West Cordova Street – 600 block

We’ve seen this corner before with the St Francis Hotel, but in 1888 at the corner of Cordova and Seymour the White Swan Hotel welcomed travellers, with the American Restaurant run by H Summers. W H Crumer and William Summers, both carpenters also lived there. S D Somes was proprietor, although two years later James Summers was owner and Edgar Summers was tending bar.

The rest of the block had an extraordinary mix of tenants – at 504 Henry Mellon operated his marine insurance office (and later estate agency) – as a bonus after 1891 was also the Spanish Consul. At 510 Gardiner Johnson (later Leask and Johnson, when Mr Leask combined his business and moved from next door from 512) were shipping agents, and Walter Boultbee had his office as well as the Atlantic Coal Co.

At 512 there was a law office – Fenwick William Johnstone was here in 1890 and Corbould and McColl, barristers had their offices in 1898. In 1891 the Bayview Hotel was at 514 with a lumber agent downstairs, and John Canning now a printer, shared premises with E Teather, an artist.

The U S Consulate operated from 516, with Charles M Bolton running things and sharing premises with the Canadian Pacific Steamship Line offices. By 1898 John Murchie of the Orient Tea Company was next door at 518, replacing John Canning, a fruit dealer. Lees and Dawson, an estate agents office were replaced by A B Diplock and Co offered ‘Artistic Decorations’ from 520, as well as selling Brinsmeads pianos. The CPR had their superintendent’s office at 524, .

Before 1901 the block was renumbered to 600.  It was rebuilt with hotels and small retail buildings soon after the turn of the century – the CPR station was just across the street – and things stayed unchanged for many years. 1959 saw the construction of a Reid Jones Christopherson designed parkade on the Granville Street corner, and in 1985 the Seymour corner was redeveloped with the chrome and black glass tower designed by Tudor and Walters

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