800 Main Street

This 1968 picture shows the first London Drugs store on the corner of Main and Union Street. The company was established by a ‘flamboyant pharmacist’, Sam Bass who started in a 1,000 sq ft space and soon expanded his chain to become market leader in the Lower Mainland by 1970. Bass sold out to a US corporation in 1968, who in turn sold to local grocery chain H Y Louie in 1976.  Soon after this picture was taken the City of Vancouver moved to replace the ageing Georgia Viaduct with a new structure, completed in 1972, which required the demolition of the entire 800 block. The drugstore building, originally designed by W F Gardiner for the National Finance Co, Ltd and built by Adkinson and Dill for $30,000 in 1909 was part of the clearance, along with the Pioneer Junk Co whose building replaced a blacksmith’s shop. If a decision is taken to replace the viaducts, no doubt this picture will change again.

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