46 West Pender Street

46 W Pender

The Texas Lake Ice and Cold Storage Co occupied a shed on land that backed onto False Creek from the early 1890s. Here’s the three horse-drawn rigs that helped the company to be the first suppliers of ice in Vancouver. The ice came from an ice house making artificial ice, built at Texas Lake, near Hope. In the year the photo was taken the company increased its stock from $25,000 to $50,000, and a year later new owners took over, the Cleeve Canning, Ice and Cold Storage Co. Ltd. The company operated both in Vancouver and on Front Street in New Westminster.

Although the company’s premises are identified in the street directory as being on Cordova Street in 1892, and on Carrall in 1896, those must have been their offices as the archives identify this building as being located at West Pender, on a stretch of the south side of the street that the directory doesn’t acknowledge as having a street address.

John A Foley was the company secretary and treasurer of the ice company, living at 311 Keefer. He was from Tignish, Prince Edward Island, and at his death it was said he was born in 1855 – he was described on his 103rd birthday in Vancouver in 1959 as a ‘real estate man’. His 1891 census entry says he was aged 31, so he may not have made the age of 100 in reality; in that census he was a cigar retailer. The family seem to have left the city (and possibly Canada) for a few years in the early 1900s, but by 1908 they have returned when John is listed as an agent for real estate brokers Haywood Brothers, living on East Hastings.

In the 1911 census he was shown as being born in 1856, although his wife, Bridget, stuck to 1863 for her birth year as she had 20 years earlier. John was now in business on Richards Street as Foley, Gillis & Co, real estate and timber brokers. The couple had a large family, mostly girls; John is mentioned as ‘father of the bride’ on at least seven marriage records, and on the death record of his 24-year-old daughter, Frances.

By 1911 the ice shed had long gone. Sometime after 1903 the BC Electric Railway extended their tracks where the building had stood – it can be seen on the 1903 insurance map, but not on the 1912 map where a new crossing of Pender runs alongside the CP tracks that head diagonally over Pender and Hastings. Today it’s possible to guess the location of the shed because there’s still a track crossing the street, and the atrium of the mall in International Village follows that alignment.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu P151.

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Posted December 10, 2013 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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