Burrard Street – 700 block

800 block Burrard

We’ve looked at both the buildings that are standing today in this image. On the left (east) is the edge of the third Hotel Vancouver, while on the right is the 1950s City Library building. As the 1900 photograph shows, there was development here before of a very different character. These were very recently completed speculative houses, and we haven’t been able to identify who built them. In 1901 the first house was occupied by Frank S Findley, an ‘agent’ born in PEI who lived there with his BC-born wife Hattie and their two daughters. Next door was Robert Hamilton from Ontario of the William Hamilton Manufacturing Co, with his American wife Kate, and their son Charles Cornell – presumably Kate’s son from an earlier marriage. They had a Chinese servant as well.

James A Fullerton, an Englishman who was listed as ‘ship’s husband’ for the CPR lived in the next house with his wife Meg and their son Ross, and a domestic servant, Effie Craig. His job was, the legal dictionary says, “an agent appointed by the owner of a ship, and invested with authority to make the requisite repairs, and attend to the management, equipment, and other concerns of the ship he is usually authorized to act as the general agent of the owners, in relation to the ship in her home port.” It looks as if the Fullertons had been in Quebec for some time before moving to BC; Meg was born there, and so was their son.

Next door to them Miss Elizabeth Roycroft was listed as homeowner, although the census suggests William Roycraft was the head of household and his much younger sisters, Eliza and Eleanor were living there too, along with the Robinson Family, Charles and Amy and their 3-year old daughter. The Roycrafts were from Ireland; William was aged 74 while Eliza and Eleanor were aged 45 and 55. Scottish-born Hugh Youdall lived in the next house, a commissioners agent for H J Thorpe & Co, with Bertha, his American wife and their two sons and daughter, the oldest aged 21 having been born in Newfoundland. George Baldwin, a builder, was in the last house with Minnie, his wife, and two sons, Harold and Sidney. Both Baldwin’s had English ancestry although George was born in Quebec and Minnie in Nova Scotia.

The names of the occupants of this row of houses changes constantly over the next couple of decades – every two years there’s an almost completely different set of residents, perhaps suggesting that some were rented rather than owned. By 1930 most of the addresses had ceased to exist (as the Hotel Vancouver started construction) – although the three on the right lasted longer. By 1940 744 had gone, replaced by a used car lot, but 746 and 748 were still both standing and operating as rooming houses, still standing at the end of the war, but gone by 1950.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str P13

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Posted January 27, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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