The building on the right of this 1938 VPL picture is 100 East Hastings, inaccurately identified as the McDonough Hall. Next door, 106 East Hastings was initially built in 1911 at a cost of $17,000 by J J Dissette for W Clark (designed by Kenneth Fraser a fairly obscure architect who was sometimes in partnership with Dissette for development) – but at that time it was described as ‘one and a half storeys’. The building we see today was completed around 1920, and it’s actually L-shaped, wrapping round behind the hall to face Columbia Street as well. At the end of the year Mr Clark spent another $2,000 in making alterations to the property, and a year later other alterations including one worth $1,150 on a permit listed as “Office/store; alter shooting gallery” designed by R Grant and another to “alter pool room”.
Before the building was built the site was empty, as this 1905 picture shows. Once it was complete it had quite the array of businesses. As well as the East End Cyclery at 108, there was also Borland & Trousedale’s real estate offices, the Wellington Theatre (Lathan and Saborne, props) and the Wellington Pool Room (with the same owners as the theatre). There appear to be no references to the theatre’s operation, and by 1914 it has become the Wellington arcade run by H N Wolfield – presumably a shooting arcade (a fate that befell the Bijou Theatre five years later)
The low wooden building was occupied in 1905 by Vancouver Auto & Cycle, but a year earlier J F Ristein had spent $320 on ‘alterations to stable’ confirming that was the earlier use for the building (as a livery stable). The company was the first auto dealership in the city, and were bought by Fred Begg who moved on from selling Oldsmobiles (in the picture) and Cadillacs to Ford vehicles, and later Chryslers and Dodge motors. By 1912 they had moved to Seymour Street and it looks as if there was a rooming house upstairs at 110 run by Mrs Minnie Olsen, called the Crescent. There were three shops beneath; a tailor (Thomas Kee), Max Moloff’s jewelery store and an auction company that a year later was occupied by a wholesale cigar company. The arcade, the tailor and the Crescent Rooms were still all in operation through to the 1920s, and in 1925 The Modern Company was at 106. By 1930 The Dominion Furniture Co were at 106, Mac’s Minute Lunch was at 108 and the Washington Rooms were upstairs. Ten years later 106 is a cafe – the Muir Cafe, 108 is a rival, the Radio Lunch, and the Washinton Rooms are still upstairs.
The five storey hotel to the left of the picture is the Hotel Seward, Howard Hotel, Empire Hotel and today Brandiz (our very first blog post here). It was built in 1913 for Seabold and Roberts and designed by H A Hodgson. The two storey retail and office building at 108 today was built in the early 1980s.
Image sources Vancouver Public Library and Vancouver City Archives Trans P47