Here’s our third look at the corner of Davie and Homer. The first building is the Gray Block, which in 1981 was occupied in part by Ranken Tire Distributors. We’ve already looked at the 1940s building to the south, now occupied by Perkins + Will, architects. Beyond that are several more buildings – some of which we’ll look at on this blog soon.
What’s of note is that not all of this block was developed – there are several gaps that provided parking to the area’s businesses. The area was developed between 1909 and 1913 (with only a couple of exceptions almost everything in the Yaletown warehouse district dates from those years). The motor vehicle was just replacing the horse and cart for deliveries, and the private car was growing in popularity. In 1911 Woodwards built a stables and warehouse here. By the 1930s Ford Motor Co were assembling vehicles on Mainland Street. Parking was a need that hadn’t been factored into the area, so some lots stayed undeveloped for over 80 years.
Picture source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E13.09