Here’s the Post Office building completed in 1910, and designed by David Ewart, the Government’s Ottawa based head architect of the day. This is one of the undated images from the City’s Archives. The cars suggest late 1970s or maybe early 1980s. The Granville Square tower designed by Francis Donaldson behind the Post Office was completed in 1972. It was the first (and only) tower of the Project 200 scheme that would have seen a wall of towers (and a freeway) replacing Gastown. All the other buildings in our original image were older; the extension to the Post Office was designed in 1935 by McCarter and Nairne, and the Royal Bank Tower on the eastern side of the junction also dates from the 1930s.
In the 1950s the Post Office moved out to a much larger structure, that has recently been abandoned (with many operations moving out to a new building near the airport). This building was reused as Government offices.
Today both the Post Office and the addition form part of the Sinclair Centre. Four buildings were restored and connected by a new atrium space designed by Henriquez Partners Architects and Toby Russell Buckwell Architects in 1986. If you’ve ever wondered who the Sinclair in the name was, he was James Sinclair, member of Parliament for Vancouver North and later Coast—Capilano as well as Minister of Fisheries. These days Mr. Sinclair is also known as Margaret Trudeau’s father.
A couple of years back the Federal Government, having abandoned attempts to sell the Sinclair Centre,enquired whether they could reconfigure and add to the site to create a huge million square foot office complex. The City agreed they could proceed with preliminary designs, but nothing more has been heard of the idea, (and there’s a different government in Ottawa now).
Image source; City of Vancouver Archives CVA 800-454