richards and Georgia, and it seems likely that this building was the outcome. The building lot was turned through 90 degrees and subdivided north-south rather than the original east-west alignment.
In 1909 Philip Timms, one of Vancouver’s leading photographers of the day was based here, to be replaced by Stuart Thompson, another photographer, in 1912. Timms had been born in Toronto in 1874, but had arrived in Vancouver with his new wife Lizzie in 1898. His first employment was working for Stephen Thompson who was already established in New Westminster, taking high-quality platinum photographs of the scenery of the Rockies.
Timms was initially a picture framer, but by 1903 he was a photographer, deliberately trying to create a record of the rapidly growing city of Vancouver (a legacy we rely on for this blog). He produced at least 3,000 images, many of them printed as postcards by his brother, Art.
Stuart Thompson was born in Hampstead, England in 1881. He came to Vancouver via Australia in 1910, where he became a well-known professional photographer, noted for his aerial photography. Timms had moved his business to his home address on Commercial Drive. He maintained his studio at 501 W Georgia until 1922 when Aras Pantages became the tenant.
Over the years the occupant of the building changed many times, including the National Cash Register Co who operated from here in the late 1930s, until today when a car leasing company operates from the building. But we can’t help thinking that underneath the 1934 exterior we see today are the bones of the 1907 original structure.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-592
Our picture shows Scougale Dry Goods on the north-east corner of Hastings and Richards in 1900. To the right was a stationer’s store. The 1901 insurance map says that the Terminal City Club was upstairs. We know there was more than one Scougale involved in the business – in 1901 Scougale Brothers donated $5 of goods to the Street Railway Worker’s Picnic and Sports Day. The building was new, having apparently been completed a year earlier and it was the only corner at this intersection that wasn’t a bank building. We haven’t been able to pin down a developer or architect, although W T Dalton did design a “Richards Block” on Hastings in 1897.
There are very few Scougales in Canada – and only one recorded in BC in 1901 – James A Scougale, merchant, born in Ontario, was living in Vancouver and leased a room to Edward Mills, a miner also from Ontario. Edward may well be the miner who later in 1901 was President of the Blue Bird Consolidated Mining Company of Darrington in Snohomish County in Washington State (a mine that failed to live up to its promise of valuable minerals). The family name was recorded in all sorts of variations; Scongale, Scougal and Scaugall amongst them.
James Andrew Scougale born on Colborne, Ontario in 1866. His father, also called James died in 1890 in Colborne, Northumberland, Ontario, and had been born in Scotland. There’s no sign of the other Scougale brother in the 1901 census, but both James and Adam Scougale were living at 416 Richards in 1902 (both brothers appear to have been living in Colborne in 1891).
It doesn’t seem that the Scougales stayed in the city for long. While the company are still operating in 1902, they have gone by 1903 and in 1905 Adam is back in Colborne, listed as a witness at a wedding. He died there in 1922 aged 62, and James obviously also returned there eventually as he died there in 1927, aged 60. Neither men married.
It seems as if James (like his lodger) headed to the Yukon and sought mining wealth. A James A Scougale was involved in two mining claims; Rainy Day no, 11545 in 1909 and Hunker no. 10605 in 1910. In around 1914 James Scougale was diamond drilling the Silver King Mine in the Yukon using a drill owned by the Territorial Government. (there’s a Scougale Creek in the Yukon as well). In 1923 he owned the mining rights to the Mt Cameron Property with Jack Alverson, but the value of that claim wasn’t clear. Alverson had previously netted $5,000 in a single season of mining at the Silver King Mine in 1913, before Scougale drilled it.
In 1916 the World Publishing Company were owners of the Richards building, getting Dominion Construction to repair and alter the basement. However, the building only lasted for about 40 years. In 1938 Gardiner and Mercer designed a replacement building for F W Woolworth that was still operating in this 1974 picture. While Woolworth’s have been gone for many years, the 1938 building is still there today.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA LGN 709 and CVA 778-143