Archive for the ‘West End’ Category
This image was commissioned by City Archivist Major Matthews and was titled by him “The first house on Davie St. as it appeared in Aug. 1931. Vintage print attributed to Rowland J. Towers.”
Elsewhere he noted that in this 1890 picture by W Chapman ”The one at the top is on Davie Street; it is on the skyline. Today it is numbered 1112 and 1114 Davie Street, a three-storey building with balconies on the second and third floors, and stands on the south side of Davie Street, third building from the Capitola Apartments. Two large rowan or mountain ash trees, at least twelve inches through, which shows their age, stand on the lawn. It was built by Mr. Bouchier, who died in the spring of 1931. Walter Leek, president of the Vancouver Exhibition Association, once lived in it.”
A Frenchman, Mr. Bouchier, later employed by the late Senator S.J. Crowe, built it. He died in the spring of 1931.
The assessment roll, at the City Hall, dated 1888 of this property:
F.D. Boucher, Lot 2, Block 25, D.L. 185, (assessed) $275.00
Alfonse Moriw (?), Lot 3, Block 25, D.L. 185, (assessed) $275.00
From the street directories of the 1890s it appears that this may not have been the first occupied house on Davie Street, although it was undoubtedly one of the earliest, and from the picture above it was almost completely isolated. It looks as if it was completed in 1890 but was still vacant in 1891. By 1894 Mr F D Boucher (the correct name) was living there.
Ferdinand Desire Boucher was born in Quebec and arrived in Vancouver in 1885. He was a carpenter, working at the Hastings Mill and in 1898 the Vancouver Sash and Door Company. He married Allia, (or that’s what the name looks like) another Québécois and in 1891 they had May, Gracie and Albertine Labrecque living with them, described as daughters-in-law but probably actually Ferdinand’s step-daughters. The 1901 census calls his wife Mary, and Albertius and Grace (now aged 22 and 24) are still at home.
Remarkably, behind the added retail units of the Cotton Mouth Smoke Shop and Megabite Pizza the original structure gives every suggestion of still standing - one of the oldest building in the West End.
Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Str N63 and CVA 1376-204
In 1915 the house on the corner of Nelson and Burrard, 1001 Burrard, was owned by T Harvie, who made repairs the year before (although the street directory records the occupant as Thomas Harvey). 1003 Burrard was occupied by the First Baptist Church (who had the church on the other side of Nelson Street). 1005 Burrard was the home of Oscar P Ziegler, a violin teacher. A group known as the ‘Spare Time Symphony’ conducted by Oscar Ziegler, was playing in the city in 1915 but was disbanded after his death ca 1919. Andrew J Drewrey was at 1007 and 1009 was occupied by Alex Adam at the front of the house and Alex Crawford, a carpenter was at the back. That year Mr Crawford designed and carried out repairs to 1007 Burrard for its owner, recorded as T Harrie or maybe Harvie – the clerk had a cramped cursive style that makes definitive identification difficult. In 1909 the same house (1009) had been repaired by J R Sharp for its owner T Harvey – so presumably the same person who was living at 1001 in 1915. It’s seems likely that all the homes were owned by the same person, Thomas Harvie, and his name was recorded by the building permit clerk as Harvey and Harrie. His name seems to have been spelled both as Harvie and Harvey between 1901 and 1915.
These five houses were not the first buildings on the lot. In the 1901 insurance map there’s a single, larger house shown facing Nelson Street. It was standing in 1896 but vacant and in 1897 occupied by Daniel McIntyre, lumberman. It was erected and demolished (or maybe moved) in a very short time frame; in 1905 it is still standing, and Abbie McIntyre, the widow of Daniel McIntyre is living there. Daniel was aged 44 in 1891, and Abbie aged 40 and they were resident in Cowichan North. Daniel was from Ontario and Abbie from the USA and he was listed as a saw-mill owner. The family had obviously previously been in the US as Fred (22), Arthur (14) and Harry (11) were all born there.
A year later in 1906 the Nelson Street address no longer exists. Instead the Burrard addresses have appeared; 1005 is listed as a new building, 1007 has Thomas Harvie, manager and 1009 Joseph Clark, warehouseman. In 1912 Thomas Harvie is identified as Manager of the BC Box Factory (which was on Front Street), and Andrew Harvie at the same address is a builder.
Thomas Harvie was in the city in 1901, and according to the census he was living in household of four, headed by Ruth Galloway and her partner Alice Harvie. He was aged 38 and recorded as married, although there’s no sign of a Mrs Harvie. The fourth member of the household was Harvey Galloway, aged 28, listed as a lodger like Thomas. All four had been born in Ontario.
It looks as if this 1901 household was recorded in a confused and inaccurate way, because the 1911 census shows Thomas Harvey, now aged 48, living at 1007 Burrard with his wife Alice aged 47 and their son Andrew aged 20. They also have a maid, Jessie Hillier. While Andrew had been born in Ontario, Alice and Thomas were shown as born in Quebec. Thomas was a box manufacturer, as was Andrew. There’s no sign of either Ruth or Harvey Galloway in 1911.
In 1925 the houses are still standing, and A Harvie is living at 1003 1/2 (R Lackey was at 1003). In the late 1920s some of the houses are listed as vacant and Mrs A C Harvie is living at 1001 in 1929 and 1930. In 1931 1001 Burrard has gone, and St Andrews Wesley is under construction and by 1932 it was complete. The church was designed by Twizell and Twizell and was constructed from Nelson Island granite and Haddington Island stone. The style of the building was far from contemporary – it’s Gothic to look at, although it is actually of reinforced concrete construction with a stone skin.
Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-292
We’ve written in greater detail about the owner and developer of this building on another blog. Caroline Court is over a century old, being built in 1911 to J P Matheson’s design for James Pattullo by Dominion Construction at a cost of $150,000. It was built as a rental building, and it still fulfills that function today. The context it sits in has changed – the two houses to the north were replaced with a strata building, The Nelson in 1980. The Star Garage, seen in our 1939 VPL Leonard Frank image is these days another strata building, Kelvin Court, built in 1986. The tower beyond that is the rental building developed by St Andrews Wesley in 2002. The other large tower, behind Caroline Court, is the somewhat inaccurately named Heritage Court, dating back to 1971 and designed by Eng and Wright.
In 1901 Almeron Soper Cross was owner of a general store in Atlin with his partner, Edward Rorke who was also his son-in-law (There’s no sign in the census records that year of his wife, Elizabeth; his daughter, Edith, was also living in Atlin but was recorded as head of her own household). In 1903 he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace ‘to perform the duties of a County court Judge’. He was also appointed a licence commissioner.
Mr Cross obviously did well in Atlin as this splendid $6,500 house on Nelson Street was designed in 1906 by Grant and Henderson and completed by 1907 (the permit was issued in February 1906). The Cross family were listed in the Vancouver street directory for the first time in 1907; Edward was a broker with the firm of LaCappellain and Rorke. Mr Cross added a ’frame stable’ to the property in 1909. This 1908 panorama of the street shows the significant houses that had been built in the previous few years.
The 1911 Census shows Almeron Cross was born in Ontario in 1854 (so by then aged 57) to an originally Irish protestant family. He married his wife Elizabeth in 1878 in Thornbury, Ontario and their daughter was born in Toronto in 1880. Edward and Edith lived with her parents, and there were two domestic servants as well. Mr Cross moved in 1915 to West 38th Ave in Dunbar, and died early in 1920, aged 65.
The 1968 photograph shows the house close to the end of its life. By 1972 there would be a 10 storey rental tower, the Dogwood Apartments in its place.
Picture source City of Vancouver Archives, 1968 CVA 1348-2 and 1908 PAN P-103
Back in 1967 this rather large house was for sale for $63,000 (offers). The owner wanted to sell as an apartment site, and if the new owner wanted to keep it as a revenue opportunity (the tenants paid $600 a month in total) then the purchaser had to carry out an internal inspection – but couldn’t disturb the tenants. A rather classy past was suggested from the driveway for five cars, and five garages.
The house dated back to 1912, when it was built at the not inconsiderable sum of $3,300. It was designed by noted and prolific local architects Dalton and Eveleigh, and the client was the younger half of that partnership, S M Eveleigh. Sydney Morgan Eveleigh was born in Bedford in England, and appears to have studied architecture at school, arriving in Vancouver aged 18 and immediately starting work for N S Hoffar, the new city’s premier architect at the time. Eveleigh returned to England to study for two years, returned to Vancouver and from 1895 worked initially for W T Dalton and soon after as a partner.
Eveleigh was involved in the city’s literary scene from early on, and was an active member of the library board. It was he who contacted Andrew Carnegie, and the five $10,000 cheques that helped build the new library were personally made out to Eveleigh. As architects Dalton and Eveleigh designed dozens of buildings in the city including many featured on the blog, including the Alcazar Hotel, the Wilson Block on Granville and the Masonic Temple at Seymour and Georgia, (Eveleigh was very active in Freemasonry). Eveleigh’s membership of the Vancouver Automobile Club no doubt helps explain the garages.
The family lived in the house until 1927, when Miss A MacRae moved in. Over the years a variety of owners and later lodgers lived there and by the 1960s it had lost much of the charm that it must once have had. The wooden addition with the stone printed asphalt sheeting didn’t help with the appearance (although no doubt it added to the rent roll).
Despite the hope that it would be torn down for apartments, that wouldn’t happen for several more years. In 1987 Charlotte Gardens, designed by MacDonald-Hale Architects was built on the site.
In 1968 this 15 unit apartment building was for sale for $63,000. The MLS details says rent was $777 a month. At first we thought that was a bit high – then we realised it was from all 15 suites. The building is described as being in a Hi Rise zone, and built with a stone exterior. The agent selling the property was unsure how old the building was. We know from the building permit that it dated back to 1909 when Vancouver Construction Co Ltd designed and built it for Mrs Jennie McLeod. Unusually for the period it was described as being a concrete dwelling house.
There were hundreds of McLeods in British Columbia in 1911 – there were three called Jennie, and none were likely to be property owners. Fortunately the street directory from 1910 gives the owner as Alex Macleod, timber cruiser, and the 1911 census confirms that Jenny Macleod aged 42 lived with her husband Alexander and their son, and a servant, Jensen Ange, at this address. Both were of Scottish decent, but Jenny was American while Alexander had been born in Scotland. In 1920 there’s still a MacLeod, Allen, listed at this address.
During the 1930s Mrs E Milloy is listed in the directories as the owner, and in 1936 the directory adds the word ‘rooms’. Looking at the picture it appears that behind the facade there’s a house which was added to, and the style suggests this could well have been in the 1930s as the economy of the day saw big houses becoming rooming houses, a common occurence in the West End.
Despite the ‘hi-rise’ zoning, in 1982 a 6-storey apartment building, Barclay Place, was completed on the site. Although it’s stratified, for the time being at least the 42 units are rentals.
Here’s a somewhat battered house on Comox Street in the West End in 1968. Our image is from the MLS listing which offered the house for $62,000, although the listing suggests ‘Try all reasonable offers’ as the building ‘Should be sold as apartment site only’. It was heading towards demolition as the West End saw ramped up densities and rental and condominium towers replacing older housing.
We know who built the house – it was E R Squair who designed and built it in 1912 at a cost of $1,000 for Mr Koenigsberg. Ernest R Squair only seems to have been in the city for a few years, and 1728 Comox was one of his first works as a contractor. Squair designed and built a number of houses in the city, although this is the only one we know of in the West End. Ernest was born in London, emigrated to New Brunswick in 1907 and died in Victoria in 1962 at the age of 86.
His client was Maurice Koenigsberg, manager and presumably proprietor of the Koenigsberg Jewelery Co who were wholesalers and manufacturers of jewelery on West Cordova Street. He must have been doing well in business; in 1911 he was living on Thurlow Street aged 35 with his 22 year old wife Etta and three month old daughter Ruthlene. Both Maurice and Etta were from American Jewish families, Maurice was from St Paul, Minnesota although Etta had been born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Etta died young, aged 49 in 1937 and Maurice died in 1948.
Today the site is the relatively huge private gardens of a 19 storey condo tower, the Sandpiper, built in 1976 by Daon Developments. The tower’s architect was Jim White, a long-time architect with Thompson Berwick Pratt and Partners. Over twenty years earlier White had designed the Dal Grauer Substation on Burrard Street with Ned Pratt.
Here’s something of a mystery. In 1968 this Cardero Street house was a little the worse for wear, but that wasn’t surprising as it had been standing on this spot since 1904. According to the building permit it was designed and built by C W Thomas for C W Thomas. The mystery is who C W Thomas was. There are plenty of Thomas’s in the city, but none with the initials C W, and none with the initial C who could build a house this expensive (over $2,000 at the time). C W Thomas didn’t own, build or design anything except this one building, and there are no C W Thomas’s in the city directory around this date, (or in New Westminster), or in British Columbia before or after in the census.
The only C W Thomas we can find as an architect around this time had been in partnership with Gilbert Davies since 1896. The only problem is that he was in Shanghai, where he helped design the Astor House Hotel on the Bund – “the finest hotel in the Far East”. It seems far fetched that he would design and build a house in the west End – but perhaps he did.
Our image is from the 1968 listing, which offered it for sale for $33,000 as either a family home or for conversion to rooms, but also noted the possibility of a future assembly in the ‘prime apartment area’. And that’s what happened eventually - in 1980 three quarters of the block along Barclay Street was redeveloped, including all the Cardero Street frontage. A condo building designed by Raymond Y Ching and Associates was built, but it wasn’t sold off. Rather it offered rentals, including eight small townhouses on Cardero Street, seen here in Maurice Jassak’s image. Then in 2008 the whole complex was renovated and sold off as strata homes as ‘The Barclay’, including the townhouses along Cardero.
Here’s one of the more dramatic changed views that we’ve featured. The only thing that looks as if they’re still standing in both photographs are the street trees. In 1914 Burrard Street was barely paved (it didn’t lead to a bridge, so it wasn’t a major through route). On the right is a $18,000 ‘brick veneered’ apartment, Burrard Court, built and owned by R Y Blackhall and designed by R V Pushaw in 1911. Mr Pushaw seems to have also been a builder, but only has a handful of buildings to his credit.
The rest of the block consists of houses – relatively inexpensive ($1,000) frame dwellings built speculatively around 1902 and 1903 by (among others) J B Cawthron and A M Sharpe. You can see the homes of Reginald Marshall, George Forrest, William A Campbell, Arthur Valentine and Mrs Mary Roddick in the picture. The times were more turbulent than the picture suggests. Mrs Roddick was living with her son George and husband John in the house in 1911, but John had left by 1914 (perhaps for the war?) and George had a job with a Tire and Rubber company – aged only 15.
Further down the hill is the Winnitola Nursing Home. Today you can see the Milano (By Paul Merrick Architects), the Ellington, Carlton Court and Crystallis by Roger Hughes and Partners. And today’s picture will change soon too – a 17-storey tower designed by IBI/HB to be called ‘Modern’ has been approved to be slotted onto Burrard where the small beige Commercial Electronics store can be seen. We’re not going to list the nearly 500 people who now own or rent homes in this view. Traffic is a bit busier as well.