East Pender – 500 block

500 block E Pender

Our 1978 image shows the north side of the 500 block of East Pender Street. Although the whole block had once been full of businesses and houses, with the threat of comprehensive redevelopment in the 1960s, by 1978 (when the threat had passed) just two houses remained standing on this stretch of East Pender. They were designed and built in 1909 by Thomas Angus, a builder who was active in the city from 1909 for several years. Angus was aged 35 when he built the houses; he was born in Ontario but had probably been in Manitoba before moving to Vancouver (as his daughters, Gertrude and Elva aged 5 and 3 in 1909, were born there).

The owner of the houses was William Dick, so they were built as investment properties, costing $3,200 to build. We’ve seen his Hastings Street clothing store, built a few years later, in another post. In 1913 he also built an apartment building on East Pender Street, designed by H B Watson that became the home of the Mah Society of Canada a few years later. His home was in the West End, on Nelson Street.

The two houses these days are exactly the same as they were in 1909 – two houses. To the east the almost vacant land we can see in 1978 was redeveloped in 1983 as Jackson Gardens, a 26 unit strata development with a mix of apartments and townhouses, designed by H Hou. Because it’s only two storeys high the built density is actually lower than the two 1909 houses next door.

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