East Hastings and Columbia Street – se corner

This is the corner of Columbia and East Hastings around 1985, and we’ve looked at the history of some of the buildings in the picture in the past. Right on the corner is a wooden building – one of very few left in the area – that was built in 1893 by H A Jones. Next door, to the east, is a building developed by W Clark in 1911 costing $17,000 and designed by a relatively unknown architect called Kenneth Fraser. We have no way of telling which W Clark was – there were two William Clarks and a Walter Clark in real estate, and another William Clark who was a reasonably wealthy business owner. The development probably involved the 3-storey building on Columbia Street, which only appeared in the street directory in 1912 as the Chateau Rooms. Mr. Clark’s lot was unusually L-shaped, with 50 feet on Columbia as well as 25 feet on Hastings – the corner 25 x 70 foot lot was in different ownership. The Chateau Rooms on Columbia were originally run by Madame Rose E Chenette. Douglas Jung, the first member of a visible minority elected to the Parliament of Canada had his offices there.

As we noted in an earlier post, the building was altered several times (and at some expense) several times in the first couple of years. At the end of 1912 there were alterations to a shooting gallery. This was the Wellington Arcade, run by H G Wickwire. It was possible to open the gallery because a year earlier this was the Wellington Theatre, run by ‘Lathan’ and Saborne, as well as the Wellington Pool Room in the same premises. There were alterations to the pool room in 1912 as well. Initially the World Wide News Co were tenants here, but they disappeared within a year and Mr. Clark spent another $2,000 carrying out alterations at the end of 1911, presumably to create the theatre and pool room. William Latham ran a business called Commercial Transfer as well as the theatre, and his partner was James Saborne, who also owned the Granville Chop House. (He’s probably the same James Saborne who also ran the Wilson Cafe on Yates Street in Victoria until 1913 when the sheriff seized the building contents for non-payment of debt).

William Latham’s household in 1901 also included James Saborn as a lodger. William was 50, and from England, and James was 21 from Ontario. William had a wife and three children at home, including Beatrice, who was 16. In 1911 James Saborne was 33, from Quebec, living with his wife, Beatrice who was 25, born in England, and their two sons, Eugene and James Oswald. He had two brothers sharing their home. Unusually, James was identified as a member of the Brethren denomination. James and Beatrice had married in April 1904.

In 1921 William Latham and his Welsh wife Eliza were living with their daughter, Jesse, her husband, Arthur Curtiss, and their 11-year old grandson. James and Beatrice Saborne were living at 1128 Granville Street, with their sons, and James was working as a ship’s steward.

To the east is a 1982 building, originally built as a retail centre, but more recently converted to artists workshops and a gallery. Next door is Brandiz Hotel, an SRO hotel that started life as the Howard Hotel and then became the Empire Hotel. It built in 1913 for Seabold and Roberts and designed by H A Hodgson.

Beyond the Chateau Rooms on Columbia, across Market Alley, is the Great Northern Hotel. This is almost certainly a 1911 building developed by Sam Kee and designed by R T Perry. The Great Northern station was initially just across the street to the south. A third storey was added when the building reopened in 1981 as a Chinese non-market housing building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-1905

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