Maple Hotel – East Hastings Street (2)

Maple Hotel

We last saw the Maple in 2012, when it was called the Washington Hotel, and awaiting a significant (and picture-perfect) restoration thanks to the Provincial Government’s program of restoring and seismically updating a series of heritage buildings run as Single-Room-Occupancy residences. The earlier post examined the story of developer James Borland, and some of the hotel’s shadier past. This 1935 image appears to be pretty much the only image of the building’s earlier appearance. The original Maple Hotel name has been restored, along with a reproduction sign on the front of the hotel. There are now 81 units, restored glazing and cornices, and the entire Parr and Fee designed structure’s brickwork has been stabilized, and plumbing and electrical systems replaced.

There are thirteen buildings in the current restoration package, partnered by Habitat Housing Initiative and BC Housing (who funded $87.3 million toward construction and implementation costs, plus additional funding over a 15-year maintenance period. The Government of Canada contributed up to $29.1 million through the P3 Canada Fund.) Merrick Architecture were the architectural partner, and Barry McGinn was responsible for the conservation plan. That document says “It was built for the James Borland, an established building agent to cater to the largely male business travelling public, with such in-house amenities as a poolroom, a gentlemen’s clothing store and a restaurant. On the upper floors, every other floor had a communicating door, which might be convenient for a travelling businessman to reside in one room and work in the adjacent room.” “The original storefront retail alcove was quite deep, providing for display window on both sides of the alcove. By 1936, this retail space had been replaced by a restaurant, the Cairo Café, and the display window areas appear to have been replaced by seating.”

Inside quite a few details of how high-end the hotel was can still be seen; the stairs are marble, with marble wainscoting. This has been restored, the front centre-hung windows have been restored to their original appearance but with double-glazed units in the restored wooden frames, and there’s a gorgeous lighting program on the building at night, as well.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Hot N65.


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