1500 Main Street

The City has hundreds of locations that were once gas stations, although today the remaining service stations are becoming increasingly rare. Here’s one on the corner of Main Street and Terminal Avenue, seen in 1940s; it’s Al Deeming’s Union Oil gas and service station. The leasee was Albert W Deeming, who was, according to his marriage certificate, the son of Caleb James Deeming. Caleb was born in 1867 in Polesworth, in Warwickshire, England, and married Sarah Rose Hoggan from Cape Breton in Nanaimo in 1895. Their son James was born in 1897 (and died in 1938, aged 41), Myrtle was born in 1903 and Albert in 1905. Al Deeming was married aged 26 in 1931 to Elsie Waite, from Winnipeg. Caleb died in 1953 and his wife two years later. Albert was only 52 when he died in 1957, and his death certificate shows he was born in Ladysmith.

This gas station first appears in the street directory in 1924, as do the industrial buildings in the background which once housed Neon Products’, the BC Valve Company and Massey Harris’s agricultural implement showroom beyond the gas bar. The building further east dates from 1929. The buildings are still there today, although now they are wholesale and retail warehouse buildings for furniture and floors tiles.

In the 1950s the Terminal Service and gas station was run by L E and Mrs M S Love. There’s a 1980s image in the Archives showing that the gas station was still here when the Skytrain was under construction across the street. By then it was a Gulf gasoline station, with a new canopy. Today it’s the site of the city’s first Temporary Modular Housing, intended to help meet the current homelessness situation. Built in a matter of days, it has 40 modular apartment units that can be demounted and reassembled on another site when redevelopment plans come forward for this part of False Creek Flats, currently owned by the City of Vancouver.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1184-1734

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Posted 10 December 2018 by ChangingCity in False Creek, Gone

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