George E Bower was born in Ontario, as was his wife Julia. He first appears in the 1892 Street Directory, as a salesman for Mr Winch. R V Winch was a fruit and fish merchant on Cordova, with a house on Oppenheimer. He and Mr Bower were both said to be from Cobourg, Ontario, and R V Winch had a sister, Julia, who married George. In 1894 George Bower was a partner in the Cordova store, and a home on a different block of Oppenheimer. In 1901 the Bower family of five were living on Barclay Street with their servant Sarrah Longcake.
In 1911 the family had moved to Point Grey Road in a house built at a cost of $15,000 the year before, with their daughter Kathleen (who was aged 22 and had been awarded an MA degree), their 19-year-old son George and younger daughter Edith (aged 13). There was also a domestic servant, Kwong, aged 30. George was aged 53 and listed as retired. In 1909 George had commissioned Hooper and Watkins to design an 8-storey steel frame office building on Granville Street. George may have been retired, but he continued to make alterations to buildings he owned on Granville Street past 1920, and continued to live in his Point Grey home until 1935.
Our VPL image shows the Bower Building – the tall building with the square windows closer to the camera, in 1941. Today there’s another office building on the site, still called the Bower Building but now 14 storeys, designed by Eng + Wright in 1995.