We saw the 1970s YWCA building in the previous post. Here’s the first version of the building – or at least an earlier version, seen here in a 1906 Vancouver Public Library image. It was very new, as it wasn’t located here until that year. From 1904 to 1906 the organisation was located at 591 Howe Street, and Mrs. Armitage was listed as the matron. The YWCA ﬁrst opened its doors in the city in 1897 to provide housing and services to women coming to Vancouver in search of education or employment
W T Dalton designed it, and Beam and Halford built it, apparently to higher specifications than the tender required. It featured a gymnasium where Miss Hillyard, described as physical culture trainer at the high school, offered classes. The building décor was described as paneled with green, ‘the effect being most cool and picturesque. Each of the top storeys was furnished with bathrooms’. The building was opened in June by lieutenant-governor James Dunsmuir (the former premier) and the Daughters of the Empire assisted in entertaining the guests.
Dalton and Eveleigh went on to design a $21,000 brick addition in 1909 built by Baynes and Horie. In 1906 he sidewalks were still planks that covered the ‘drainage’ along the street. As we noted in the previous post, the corner today has the plaza for Bentall 5, a large office tower that also has a Cactus Club restaurant alongside, designed by Musson Cattell Mackey.