Hornby Street – north from Robson

Hornby from Robson n

On the immediate left are the Richmond Apartments. On the right is the Court House, and beyond is the Devonshire Hotel. The Richmond was a substantial building, with a steel frame costing $70,000 in 1910. It was designed by W T Whiteway for Edward Hunt.

There were four people called Edward Hunt in the city in 1911, but only one lived at this address (915 Robson Street). He was aged 57, a retired merchant born in England and it looks like he had arrived in Canada in 1876 (although the handwriting on the census form leaves something to be desired). His wife in 1911, Florence, was born in the US and only arrived in Canada in 1903. While Mr Hunt was aged 57, his wife was 30 years younger.

Ten years earlier Mr Hunt was living in Richmond (perhaps the source of the apartment’s name). We assume it’s the same Edward Hunt as the year and month of birth match, both were born in England, and in 1901 he’s described as a merchant. In 1901 there was an earlier family; his wife Louisa, born in England was also aged 47, their son, also called Edward and born in Ontario was 17 and there were four lodgers; David Davidson, Charles Edwards, Arthur Parker and William Quinn. The family – but without any lodgers – were living in the city of Vancouver in 1891.

It’s a reasonable bet that this Edward Hunt is the same Edward Hunt who was with working for the Steveston Cannery Co in 1894, set up a general store there in 1895, expanded it in 1896 and was one of three owners of the Steveston Cannery, capitalised at $50,000 in that same year. He was a magistrate in Richmond in 1900, and the first to sign a requisition to call out the militia to prevent violence during a strike by Fraser fishermen. (The decision to call out the militia was the subject of a government inquiry).

In 1912 W T Whiteway designed a $9,000 single storey store for Edward Hunt at the corner of Pacific and Howe. We think that’s likely to be the same owner as the apartments, as it shared the same builder and architect.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 2008-022.057, photographed by Leslie F Sheraton in the 1950s

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Posted March 24, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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