550 and 564 Cambie Street

The smaller building, on the left in this 1974 image, is still standing today. We think 550 Cambie dates from around 1929. There was an earlier building on the site; in 1909 it was shown as ‘cabins’, which was true until about 1920, when we assume the site was cleared. It was still shown vacant on the 1928 insurance map. In 1929 Cope and Sons were shown occupying 550 Cambie, so they might have developed the building.

Fred and his son Frank Cope ran an electrical wholesaling business here, and had been in the city since the 1890s. Frederick Thomas Cope was born around 1861, and had come from England in 1875. (As far as we know he wasn’t related to Fred Cope who was the third mayor of Vancouver, who was born in Ontario). His wife Marjory was from Ontario; their two children, Frank and Bert were born in Manitoba in 1886 and 1888, and Fred was a housebuilder in Brandon in the 1891 census. They first show up in Vancouver in a street directory in 1900; Frederick Thomas Cope was in an electrical wholesaling business with Charles Frey on West Hastings, and F I Cope (who lived at the same address on Hornby Street) was a contractor. In 1905 the directory identified F I Cope to be Frank, who was by then an electrician. By 1910 Bert had also joined the family business, although it was still Cope and Son. By 1913 Fred was company president and Frank company secretary, and both had moved to West 13th, while Bert was living on Granville Street, By 1922 all three lived on W13th at different addresses, and were all working at Cope and Son.

In 1939 The Wellington Plating works were here, offering to re-chrome motorist’s headlight reflectors. They were located at the back of the building. Cope and sons were still here, with H Morris and General Printers and Publishers. In 1956 fire men fought a $75,000 two-alarm blaze which ripped through top floor of warehouse of Van Horne Electrical Supply Co. 550 Cambie. (They were the successor of Cope & Sons). 

The site where the larger building sat (564 Cambie) was developed with a building shown on the 1901 insurance map occupied by the Vancouver Transfer Co. We’ve seen another building that the company developed later on Mainland Street (in 1912), when we looked at the company history.

Founded by Victoria businessman and politician Francis Stillman Barnard of Barnard’s Express in 1886, it was controlled by Fred and Clarence Tingley in the early 1900s. In 1904 Reid Tingley built an addition to the company’s stables here, almost certainly seen in this picture of their premises around 1908, published in Greater Vancouver Illustrated.

Once Vancouver Transfer moved out, George Jones ran the Cambie Street Boarding Stable here through the First World War. By 1918 Julius A Tepoorten had taken ownership, and spent $150 on repairs. By 1920 Central Sheet Metal works had moved in, with Albert Morris, a cabinetmaker and J Morris’s export and transfer company. The Sheet Metal Works was still listed here in 1928. There were possibly major alterations in 1921; J A Tepoorten obtained a permit for $5,000 of repairs and alterations built by Dominion Construction. It’s possible this was initially a single storey structure; in 1974 the windows on the upper part of the building don’t match those on the main floor.

We suspect the redevelopment and additional floors probably occurred at the end of the 1920s. Tepoorten Ltd was first listed here in 1929, with Western Distribution Ltd and Cunningham Drug Stores. The building was now numbered as 560 by 1930, and Knowles and Macaulay, and Terminal Drug Stores had replaced Tepoorten Ltd in the building.

Julius Tepoorten was born in Michigan, and went to school in Ontario. He was apprenticed to James E. Davis & Company, wholesale druggists of Detroit, and went to Victoria in 1887. He travelled the whole of BC representing Langley & Co until 1909, when he set up his own wholesaling business. He married Mary Dolan in Michigan in 1889, and they had ten children, eight of whom survived. His business was based on Water Street, but moved here in the years he amalgamated with National Drug and Chemical Co of Canada. He retired in 1929, but retained a shareholding in the company, and died in 1939.

In 1940 there were seven businesses in 560 Cambie; Knowler and Macaulay, Western Distribution, Ryan Cotton (manufacturers agents), Latch & Batchelor (wire rope) C Korsch Ltd (millinery), Barham Drugs (wholesale) and F W Horner Ltd (pharmaceutical manufacturers). In 1955 there were only two companies shown, BC Leather Co wholesale and Pro-Made Golf Co. They were a Vancouver golf club manufacturer, founded by Roy Francis. Following his death his sons inherited the company, and moved production from Pender Street to here. They sold the business in 1957, but it continued with other brands as well, with Pioneer Envelopes, Pro-made Golf Company, Royal Scot Golf Company and Golfcraft occupying 560 Cambie that year.

In our 1974 image Van Horne Electrical Supply were still at 550 Cambie, and Joe Boshard’s painting company was about to give 560 Cambie a makeover. The building was demolished by 1990, replaced in 1994 by The Seimens Building, designed by Aitken Wreglesworth Associates as the local offices of the international engineering company. This is effectively the back of the building, with the front facing West Georgia and Beatty, curved and cantilevered out over the Dunsmuir Tunnel that cuts across the edge of the site. The tenants name has changed over the years, with Seimens replaced by Amec, and now by Wood Canada Ltd. There’s a proposal to replace 550 Cambie with a much larger office building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-56

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Posted 17 June 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone, Still Standing

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534 and 536 Cambie Street

Sometimes, even Downtown, there are modest buildings surviving longer than might be expected. Here are two on the 500 block of Cambie Street. Perhaps not surprisingly, in the short time since we started researching their history, a redevelopment has been proposed to build a 22 storey office building.

The building on the left dates from 1925, while the other was supposedly developed in 1912 (according to the Assessment Authority), but we haven’t identified an appropriate Building Permit. That may be because the structure still standing was clearly an addition to an earlier house, that no longer exists. The house was built at some point in the mid 1890s, and can be seen here in 1974 (and there was also originally a house on the lot to the north, on the left). The numbering on the block was altered in 1896, so the houses here had, for a while, non-sequential numbers, which makes it difficult to be certain of what was built when. Through the later 1890s the house seen here was occupied by two households; D A Campbell, a teamster, and A Cooper Dinsmore, another teamster. In 1898 some of the Scurry family moved to 514 Cambie (renumbered that year as 536). They ran a barbers saloon on Abbott Street. They appear to have moved next door (to the north) to 534 around 1901, when Martha Scurry (widow of Hiram) was living in the house that stood here, before the existing building was constructed in 1925.

The building on the corner of the lane is proposed to have its facade incorporated into the new development. The developers were the Cleland Bell Engraving Co., and the architects Benzie & Bow. Rogers and Purdy built the $17,000 building. The heritage statement for the new office tower repeats an inaccurate internet document about Cleland Bell, identifying Mr. Cleland as William Nelson Cleland, born in Brantford, Ontario in 1871. Unfortunately, the engraver was called Norman Cleland. Norman was William’s younger brother, and had also been born in Brantford. William arrived around 1899, and worked initially as a dyer, then as a clothes presser, and in 1902 he was working for the Perth Dye Works. Norman arrived in the city in 1902, and was a printer at Evans & Hastings. Both brothers had rooms on Richards Street in 1902, and lived on Robson Street in 1904 with William Cleland snr, who was presumably their father, and an accountant. The household didn’t identify a mother in the 1881 census when Norman was 6, and William jnr. aged 10 (There was also an older sister, Jessie and a middle brother, George). These arrangements stayed unchanged until 1907, when Norman went into partnership with Harry Welsh and established a printing business on Pender Street. (William Cleland was with B C Dye Works, and a year later co-owned the Berlin Dyeing and Cleaning Works). William Cleland senior died in September that year, aged 79.

In the 1911 census Norman Cleland was head of a household of three that included William, who was also listed as a printer, and described, unusually, as Norman’s partner, and Jessie, their sister. William had been living in his own rooms earlier in the year, and working as a presser again. Norman had a new business partner, and was now ‘Cleland and Dibble, Engravers and Printers’, on Water Street. William was briefly involved in real estate in 1913, the same year that Norman married an Australian widow, Margaret Zasama, in Victoria. In 1914 both brothers had moved to West 12th, where they each had apartments in the same building.

In 1919 Norman’s business name was changed to Cleland-Bell, and he was managing director; A L Bell was president, and William Cleland was working as a clerk. In 1926 the business became Cleland-Kent with a new partnership with Harry Kent. Although the business name continued under new management, Norman Cleland appears to have retired from the business around 1935, and after a year’s absence he took over a business called Art Engraving for a few years, with William also working there as a salesman. In 1935 he developed a retail building on East Broadway. William and Jessie lived on Point Grey Road, and Norman and his wife lived close by on the same block of West 1st Avenue. Norman died in Vancouver in 1944, aged 68. William Cleland was aged 82 when he died in 1953, His sister, Jessie, died in Vancouver in 1962, aged 92. Neither had been married.

Cleland-Kent continued to exist as a business, and occupy space in this building, through the 1950s. Their name was still on the building in our 1974 image, so we assume an engraving business continued in operation, even if the front door had been bricked up. Today, for the time being, there’s a new doorway, and a lawyer and a finance company have offices there.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-55

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Posted 14 June 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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Firehall #6 – Nicola Street

Fire hall #6, in the West End, was commissioned in 1907 and opened in 1908. Even though it was developed in the period when the building permits have been lost, we know the architects of the project. Honeyman and Curtis designed the building, possibly the first in North America specifically designed for motorized firetrucks.

It was photographed in 1908 with its Seagrave Hose Wagon and Auto Chemical Engine – both state-of-the-art equipment for the time. After the 1886 fire the City was willing to fund the fire department generously. The Seagrave machines cost around $5,000 each – more than it cost to build most West End houses at the time. (Seagrave still make fire trucks today, but the entire Vancouver fleet are now built by Spartan).

There was a delay getting the building started; the architects reported to the City Council that it was such a busy time for contractors that it had been difficult to get any of them to bid. “The public advertisement had not drawn a single call for the specifications, but by personal effort several contractors had been Induced to figure.” In the end Peter Tardif won the contract to build the fire hall.

The building was expanded in 1929, with a design by A J Bird, and there was another picture taken by Stuart Thomson, with the latest engine proudly on display.

As far as we can tell, that’s an American La France ladder truck in the picture on the right. Not too many were built with the firemen sitting over the front wheels.

Our main image dates from 1975. The hall received a further makeover, and was seismically upgraded in 1988, designed by Henry Hawthorne Architect. The fire staff continue to fight fires and attend other emergency calls throughout the West End, equipped with a Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD engine, and pump. Recently the city’s ladder trucks have changed from 75 foot units to 105 foot (to better service fires in 6-storey buildings) so the ladder trucks are now located in other West End and Downtown fire halls.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-395, CVA 99-3730 and FD P39.2

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Posted 10 June 2021 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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391 Powell Street

This 3-storey building was a $35,000 apartment building designed (according to the permit) by ‘Horton & Phillips’ for ‘Mrs. Tuthill”. She lived in Glencoe Lodge at the time, and was originally from New York State. She married David S. Tuthill, an accountant, in 1874, and by 1878 had moved to Portland, Oregon. His apparent success in business was an illusion; by 1897 he was involved with several businesses including as president of the Acme Mills Ltd. The San Francisco Call reported on his death that year “David S. Tuthill, a prominent citizen and cashier for the firm of Allen & Lewis, committed suicide some time between 11 o’clock last night and 7 this morning. When his sister went to call him. as was her custom, she received no response. Opening the bedroom- door she found her brother stretched on the bed, dead, with a gaping bullet hole in his right temple. It is the general opinion that Tuthill was short in his accounts. The opinion is based on the fact that yesterday he deeded all his property to the Security and Savings Trust Company for a nominal consideration. Tuthill had been connected with the firm of Allen & Lewis for nineteen years. He was a native of Ellenville, N. Y , where his parents reside. He leaves a widow and one daughter.

Records suggest David and Emma had two daughters, but Mary was four when she died in 1881. Helen, who survived, was born in Ulster County, New York in 1875. By 1899 Emma Tuthill had moved to Vancouver, and she seems to have succeeded where her husband hadn’t. For an investment of $20,000 she become a special partner in F.R. Stewart and Company, a firm of wholesale produce merchants on Water Street. Her daughter, Helen, married a Portland bank manager in 1898, and they also moved north, where he became manager of the Vancouver branch of the Bank of British Columbia. Her husband, John Johnson was originally from Spalding, in England, and when the bank was dissolved he became the accountant at B.C. Sugar. They had a daughter, Beatrice in 1899, and in 1901 Emma was living with her daughter and son-in-law, their infant daughter, servant, and Chinese cook.

Helen and John had another daughter who they christened Helen, in 1904. John was in Fiji from 1905 to 1907, managing the Vancouver-Fiji Sugar Company, but he became ill, and returned to Vancouver as secretary of the British Columbia Sugar Refining Company. In 1912 the family moved to The Crescent in Shaughnessy, but in 1915 John’s wife, Helen, died, aged 39. John remarried in 1918 and from 1931 to 1936 he was the lieutenant governor of British Columbia.

From around 1910 Emma Tuthill moved into Glencoe Lodge, although her presence was only sometimes recorded in the street directory. She developed this building in 1912. The architects were actually Horton & Phipps, but the clerk could be permitted the error as they were a Victoria partnership. Emma died in 1927, and like her daughter was buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

The apartment building was completed in 1913, and became The Maple Rooms in 1914. Located in the heart of the Japanese community, their management was listed as ‘Japanese’. The stores downstairs were operated by K Imahori, a confectioner. and I Enata who ran a dry goods store. In 1917 the rooms were bought by Kurita Shojiro, who for a while was a contractor in the fishing industry.

In 1920 the Canadian Japanese Club was here, alongside the confectionery store. In 1925 the rooms had became the Nankai Hotel, and by 1930 the Victory Rooms run by K Nakashimada, with Ashai Paper Box on the main floor, alongside a restaurant run by T Kato. In 1940 the rooms and the box factory were still operating with the same owners, but the restaurant was the Sumiyoshi Cafe. After the war, when the Japanese had been cleared from the area, H Eng Soo was running the Victory Rooms. Harry Soo Eng was still running the rooms in 1955, with Choi Har Moon Pon. In 1972 the interior of one of the rooms was recorded by Niriko Hirota, who photographed its resident, Kiyoji Iizuka, one of the few Japanese who returned to the area. He had fought in WW1 as a volunteer soldier.

Residential use apparently ended in 1975. The facility was taken over by the St. James Society with the building renamed Victory House, offering a program for those with psychological disabilities. That was probably operating here when our 1978 image was taken. The building was deemed unfit, and was replaced by a new Victory House on East Cordova in 1997. Five years later St James built a new non-market housing building here; Somerville Place, with The Bloom Group (the new name for St James) having offices on the main floor.

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Posted 7 June 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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132 Powell Street

We’re taking a bet that this is a 1912 project developed by Harry Hemlow, and designed by W F Gardiner. The Province newspaper identified a “three-storey apartment house; mill construction; 50′ x 100′; buff coloured pressed brick facing; sandstone used for window ledges; two stores on ground floor; 48 modern rooms up“. There’s a permit for Harry in 1912 that identifies a different block and inaccurate street numbers (that wouldn’t even be on that block), but otherwise it’s a match. The newspaper reported that Harry’s investment was close to Columbia Street – which this is, and it was the lot that Harry owned in 1886 that allowed him to be on the Voter’s List. E J Ryan built the $40,000 investment, which appeared in the 1913 street directory as ‘new building’. A year later the stores were occupied with The Cascade Cafe, and T Ikeda’s dry goods store, with the Cascade Rooms (also run by T Ikeda) upstairs.

Harry Hemlow was a true Vancouver pioneer – he was in the area when it was the town of Granville. He was from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was running the Sunnyside Hotel on the waterfront, that burned down in the 1886 fire. Harry was elected an Alderman on the first Council in 1886. He was interviewed by Major Matthews just before his death in 1932, and asked why he became an Alderman. “For a bit of a lark”. He disappears from the street directories for a couple of years, having apparently gone bankrupt in 1887, but by 1891 had returned and was City Clerk, and from 1893 he ran the BC Electric Railway’s interurban train system. This wasn’t Harry’s only development – he also built a garage in 1912, designed by W T Whiteway. A 1916 biography describes Harry, at 55, as retired: “Is a large property owner; gives special attention to breeding fine stock, particularly Jersey cows. Married Olive May Caples, daughter of W. M. Caples, M. D., Portland, Ore., 1886. Society: A. P. & A. M. Recreations: motoring, hunting, fishing. Conservative; Presbyterian.” In later years his health failed, and Harry died in 1932. “The interment was in the Masonic cemetery. Mr. Hemlow died Monday night at the General Hospital. He resided for the past two years at the Hotel Martinique”. Olive and Harry had divorced, and at his death Harry had apparently no known descendants, and no money to leave them anyway.

Taira Ikeda had been in Vancouver since at least 1904, and had run a store in an earlier wooden building on the same block. A 1907 Daily World article described him as a ‘well known Japanese storekeeper’ when reporting the death of his 19-year old son Setusge, after a four month illness. The Province described him as ‘a well-to-do storekeeper of the East End’. In the inquiry into the anti-Asian riots, the Inquiry listed Tonakichi Ikeda as the store owner’s full name, and awarded him a significant award of $461.50 for the damage to his store and stock, having been forced to close his business for 20 days. Using the longer version of his name finds Tonakichi Ikeda entering Canada from the US in 1910, where his birth was shown in Hiroshima in 1865.

In 1917 the pool hall was run by H Watanaka, (and there was also a barber and a cigar stand) and the Cascade Cafe was run by J P Lum. By 1920 the pool hall morphed into a billiard hall run by John Popelpo. The Cascade Rooms were still upstairs, but by 1916 Taira Ikeda had become a timber exporter (presumably to Japan) with his brothers Yoshio and ‘Fred’. They also advertised to supply labour to lumber companies. By 1925 the operators of the building were irrelevant to the directory compliers; The Cascade Cafe was listed as ‘Chinese’, and the Cascade Rooms ‘Japanese’. The Westerners names were listed – Joel Wepsala ran the pool room and T Jinde was the barber.

During the war, the Japanese names (and the Japanese) disappeared from the area. The stores were vacant, and the Cascade Rooms were run by Louie Quong Yon. In 1955 G Ho was running the rooms. In our 1978 image the sign says ‘Mimi Hotel, Housekeeping Rooms – vacancy’. The store was vacant. The name changed again in the early 2000s to Lucky Lodge – although not so lucky for many of the tenants as the business licence was nearly cancelled when the owners were accused of welfare fraud and extorting money from their tenants. They were also forced to carry out repairs to make the building safe and meet the by-laws a couple of years later. It’s still an SRO rooming house, with a relatively new East Indian restaurant occupying one of the two retail spaces.

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Posted 3 June 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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West Pender Street – 300 block, south side

There has been one building replaced since this 1975 image was shot by W E Graham. On the right is the Victoria Block, (today part of the Victorian Hotel). designed by W F Gardiner in 1909 for the National Finance Co. Next door, the miniature temple is the British Columbia Permanent Loan & Savings Co’s premises. It was designed by Hooper and Watkins in 1907, and was one of the first reinforced concrete structures in the city, costing $40,000 and built by A E Carter. On the outside it has a sandstone skin, while inside there’s marble, elaborate plaster ceilings designed by Charles Marega, and a gorgeous Tiffany-style stained-glass skylight, featuring leaves and fruit. The decorative castings were the work of Fraser and Garrow, who advertised themselves as being “perfectly at home in any manner of work that makes for the embellishment of interiors or exteriors.”

The developer was a local finance house whose founder was Thomas Talton Langlois, originally from Gaspe in Quebec. He arrived in in BC in 1898 when he was 31, and already a successful businessman. Here he organized the British Columbia Permanent Loan Co.; was president, of the National Finance Co. Ltd., the Prudential Investment Co. Ltd. and the Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Co. He also developed an Arbutus subdivision which had pre-fabricated craftsman style houses built in a factory on West 2nd Avenue, and then re-erected on site.

The building was completed at the point where the developer was facing a minor problem. The Times Colonist advertised “A REWARD OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. A reward of $100.00 will be paid to any person furnishing evidence which will lead to the conviction of the person who has started or any other person or persons who are spreading a report to the effect that the British Columbia Permanent Loan & Savings Company is losing or liable to lose money through its connection with any subsidiary, company. The B. C. Permanent has absolutely no connection with any other company, either in the way of investments or loans, except a balance of one hundred and twenty-five shares, being one-twelfth of the Issued capital stock of the. Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Company, This investment was authorized by unanimous vote of the shareholders some six years ago and has proven an exceptionally profitable Investment. For confirmation of these facts we would refer any person to the company’s auditor, Mr. W. T. Stein, C. A., Vancouver.”

Thomas Langlois, like many successful Vancouver business people, retired to California. He moved in 1921, and died there in 1937 and was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery. From 1935 the building became home to the Bank Of Canada. In 1979 it was altered to office space and renamed Park House, and in the past few years has been repurposed as an event space called The Permanent.

To the east is a former printing company building, which has been redeveloped with the adjacent site for Covenant House, a not-for-profit organization that supports street youth. The 1929 building was designed by J S D Taylor for McBeth & Campbell. The facade was renovated in 1948 by architect W H Birmingham. It was given Neo-classical treatments including a decorative cornice installed below the original corbelled brick parapet. In 1998 it was redeveloped and the facade tied into the new 50 bed hostel, designed by Nigel Baldwin.

The small brick building to the east (that looks like small houses) was redeveloped for the 1998 scheme, and had originally extended to the 1929 building site as well. It was developed by ‘National’ (Presumably the National Finance Co), designed by W F Gardiner and cost $7,000 to build in 1909.

At the end of the block Hooper and Watkins (again) designed the $25,000 I.O.O.F Hall, and Lyric Theatre in 1906. The main floor space these days is a furniture store.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1135-17

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Robson and Howe – south east corner

‘Infinity’ is a rental residential block over a substantial retail podium, built in 1998. Designed by Musson Cattell Massey for PCI Group, it was home to Chapters bookstore for over 20 years, before they downsized to a new store and it was refitted for SportChek, who added the bright red ‘swoosh’ to the tilted box on the facade.

In 1968 Bob’s market sold flowers, grocery and meats until 2am from a somewhat run down single storey building. The building permit shows W A S Richards (an obscure architect with very few commissions) designing a $6,000 brick store here in 1910 for Mrs E Gould – almost certainly Emma Gold, who later hired builders to carry out repairs seven times between 1916 and 1923. Emma was the widow of Louis, and together they ran The Gold House on Water Street, one of the city’s earliest hotels. Louis arrived in the early 1870s; he was born in Poland, and was in Kentucky for a while. He initially leased a store from Jack Deighton, selling pretty much anything in the first Jewish-owned business in the area.

Emma followed a little later, and was a trader independent of her husband. She was born in Prussia (later she said Germany) somewhere between 1830 and 1835, and was probably christened Fredrica. She ran the Royal City Shoe and Boot Co in New Westminster in the late 1880s, and from 1892 referred to herself as a widow, although Louis didn’t die until 1907, in Kamloops. In 1901 Emma and her son Edward were living in Vancouver, where Edward was listed as a commercial agent. Emma was an active developer in the city; she had property on Water Street as well as this lot. Emma was 91 when she died in New Westminster in 1929, so was in her 80s when she commissioned the various alterations of this building through the 1920s. She was buried with her husband, Louis, in Mountain View Cemetery.

Here’s a 1948 picture of the same corner. The image shows the earlier version of the building, before a stucco ‘modernization’. Alongside on Robson Street in both pictures was a two storey frame building with residential bay windows over stores, dating back to 1903. It was developed and built by David Evans at a cost of $3,000. In 1921 Maclure & Lort were hired by the then ‘owners’, Sharples & Sharples to carry out $3,000 of alterations to remodel the two store fronts and create a separate entrance to the top floor. Sharples and Sharples were agents, who represented absentee owners like Edward Farmer who was in the US, in Forth Worth, but hired them to look after his building next east on Robson, on the corner of Granville.

David Evans was shown in the 1901 census aged 50, born in Wales. His wife was 41, and they had a 2 year old daughter, Joy.  We know he was a merchant tailor, and the reason we know he’s the correct D Evans is because he moved his business here from Homer Street when it was completed in 1904. His father-in-law, Peter Awrey and Peter’s wife Rachel were living with the family. Peter died aged 83 in 1905, after a fall while looking at a construction site from the uneven wooden sidewalk.

David was shown in 1911 aged 60, having arrived in Canada in the early 1870s. He wasn’t shown as having employment. His wife Martha was from Ontario, was nine years younger, and their BC born daughter was aged 12. David died in 1916, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery. His infant son, Caradoc, was the first burial in the cemetery in February 1887, and the headstone shows that Martha was known as Nellie.

The Daily World reported “Mr. David Evans, 65 years of age, died at his home at 1235 Tenth Avenue West at 11:30, after a lingering illness. Mr. Evans came to Canada 43 years ago, and has been a resident In Vancouver for the past 30 years. He was a native of Carmarthenshire, South Wales, and leaves a widow and one daughter to mourn his loss. Mr. Evans was a retired merchant tailor, having retired from business about six years ago. He was the first bandmaster in this city, and was cornet soloist In the first regimental band formed In this city.”

In 1921 Martha Evans and her daughter Joy were recorded in the census living on West 17th, with Joy shown as a civil servant. Later Martha moved to Seattle, but she returned to the Pioneer’s Picnic in 1939, when she recorded aspects of her family history.

“Mr. David Evans came to Vancouver before I did; he came before the Great Fire, June 1886; I came November 16th 1886. The planks on Hastings Street were not laid at that time; afterwards they planked the centre of it. I remember that, once, Mr. Evans and I went for a walk up Granville Street; the Hotel Vancouver was building; they had more than the foundations finished. Mr. Evans and I stopped and stood in the stumps, about Robson Street somewhere south of Georgia Street; the stumps were all around us, and Mr. Evans said to me, ‘I wouldn’t be at all sure but there will be business on this street some day, but it won’t be in our day.’

“The first burial in Mountain View was my little son, Caradoc, about ten months old; February 1887; the date is on the headstone. At that time Mountain View Cemetery was just a little clearing in the forest; the fallen trees lying about everywhere as they had fallen.” Martha Evans died in 1948 aged 87.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-341 and Str P258.

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Posted 27 May 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Downtown from Above (3)

Here’s another of Trish Jewison’s helicopter aerial shots, matched as closely as we can to an Archives image. This was on her Twitter feed in July last year. The before image is really early for an aerial image – it’s from 1926. We recently used the same 2020 image (more tightly cropped) to compare with a 1980s before image.

Burrard Street, on the extreme left hand edge, didn’t have a bridge at the end. It was a wide boulevard with houses and churches, in an area with mostly speculative houses along Howe and Hornby. Between Burrard and Hornby there’s a large building that takes up a whole city block, and interrupted the lane. That was the West End School, (later the Dawson School) which had a building facing Helmcken, and another on Burrard.

Granville Street, running from Burrard Inlet to False Creek, takes a jog to the south. That’s because the road crossed on the second Granville Bridge from 1909, replaced in 1954 with the structure we have today, which was built on the line of the first 1889 bridge. Today’s forest of residential towers in Downtown South (often called Yaletown by realtors) fill the space between the warehouse district of Yaletown and Granville Street. The lower form of the early 1900s Yaletown warehouses can still be clearly seen. Concord Pacific’s redevelopment fill the waterfront railyards that were briefly home to Expo ’86. The heavy industries located along False Creek created significantly contaminated ground, and the post-expo plan created a series of parks that capped the worst contaminated sites, avoiding the potential problems associated with removing them.

In the distance the first Georgia Viaduct can be seen following a parallel line to today’s pair of roads. The original was so poorly built that it wasn’t considered safe to run streetcars into Downtown from the East End. Beyond it the East End, as it was known, still has a significant concentration of buildings from the earliest years of the city’s development. We have featured hundreds of them over the past decade, as well as some that have been replaced. Along Burrard Inlet the port has seen major growth and redevelopment, with the Centerm container facility still being expanded to the west, and Vanterm to the east. Centerm occupies the site at the foot of Heatley Avenue that was the location of the first significant development of the future city, the Hastings Mill. It opened in 1865, and closed two years after this picture was taken.

Image source: Trish Jewison in the Global BC traffic helicopter, published on twitter on 25 July 2020 and City of Vancouver Archives Van Sc P68

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Posted 24 May 2021 by ChangingCity in Altered

Swedish Lutheran Church – Dunlevy Avenue

This was the first Swedish Lutheran Church built in Vancouver, seen here in 1904, the year it was built, photographed by Philip Timms. It was built on the north-east corner of Princess (today that’s East Pender) and Dunlevy and was known as The First Swedish Church. There had been a house on the lot in 1903, and it looks like it was relocated next to the church, on the north side, and then altered and moved again in 1909, closer to the lane.

This building was founded by a visiting Augustana Lutheran, Pastor G A Anderson, whose congregation was in LaConner, in Washington. The newly established church had 34 members in 1903, and a year later the Rev. C Rupert Swanson organized the construction of the building that seated 100. It was 25 feet by 38, and cost $595 to erect. The census tells us that there were a number of Swedish carpenters in the city, and it’s likely that the cost was mostly the materials rather than the labour. The congregation grew, and in 1910 there was a new church that could seat up to 1,000, built a block away to the east.

This building was listed for several years into the early 1920s as ‘Miner Hall’, but there are no records of it being used, or any events associated with it. By the mid 1920s it was once again being used as a church – a Chinese Presbyterian congregation moving in, but by 1930 the address was no longer listed. However, the United Church Chinese Mission were based at a Dunlevy address from 1929. We think the new church was the ‘United Church Chapal and Seminary designed by H S Griffith in 1930. (The Chinese Presbyterians also built a new church on Keefer near Gore in 1930).

This new, larger building extending slightly further east. There was also a Christian Education Centre, and for nearly 70 years the mission relied on the Board of Home Missions and the Woman’s Missionary Society for financial support and leadership, and was known as the Chinese Mission, United Church of Canada. It achieved full self-support in 1955, and became known as the Chinese United Church.

Today the Chinese United Church Lodge provides 29 units of non-market housing, almost hidden by the landscaping. It was completed in 1993 and designed by Joe Wai Architects. The Chinese United Church joined congregations with the Chown Memorial United Church, and they jointly retain ownership of the land, which is leased to the Housing Society.

Image sources: VPL and City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-50.01

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Posted 20 May 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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Swedish Lutheran Church – Princess Street

Some readers will know this as the former St Francis Xavier Church, but that’s not how it started life. In 1910 the Swedish Lutheran Church, whose congregation were in a more modest building a block to the west of here, hired J G Price to design a $30,000 ‘brick veneer’ church on a site that had been acquired for $15,000. It had stained glass windows, oak pews made in Sweden, and could seat over 600 people, and up to 1,000 for special occasions.

This Vancouver Public Library image shows it in 1912, when it had just been rebuilt, but before the Arlington Rooms were built next door. An overheated furnace started a fire in January 1912 that gutted the interior of the church, and saw the roof collapse. The press report stated “In addition to the roof, the pulpit and adjoining parts were burned outright, while the remainder of the building was destroyed by water.” Fortunately the congregation had taken out insurance, and Mr. Price was still around to design the $8,000 rebuild.

The street names here have changed in confusing ways. East Pender was originally Princess, and today’s Princess was Carl Avenue. The church has always had a Princess address, but not on the same street. We had trouble lining up the images because the top of the steeple didn’t match. Then we realized those have been rebuilt, and are slightly shorter today.

It looks as if this building was the first to be built on this lot; the entire block was still vacant in 1903. It may have been owned publicly, as the block to the south of Strathcona School (which is across the street to the south) was also vacant, although the rest of the neighbourhood had been built out.

The church has evolved through many denominations over 109 years; the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church moved out in 1944, and it was subsequently St. Stephen’s Greek Catholic Church until 1968, St. Mary’s Ukrainian Greek Church, St. Francis Xavier Chinese Catholic Church, the Korean Foursquare Church, and now the independent Strathcona Church, owned by The Chin Wei Family Foundation and used by a number of different Christian congregations.

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Posted 17 May 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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