Davie and Hornby Street – ne corner

Davie & Hornby ne

Here’s an apartment building on the corner of Davie and Hornby, addressed to Davie Street, and built around 1909. We couldn’t dig up a permit, so all we had was a name – the Elcho Apartments. Then we came across a reference to The Echo Apartments on Davie Street, designed by Grant and Henderson in 1909. While it’s completely possible there was an Echo Apartments, we haven’t found any reference to it, so it seems more likely to be this building. It appears on the insurance map in 1912, the year it appears to be occupied, with the residents of the 20 units being listed a year later. The retail units took a while to lease up – there was a recession – but by 1915 there was a shoemaker, a furniture store, the Elcho Dry Goods Store and R Wallace Robertson, who sold teas (and also lived in the store).

Our 1981 image shows the building not too long before it was demolished, replaced by the Swan Wooster Building, designed by Romses Kwan and Associates and completed in 1984. It started life as a 9-storey office, but 3 more floors were added before it was completed. There’s a rooftop ball court on the northern portion of the building, but there was also a proposal to add more offices there some years ago. As the area rapidly densifies and new tall condo towers are built around it, it will be interesting to see how long the economics of retaining a reasonably modest office building that’s 30 years old make sense.

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Posted March 12, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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