In this 1945 image the office of the Canadian National Railway can be seen on the corner of the building, which has a lane beside it. We’ve already seen the building in an earlier post about its larger neighbour, the Bower Building. Back in 1920 the VPL image below shows it was also a railway office for the Canadian National Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. This was the new name for the Grand Trunk Pacific, intended to be a rival to Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, but which was bankrupt only 15 years after its creation, and handed to Canadian National to try to make the assets work in 1920.
In 1920 they weren’t the only occupants of the building; there was a silk manufacturer’s showroom upstairs, and the Irish Linen store alongside. By 1945 the downstairs store was one of E A Morris’s tobacconists stores and Dunne & Rundle offered photographic supplies. The upper floors were known as the Morris Building, and the railway company’s freight office was there with an optical lab.
When the building was first constructed in 1902 it was built, designed and owned by T A Fee – Thomas Fee who partnered with John Parr to design many of the city’s buildings at that time, especially on Granville Street. He may have held the property very briefly, as by 1903 it’s shown as Brown’s Building, with the Canadian General Electric Co on the corner, Des Brisay’s clothing next door, and a physician, a publisher, a dressmaker andthe Manufacturers’ Life Insurance Co on the upper floor.
Today there’s a building that was built in the mid 1980s, and occupied by Ingledew’s shoes store. It was designed by Charles Bentall, Architect, which would suggest it might well have been developed by the Bentall investment company.
Image sources: VPL and City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1184-1863