West Hastings Street west from Cambie

052 Hastings west from Cambie

We’ve skipped back through the 20th Century to around 1898 on Hastings Street. (the records say it’s 1896, but it must be a bit later) Cars aren’t a problem – there aren’t any – but the cyclists have to be careful of what might be lurking on the road surface, and it becomes obvious why cow catchers might be necessary on the front of the streetcars.

On the right hand (north) side of the street is the single storey Great Northern Railway offices where R Campbell and Sons were also based. It was called The Arcade and designed by John Parr for Harvey Hadden. Next door is the 1894 and 1898 Rogers Block, built by Jonathan Rogers in two phases with William Blackmore and then Parr and Fee as architects (which is why the picture must be after 1898).

The mix of tenants in there is wide, including the Misses Taylor (Miss Laura, Miss Emma and Miss Bertha) – possibly dressmakers (especially as a year later they had gone, but Miss Martin a ‘modiste’ had arrived). There are two canning company offices, and the Columbia Commercial College, as well as architect William Blackmore (called Blakemore in one directory). A ‘W A Cumyon’ is listed almost certainly Won Alexander Cumyou, secretary of the Chinese Reform Association of Canada and the first Chinese born in Canada (who worked as a court translator).

On the left, just out of the picture is the Courthouse, then the Inns of Court Building (where, somewhat oddly, the Council meetings for the Municipality of North Vancouver were held) designed by R Mackay Fripp and built in 1894. These days a much smaller former CIBC bank building sits on the corner of Hamilton Street, now used by the Vancouver Film School, while the Dominion Building occupies the right hand side. At the end of the street the Marine Building closes the vista – soon to be joined by a 400 feet high curved glass office tower immediately behind it.

Image source: City of Vancouverr Archives CVA Str P317

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