1301 Granville Street

Where the Best Western Hotel now stands, in around 1921 there was yet another motoring related business. Rand and Carter sold Goodyear Tires, and for a very short time the Maple Leaf Motor Truck. It appeared – and disappeared – here in the early 1920s, although it was announced that the company had been acquired in December 1920 for $20,000. The odd thing is that the truck company claimed to be based in Montreal, but the only place that there’s any mention of the company is in Vancouver newspapers, and BC Government notification of the registration of the business in 1921. There’s one advertisement for the truck in ‘Canada Industrial’ magazine, also in 1921, which confirms the Montreal location.

A Windsor blacksmith, Moise L Menard produced a series of trucks in the 1910s in his wagon works from one-ton to three-and-a-half ton models. in 1916 Menard built an aerial ladder fire truck for the Walkerville fire department. He sold out to the Maple Leaf Manufacturing Co. of Montreal in 1920. ‘Canadian Machinery’ explained the story “The Maple Leaf Manufacturing Co., Ltd., has recently been incorporated to carry on the manufacture of commercial motor trucks. The personnel of the directorate is identical with that of the Machinery and Munitions, Ltd., which for four years carried on extensive operations in the making of munitions, at plants in Lachine and Sorel. The former plant has been taken over by the new company, and the Windsor plant and general interests of the Menard Motor Truck Co., which has been engaged in motor truck manufacture since 1908, has also been acquired. The Maple Leaf Company will manufacture standard motor trucks and all truck parts, for both domestic and export trade. It is expected that a big business will be built up with the group of countries with which Canada enjoys favored agreements.” The company seems to have disappeared as a truck builder fairly quickly; in 1923 they were still listed on Granville Street along with Rand Tires, and Reo Motors Ltd had been added to the mix; a year layer maple Leaf Trucks were no longer offered here.

The building was newly built. In 1919 Howard & Davis of the Rand Tire Co had hired architect and builder Bedford Davidson to build the $10,000 building – apparently (from the street directory) the first to be constructed on the lot, although the building permit references ‘repairs’. By 1930 Bowell-McDonald Motors were in the building, and five year later the building seems to have disappeared, with nothing shown on this corner at all. That’s not quite accurate: the address moves down the block  (from 1301 to 1313 Granville), and the building was completely repurposed, initially as the Trianon Balllroom, later the Howden Ballroom. The ballroom use lasted through to 1994, the year that Green Day, Beck and GWAR played the hall (on separate bills, obviously). In 1997 the new Best Western Hotel was completed, designed by Gomberoff Policier Bell, and incorporating an Elk’s Lodge when it first opened.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Trans N18

 

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Posted March 29, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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