Hotel Abbotsford – West Pender Street

We’ve caught a glimpse of the Hotel Abbotsford in an earlier post, but this is the first look at the hotel’s history. It’s rare in being one of the few early hotels that still serves that function – the vast majority have been converted to single room occupancy rental rooms. It was developed by J M McLuckie, a Scottish builder and sometime developer. His contracting business had its yard here until the end of the Great War.

Mr. McLuckie designed and built this $70,000 hotel in 1911, with completion in 1913. When it opened in March of that year, it was described in the Daily World as a $300,000 investment, which may have been an exaggeration (or the building permit might have been wildly optimistic). The report noted that Mr McLuckie had designed the building himself, and had erected over 200 other buildings in the city. The hotel also contained “an elegant cafe and grill, a continental chef, and It will be conducted as a first class hotel on the European plan. It was furnished throughout by the Hudson’s Bay Company, under the able direction of Mr. Joseph F. Marino. Mr. W. Drinnan. experienced in hotel management, will conduct the new establishment.” Walter Drinnan didn’t keep the job long; by 1914 F J Wallingford had taken over.

In December 1912 Mr. McLuckie had been unable to obtain a licence, as there were none available to transfer, but his application was allowed to be held over until a new liquor board had been appointed, and we assume he was successful at that point as there’s a postcard showing the hotel’s ‘refreshment parlor’.

J M McLuckie remained owner of the hotel until his death in 1927, and it was sold by his son in 1929. The picture was taken at some point a few years before it was sold. It still stands today as the Days Inn Hotel, missing from the city’s Heritage Register but still a fine example of a 100 year old building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Hot N40, SFU Digital collection MSC130-5919-01

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Posted October 29, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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