After the Brandon Auto Livery that replaced the First Congregational Church at the corner of Georgia and Richards closed down, there was another building completed in 1938 for the Western Auto Supply Co – with a huge sign on the roof in case you had trouble finding them. Based in Kansas, Western Auto Supply offered Western Giant Tires and Batteries and an array of other products, including ‘Wizard’ brand tools, camping accessories, bicycles and radios – they were a bit like Canadian Tire (who hadn’t expanded this far west in 1938). The Western Giant Silent Grip tire that year was available with either black or white sidewalls – making it “America’s Most Beautiful Tire”.
The Manager / Treasurer of the business changed over the years – C E Hiatt was replaced by W C Walton in 1940, and then in 1946 W L Tollefson. In 1947 it was described as being operated by Macleod’s Ltd, with Mr Tollefson still manager. Now the tires were Crest Deluxe, and Penn Oil had been switched to Supreme Compounded Oil. Western Auto itself was now a division of Gamble-Skogmo Ltd, a retail conglomerate whose Canadian arm was Macleod’s Hardware based in Winnipeg. In 1951 there were new companies in the building. Roneo were selling their office equipment from here, along with three home oil companies; Oil Heat Service, Roswite Oil Heating and York Heat. In 1952 they were briefly joined by the American Automobile Association and the BC Automobile Association. None of the companies lasted here: in 1953 the building was shown as vacant, and in 1954 the address disappears altogether – combined as 520 West Georgia with Vancouver Parking shown as the occupants. That’s because in 1953 a parkade was built here, that lasted until the 2012 replacement with the Telus Garden office building designed by Henriquez Partners for Westbank and Telus.
We have no idea who designed the 1938 building; or for that matter the 1953 parkade.
Image source: Vancouver Public Library