YMCA – 149 West Hastings Street

The YMCA was active in Vancouver early in the new city’s life. The newspaper records suggest their new premises on West Hastings Street were completed in 1893, to designs by Thomas Hooper. However photographs, like this Vancouver Archives image and the BC Archives picture below are dated 1890 – so perhaps it wasn’t completely finished for a while.

A city library started initially in the Hastings Mill and later moved around as it grew. In January 1894, the Free Reading Room and Library leased a 46×46 foot room in the new YMCA Building for use as a new library.

By the late 1890s it was already overcrowded, and in 1901 the City Council approached Andrew Carnegie about funding a new library, which he duly agreed to, helping fund the building that today is the Carnegie Centre (and still a branch of the City Library).

The YMCA building itself didn’t last a lot longer. Around 1909 it was replaced by the Astor Hotel. We hadn’t realised until we posted here that the Astor took the 1890 building and remodelled it for hotel use.

 These days it’s part of the Woodwards development where SFU operate their Arts Faculty, designed by Henriquez Partners.

Image Sources: City of Vancouver Archives YMCA Building  CVA BuP118, BC Archives F-07610

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Posted April 27, 2012 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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