529 Burrard Street

529 Burrard

Here’s another image showing Burrard Street turning from a residential street to a commercial one. This is W L Frost’s garage near Pender Street, photographed in 1935 but built in 1930.

Joseph Pyke was born in Enterprise, Ontario, and his wife Eleanor (who was quite a bit younger) in Perth, also in Ontario. In 1892 Joseph moved to Vancouver,  sold boots and shoes and lived on Cordova Street. In 1896 their first son, William was born, and a year later another son, Fenwick. Two years later there was a daughter, Mary, and two years after that another son, Marshall. When Fenwick was born Joseph’s store was on West Hastings Street and the family were shown in the 1897 Directory as living at 825 Hornby, but they moved just before Fenwick was born to 529 Burrard, a new house on a quiet tree-lined street that may have been designed by W T Dalton (there’s a Dalton house built in 1901 on part of the lot, and others a couple of years later designed by Parr and Fee).

The family stayed at the Burrard address for many years. Joseph started working for the government in 1913, as a clerk in the Land Registry Office, and in 1924 he moved on to a new post as a clerk in the Court House. In 1926 he retired, and in 1928 Fenwick is living at home, working as a clerk, and so was Marshall, working as a mechanic at the cannery of  Canadian Fisheries. A year later Joseph had died (in 1928, aged 71), but Eleanor was still at the Burrard house and so were her two sons, Fenwick and Marshall.

In 1930 the listing had changed to the Marine Garage – not too surprising a choice of name as the Marine Building was completed very nearby in that year. Maybe it was the confusion with a similarly named establishment on Marine Drive, but by 1935 (when our photograph was taken) it was known in the directory as Larry Frost Ltd, although the Marine Garage name was still on the building. In 1930 when it opened it was listed as being owned by Frost and McLaren; listed (inaccurately in Mr Frost’s case) as Jack Frost and David McLaren.

The permit for the garage was listed after incorporation of a larger Vancouver, when the ledger no longer identified the architect, but thanks to Patrick at the Heritage Vancouver Society we know the builder was Kenneth M Skene and the owner was E M Pyke. The building cost $8,500, and when it opened, the manager was Fenwick Pyke. Eleanor and Fenwick Pyke initially moved to Thurlow, and Marshall was there too but Fenwick had moved on by 1931 to live on Granville Street. We’re guessing he developed tuberculosis, because his death was recorded in 1933 when he was only 34 years old in Tranquille – known for its sanitorium. Eleanor and Marshall moved to an apartment on Beach Avenue but Marshall seems to have moved on by 1938 and Eleanor moved again in the West End, dying a decade after her son Fenwick, aged 77.

We’ve seen the garage way at the back of a 1956 image, next to the stores built to the north of the garage. Although Mr Frost was knows as Larry, he was actually William L Frost, born in New Brunswick. He worked for General Motors for 20 years and arrived in Vancouver in 1925. Mr Frost served with the Ordinance Corp during the First World War, and after the Second World War moved to Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast where he co-owned the Redroofs Resort for a few years before returning to live in Vancouver, where he died in 1953. The garage continued to operate as the Marine Garage, at least until the mid 1950s.

Today that stretch of Burrard Street is part of the block with the four Bentall Centre Towers. The garage was located almost exactly between the first two towers, built in 1967 and 1969, designed by Frank Musson.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-4737


Posted 21 February 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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