600 Main Street

Wayfoong House was built in 1996, and was home for 20 years for the Chinatown branch of the HSBC Bank. They recently moved across Main street, and it now looks as if VanCity Credit Union will take some of their space over. Back in 1973 when Art Grice photographed this corner there was an old building here. Quite how old isn’t clear: in 1903 Dalton & Eveleigh were hired by Mr. Martin to design stores here, but the cost was only identified as $500, so they were unlikely to be the building seen here (unless the figure was inaccurate). As the city’s building permits are missing for a few years after 1903, it’s possible that the initial building was altered, perhaps with the addition of the upper storey.

We make make an educated guess at who Mr. Martin was. Robert Martin owned the Martin and Robertson warehouse on Water Street, with an addition designed by W T Dalton in 1903; he was listed as Mr. Martin for that work. He also hired Dalton to design another building on Westminster Avenue (as Main Street was then known) in 1903, a block north of here. We looked at Mr. Martin’s background when we featured the Water Street warehouse.

A variety of different businesses occupied the space: Quigley and Co, dry goods in 1904, E H Roome’s real estate offices in 1906, J Donald’s grocerery in 1909, J K Campbell’s clothing store in 1910, Krasnoff Brothers in 1912 (when it had become Main Street). Max and Samuel Krasnoff sold clothing in two different location. Max had a legal problem the year before, reported by the Daily World. In the police court Max Krasnoff was charged by the health Inspector with keeping his premises at the rear of 621 Main street in a filthy condition. “The Inspector vividly unfolded a tale of garbage cans and bountiful dirt, the most of which Max did not deny. At the end of the Inspector’s story, Max, who coma from Russia where there are no garbage cans, agreed to do anything that the inspector might suggest. “I’ll do It, I’ll do It,” he fervently replied to the magistrate’ question as to whether or not he would carry out the Inspector’s Instructions. It was on that understanding that he was allowed to go.”

Max retained his store until 1913, but a year later this was a branch of the Imperial Bank of Canada. In 1916 Clement & Haywood, who owned the building carried out repairs, and in 1916 Dominick Soda, a confectioner was occupying the space and seems to have owned it, as Mrs Soda paid for repairs in 1919. As with many of the area’s residents, Dominick was from Italy: in 1921 he was living in Burnaby with his wife Rosina and their children; he had originally left Italy in 1909. In 1921 G Cadona was listed as owner for more alterations, although the street directory shows Joseph Cilona, another Italian, and also a confectioner, although his wife, Leontine, had been born in the US.

By 1973, although Harry James had claimed much of the building’s brickwork for his advertising for his office up the street, Tom’s Grocery occupied the main floor, offering a wide (and broad) range of goods. In the background, on the other side of the street, the Vanport Hotel offered a night out for a colourful clientele, as we discussed in an earlier post.

Image source, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 70-70

Advertisements

Posted September 25, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

Tagged with ,

%d bloggers like this: