West Pender – 500 block (1)

It’s 1908 on West Pender Street, and on the left, before Richards Street are the offices of the Confederation Life Association. In Toronto they occupied one of the grandest buildings in the city – in Vancouver their home was much more modest. It’s probably the Walsh Block from 1906 designed by Grant and Henderson.  These days it’s a parking lot (for now). On the opposite corner is the Fripp and Wills 1893 commercial block for J.M. Spinks, R.G. McKay and Dr. Powell.

Across the street is E W Maclean’s real estate office, designed in 1888 by William Blackmore for T Prest. Further down are a variety of trades and offices including the fisheries inspector, and the Monte Carlo Rooms (Mrs Lambert, prop.) At 521 W Pender Belding and Paul were silk manufacturers, perhaps suppliers to their neighbours, E and S Currie, neckware manufacturers. At the end of the block Mahon, Mcfarlane and Mahon had their offices. In 1919 they complied the survey when the City considered taking over the street railway system.

More change was coming to the block soon – on the corner a new office and store was designed by W A Doctor in 1909 for Joe McDonald, who also built it. At 532 in 1909 an $11,000 building was designed and built by Michael O’Keefe for Captain Pybus, and at the end of the block the Union Bank of Canada hired Waterson & Bryson to alter an existing building in 1910. Today there’s a 1990 parkade designed by Kingsley Lo, Captain Pybus’s building still stands, as does the former Union Bank building which may be Honeyman and Curtis’s design for A St George Hamersley (more accurately, Hammersley) from 1905.

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Posted December 27, 2011 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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