1112 and 1114 Davie Street

1112 & 1114 Davie

This image was commissioned by City Archivist Major Matthews and was titled by him “The first house on Davie St. as it appeared in Aug. 1931. Vintage print attributed to Rowland J. Towers.”

fairview 1890

Elsewhere he noted that in this 1890 picture by W Chapman “The one at the top is on Davie Street; it is on the skyline. Today it is numbered 1112 and 1114 Davie Street, a three-storey building with balconies on the second and third floors, and stands on the south side of Davie Street, third building from the Capitola Apartments. Two large rowan or mountain ash trees, at least twelve inches through, which shows their age, stand on the lawn. It was built by Mr. Bouchier, who died in the spring of 1931. Walter Leek, president of the Vancouver Exhibition Association, once lived in it.”

A Frenchman, Mr. Bouchier, later employed by the late Senator S.J. Crowe, built it. He died in the spring of 1931.

The assessment roll, at the City Hall, dated 1888 of this property:

F.D. Boucher, Lot 2, Block 25, D.L. 185, (assessed) $275.00

Alfonse Moriw (?), Lot 3, Block 25, D.L. 185, (assessed) $275.00

From the street directories of the 1890s it appears that this may not have been the first occupied house on Davie Street, although it was undoubtedly one of the earliest, and from the picture above it was almost completely isolated. It looks as if it was completed in 1890 but was still vacant in 1891. By 1894 Mr F D Boucher (the correct name) was living there.

Ferdinand Desire Boucher was born in Quebec and arrived in Vancouver in 1885. He was a carpenter, working at the Hastings Mill and in 1898 the Vancouver Sash and Door Company. He married Allia, (or that’s what the name looks like) another Québécois and in 1891 they had May, Gracie and Albertine Labrecque living with them, described as daughters-in-law but probably actually Ferdinand’s step-daughters. The 1901 census calls his wife Mary, and Albertius and Grace (now aged 22 and 24) are still at home.

Remarkably, behind the added retail units of the Cotton Mouth Smoke Shop and Megabite Pizza the original structure gives every suggestion of still standing – one of the oldest building in the West End.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Str N63 and CVA 1376-204


Posted February 25, 2013 by ChangingCity in Altered, Still Standing, West End

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