Archive for January 2022

2005 Comox Street

The Topley Studios were not the only photographers drawn to the new homes at Comox and Chilco, in the West End. George Barrowclough took this image for a postcard some time soon after 1908, when the house on the corner was completed. Next door was the home of Charles Douglas, that we saw in the previous post, developed in 1906. Charles was born in Wisconsin, but his wives; Annie, who died in 1908, and Elizabeth, who he married in 1909, were from Ontario, as was their new neighbour, who developed this house in 1907.

Edwin Caton Mahony was from Hamilton, gratuating from the Ontario Agricultural College in 1882 at the age of 18. He went into the lumber business, moving to BC in 1890 working for the Royal City Planing Mills in New Westminster as a tallyman. A year later he married Clara Hill, from  Smithville, Ontario. They moved to Vancouver, and by 1894 Edwin was foreman of the Hastings Mill. He briefly left the city after the mill burned down in 1898, becoming the first postmaster in the mining district of Atlin, in northwest British Columbia.

By 1901 the family were back in Vancouver with Edwin as manager of the Royal City Saw and Planing Mills living in a house at the Hastings Mill site. As well as Edwin, who was 36 and Clara, 30, there were two daughters: Edna, nine, and Ida, seven. There was also a lodger, Nathanuel Hill, Clara’s father, who was working as a planer.

In 1904 Edwin took out a patent for “portable wall-section for house-building”. “My invention relates to the construction of knockdown houses especially designed for the use of settlers in a comparatively new or undeveloped country, and is intended to meet the requirements of such a class by providing a framed house the erection of which does not require the service of skilled carpenters or tradesmen, but that can be put together by the settler himself in less time than it would take to build one in the usual manner and that when finished is superior in its weather resisting qualities, appearance, and comfort to the best class of house as usually built by farmers or miners.

Many “BC Mills” system buildings were built in the next few years, and can be found throughout western Canada. The company also offered kits for schoolhouses and churches. Mostly the houses were understandably modest, but for his new family house, Edwin had J H Bowman design a fancy craftsman style home that used his patented panels in its construction.

The family lived here until 1924. Edwin signed up with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war. Ida was married in 1914 but Edna never married, and was a clerk at the Bank of Commerce, living at home. Edwin was a freemason, and in the Knight’s Templar as well as a member of the Vancouver Pioneers’ Association.

In 1925 the family sold the house and moved into the 7th floor of a nearby apartment building on the waterfront, Sylvia Court. Edwin’s title changed that year from ‘lumberman’ to ‘broker’. He died in 1930, and his body was transferred to the family plot in Hamilton. Clara died in 1943, and Edna was living in Victoria when she died in 1977. Ida had died seven years earlier, in Vancouver, having been a widow for eighteen years.

W L Martin bought the house in 1925 and carried out repairs and added a garage built by C S Gustafson. He was the general manager at Evans, Coleman and Evans, one of the city’s largest suppliers of building materials and also coal merchants, towing and pile driving contractors, with a portfolio of commercial properties.

By the late 1930s, as with so many of the large old houses in the West End, this had become a rooming house. Architects Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey lived in the house in the mid 1950s, which by then was owned by an Egyptian developer. Erickson was working at Thompson, Berwick, Pratt, having recently been fired
from McCarter and Nairne, but ‘off the books’ he and Massey designed a replacement apartment building for the site in 1956, living rent-free rather than receiving a fee.

The white concrete 7-storey building was christened ‘The Residency’, and nothing really distinguishes it from any of the other mid-1950s apartments that proliferated in the West End. In a 2009 Vancouver Magazine article Erickson said “There wasn’t much we could do. Make the façade as simple as possible, have as many windows and as much floor space as possible“.  It was initially offered as ‘self owned suites’ – there were no such things as condominiums at that time. However, that never happened, (maybe the developer wasn’t willing to wait and see – he left for Egypt leaving his huge American car with the architects to cover their remaining fees).

It became a rental property, with a rooftop garden, and is still standing today. Massey’s comment in the same article is a fair review “It’s pretty nice compared to the others. At least it’s not leaking.”



Posted 31 January 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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2033 Comox Street

Beaver Dam is a modest city in Wisconsin, founded in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th Century it was sufficiently important to have a university,  and Charles Stanford Douglas attended High School and then Wayland Academy in his home town. He then moved around working for newspapers in Minnesota and his home state, becoming owner and publisher of the Superior Times in Superior, Wisconsin in 1875, (aged 23), partnering with D H Pryor. Two years later he sold up, and moved to The Day Book, a weekly newspaper in Fort William, Ontario. As the Canadian Pacific looked to the west, so did Charles, moving to Emerson, Manitoba in 1878. For two dollars a year residents could read his Emerson International, the “leading paper of southern Manitoba” (“one of the largest, and the cheapest”).

He married Annie Marie Johnston of Toronto in 1881, and got involved in politics. He was a member of the Emerson town council in 1881, from 1883 to 1889 he represented Emerson as a member of the Manitoba legislature, and he also managed to be became the mayor of Emerson in 1888. His brother-in-law, Benjamin B Johnston was also in Emerson, where he was a real estate broker. He brought his family further west around the same time as his sister and brother-in-law, and joined Charles in Douglas & Co, a real estate and finance brokerage. Their firm was described in 1891 as “amongst the heaviest dealers in real estate in Vancouver. They do a general real estate business, buy and sell property, rent houses and negotiate loans on real estate securities for residents and non residents in England, Eastern Canada and the United States“. B B Johnston found a new partner in Samuel Lyness Howe, and together they developed property including the Johnston-Howe Block on Granville.

Charles Douglas continued in business, and was a member of the Vancouver Club, the Terminal City Club, the Shaughnessy Heights Golf Club, and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. He was also a freemason and a director of B.C. Refining Company Ltd. and president of Canadian Renard Road Transportation Company Ltd. Although Charles and Annie didn’t have children themselves, her sister, Vesta Fisher, died in 1891, and in 1901 their niece and nephew, Vesta and Charles Fisher were living with them. In 1906 Charles Douglas hired Grant and Henderson to design a new family home on Comox Street, near Stanley Park. Having spent $10,000 on construction, the family moved in a year later, seen here in a photograph taken by the Topley Studios some time before 1910.

Family bliss was short-lived; Annie died in July 1908, aged 55. Charles quickly found a diversion from his grief. He stood for election in 1909 as Mayor – and won. Then, weeks later, after a two-week courtship he married Elizabeth Manley, a widow who had also been born in Toronto. She had two sons, Davison and John. The wedding was in Toronto, and the newly weds took over a week to get home, starting on a train to Chicago, and adding a stop in Winnipeg.

As mayor, Charles didn’t support city workers having an 8-hour day, and was in favour of contracting out work rather than hiring day labour. He entertained Lord Strathcona on his visit to the city, and then Lord Grey (who donated the cup with his name attached), who as Governor General of Canada was in the city to open the new Granville Bridge. When he ran again for mayor in 1910, Charles lost to L D Taylor.

He had remained in business, developing the Fortin Hotel in 1909, and in 1910 joining George Barrett to promote the Imperial Car, Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation. This was to be a major new model industry, with its own town, Rosslyn, located on the North Shore where the Seymour Golf and Country Club, Roche Pointe Park and Cates Park were developed subsequently. That idea didn’t go anywhere, and Charles and Elizabeth set off on a vacation in Honolulu, and later a road trip to Seattle. Charles was in poor health, and retired from business in 1915, the year he tried to become mayor again, only to lose again to L D Taylor. He was swimming in English Bay in 1916, when he got into difficulties, and was rescued by two teenagers, Eloise Angell and Bobby Young. (We referenced Eloise’s mother, Lora, in our previous post).

In 1917 Charles’s health deteriorated, and he had to go into Vancouver General Hospital. Elizabeth’s sons had signed up, and were fighting in the war. One morning in April when her son Davison was arriving home on a short leave, Elizabeth received a telegram to say her other son, John, had been killed at the front. Phoning the hospital to tell her husband, she discovered he too had died that morning. Charles Douglas was 65.

Elizabeth remained in Vancouver, and her remaining son, Davison Manley, married in 1920, and went on to become a building manager and later a stockbroker. Elizabeth Douglas died in 1927.

This house became a rental property in the late 1910s, and having been offered for sale as a hotel location in 1949, became a rooming house, called the Park Hotel. It was demolished in 1959, and replaced in 1960 by a large modernist slab apartment building called The White House, with 91 apartments on 8 floors.

Image source: William James Topley – Library and Archives Canada – PA-009551. More details of Charles Douglas’s life on WestEndVancouver.


Posted 27 January 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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425 – 447 Heatley Avenue

When these six houses were first built they were on Heatley Avenue, between the lane behind East Hastings, and Princess Street. They were numbered as 503 to 523 Heatley. By 1903 the insurance map showed the numbers crossed out, and replaced by 425 to 447. By 1911 Princess Street was renamed to Pender, but the new numbers had stayed the same.

The 1901 street directory shows the houses all completed, (and confusingly, seven addresses listed) but most were still vacant. John F Armstrong (a driver) was living in 507, and Alex Prefontain had a bakery in 523. By 1902 the addresses had been sorted out, and the houses filled up. Henry Dowden, a fireman was at 503, Thomas Wyatt, an engineer at 507, George Dumphy, agent in 511, John McGarligle, a moulder at 515, Joseph Cole, a carpenter at 519 and the same baker on the corner of Princess.

We don’t know who developed the houses, but we know they were still all owned by one person, because in 1912 Mrs L A Angill submitted a building permit to raise the 6 houses and put in basements. As far as we know that didn’t happen (the economy tanked soon after this, and then there was the war). We know that neither Mrs. Angell (as her name was really) or he husband had developed the houses, because they were in the US when they were built.

Lora Agnes Humes of Seattle had married Albert Sidney Angell in Seattle on 18 September 1899 at her parent’s home. She was born in Ontario, (and was Hume, not Humes), and he was from Arkansas. In 1900 they were in Portland; Lora was 20 and Albert 26 and a photo engraver. Their son, also Albert Sidney, was born in Tacoma in April 1901, and a daughter, Eloise was born in Portland, Oregon in September 1902.

The family moved north in 1904, but Albert died aged 31 in November 1905. The tragic death was reported in the press; “Mr. A. S. Angell, engraver, died of poison at the general hospital on Thursday night, A few moments after having been removed there from his workshop, on Hastings Street, near the Board of Trade hotel. There is a doubt as to how Angell came to take the poison. He complained of being unwell in the afternoon and was advised to take port wine and benedictine. He was not used to drinking and became considerably under the influence of alcohol in the combination. It is the theory of his friends that he took the poison by accident.”

The Angell Engraving Company continued in business, and Mrs. Angell continued to have an active involvement. In 1920, when she had moved to Bute Street, she was listed as the manager of the company, and was ‘chairman of the entertainment committee’ of the Engraver’s Convention that was held in Vancouver that year.

Mrs. Angell continued to live in Vancouver, and was often listed in the press as a supporter or attendee at events. One press notice perhaps gives a hint at her character. Under the title “Comment on Court Action Costs Five Spot Per Shot” the Province reported in 1932 “Mrs. Laura Angell, 618 West Hastings, motorist, convicted before Magistrate Paul McD. Kerr of falling to observe a stop sign, was fined $5 In Police Court. “There certainly isn’t any Justice In this court,” Mrs. Angell remarked, “That’ll be ten dollars,” replied the magistrate. “I don’t care what you make It,” Mrs. Angell remarked. ‘ “That’ll be 15.” Mrs. Angell paid the $15.”

Mrs. Angell was still in charge of the engraving business in 1940, and in 1941 was shown as Mrs L A Oliver, widow of C N Oliver, still proprietor of Angell Engraving, with Albert Angell working as an engraver. She had married Charles Mason Oliver, who had died in 1935 in New Westminster, but for some reason the directory initially didn’t change her name from Angell. Charles Oliver was initially a CP telegrapher, then set up as a mining stockbroker and bond dealer in 1905. His wife Mina had died in March 1933, so his marriage to Lora was short (and he appears not to have been the grieving widower for long, as they apparently married in April). He had married Mina, who was from Ohio, in 1908 in Butte, Montana. Lora inherited $27,000 from Charles’s estate. Lora’s son, Albert, died in 1955, and her daughter, Eloise in 1978 in Illinois. Mrs Lora Agnes Oliver continued to run Angell Engraving, and living on Beach Avenue close to Stanley Park until 1955. She died in 1956, in Vancouver, aged 75.

The houses – and the store – saw a revolving door of tenants over the years. The shop was used as a grocery run by William Koshevoy in 1915, a year later Fred Humphrey, and in 1918 Mrs. H A Gillis. The Sons of Israel Church was listed as using the premises in 1916. At some point the buildings were sold off individually and are now assessed at over a million dollars. Each. The third in the row, 435 Heatley, has a small additional window in the facade, added when the house was rebuilt in 1993. The other five are pretty much as they were in 1901.



Posted 24 January 2022 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Silverdene – 999 Denman Street

This 1927 West End apartment building is remarkably unchanged in nearly a century. It was built by Dominion Construction Co., and designed by R T Perry for Vancouver Holdings Ltd. Costing a reported $80,000 to build, (more than the $65,000 on the permit), it has a concrete frame and a ‘buff-coloured tapestry brick’ facing. The Province newspaper reported ‘The building is one of the finest of its type in the city and Is completely equipped with every modern convenience. It is claimed by the owners to be fireproof and soundproof.’ The walls between units had hollow tile construction, and there was matting between the floors called Cabot’s Deadening Quilt. ‘It Is claimed by the owners of the building that a piano played in one suite cannot be heard in the one adjoining, so well is it soundproofed’. The basement boasted ‘one of the newer types of electric washing machines‘.

Vancouver Holdings were H H Stevens property investment vehicle. We looked at his history as a (very) conservative politician in an earlier post where we looked at The Queen Charlotte, another 1927 apartment building developed by Stevens. This project wasn’t quite smooth sailing. City Council approved the building, but when they considered it in March, the Civic Building Committee wanted the apartment to be set back from the building line. The developers did not agree, pointing out that the location wasn’t one where a setback was required. After a 3 month delay, the building went ahead without the setback. It was completed by December, and photographed in 1928.

W H Stevens was the local manager running the apartments; he wasn’t in the city in 1921, which is the most recent census we can access. He was a grocer, in Yale, in 1911 and was born in 1877, arriving in Canada in 1887. We believe he was Henry Herbert Stevens’ slightly older brother (as H H was 9 when he arrived in 1887), and was William Harvey Stevens. He died in 1962, and was buried in Burnaby.

Today the building is owned by Equitable Real Estate, whose portfolio includes some of Vancouver’s best heritage buildings (as well as some contemporary ones). The laundry facilities are still ‘of the newer type’: there’s a common Laundry room with fob activation for the washers and dryers.

Image source; City of Vancouver Archives CVA Str N267.2



Posted 20 January 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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1012 Main Street

The four storey rooming house is called the Station Hotel today, although it’s been a rooming house under a variety of names for many years. It was owned by investment company Living Balance for some years, and has 32 rooms. It was recently acquired by BC Housing, the Provincial agency, to help house Vancouver’s homeless population.

It was given a permit in 1911, when Hugh Braunton designed the $25,000 investment for Albert Pausche. He ran the Horseshoe Hotel, and lived in the East End on Keefer Street. However, there seems to have been a problem with the title, as a year later lawyers published the following public notice: “NOTICE is hereby given that I shall at the expiration of one month from the date of the first publication hereof Issue an Indefeasible Title to the above mentioned lot in the name of Albert Paushe and Joseph Tapello unless In the meantime valid objection be made to me In writing by some party or parties having an Interest In the said property. The Holder of the following Documents relating to the said Lands, viz.: 1. Conveyance In Fee from Sir Donald A. Smith and Richard B. Angus to George M. Bennett. Dated 29th January, 1889. 2. A Conveyance from the said George M. Bennett to Colin Smith, Dated Ist. February, 1889.  3. A Conveyance from the said Colin Smith (by his Attorney, Geo. G McKay) to Edward White, Dated 8th November, 1889.” The initial ownership by CPR Executives isn’t surprising, but the re-trading of the same lot in the same year shows the degree of speculation in the city’s early years.

Albert was from Austria, and was 42 when he built the hotel. His wife, Louisa, was 15 years younger, and from Italy. They had a 2-year-old son, Joseph. They were both shown arriving in Canada in 1906, and they married here in 1907. Their marriage certificate shows his wife as Luigia Bari from Runnianca, Province Novara Italy. Albert had a brother, John, who also ran hotels in Vancouver, and who ran a licenced hotel in Ladysmith in 1908. Albert was 74 when he died in 1943. Louisa died in Vancouver aged 85 in 1969.

The hotel was initially rather oddly numbered because it was developed on a lot between 1020 and 1022 Main Street – and there wasn’t an even number available. Presumably with an eye to reallocating numbers on the block in future, it was numbered as 1012. That was the address of The Bonanza Rooms, initially run from 1913 by John A Gray. In 1918 Mrs S Bunnell took over. In 1920 times were hard; nobody was shown running the rooms, and Albert Pausche was working as a labourer, and his brother John as a carpenter. In 1925 George Clark was running the rooms, and Albert had become a shipwright. In 1930 H Matsumura was running the rooms, and Albert Pausche was a carpenter while his brother had become a labourer with the City. Hatsujiro Matsumura continued to run the rooms, and appeared in the Vancouver Sun in 1936, in a bizarre case where first his wife, and then he was called to give evidence in a divorce case. The Court couldn’t decide how to treat a Buddhist in terms of swearing them in; in the end it was determined that affirmation was the route to follow, and the divorce was duly granted.

In 1942 the Matsumuras would have been forced to leave Vancouver, and the rooms were renamed as the Park Hotel. In 1945 Toy Quon was manager, and a decade later Alphonse Wileyto and Harry Sherban, By the mid 1960s the building had become the Station Hotel, and became one of the many older hotels with shared bathrooms offering low-cost long-term basic accommodation.  The only mention in the press was when a 72-year old suffered smoke inhalation in 1968 when he set fire to his mattress, and was rescued by other tenants. Our image shows it in 1985.

Frequently the store on the main floor was either listed as vacant, or not even mentioned in the street directory. Today it’s home to Bodega on Main, which offers a tapas menu and with restrictions on indoor dining due to the COVID pandemic, added a patio on Main Street during the warmer months.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-0666


Posted 17 January 2022 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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1950 Robson Street

Today there’s a six storey strata building, The Chatsworth, with 44 condos designed by Rhone Morton Architects, and completed in 1985. When it was built the cheapest 1-bed units were priced from $107,000, and the project was described as ‘An Austin Hamilton concept’ – a reference to the developer.

In 1978 there was an earlier rental apartment building also called Chatsworth, which we think was designed by H S Griffith, and completed in 1941. It was built by contractor E M Craig Co with 26 suites, on a lot that hadn’t been developed up to that point. The Craig company built a number of modest apartment buildings in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and used H S Griffith as their architect. Usually they were acting as agent for an investor developer, but if that’s the case here we haven’t found who the building was commissioned by.

The land had been used for many years as the extended garden of the adjacent house, owned from 1913 to 1938 by Herbert Drummond. He died in 1938, and his house and the land were offered as separate sales by the Bell-Irving Insurance Agencies. The building is seen here in 1978, on a site already being eyed up at the time for redevelopment, with a potential to increase density and switch from rental to strata units.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-3.13


Posted 13 January 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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1840 Robson Street

The Richborough Apartments were photographed around 1985, located on Robson Street close to Denman, on the all-residential Stanley Park side of Denman. There was a big house just to the west of here built in 1905 on an adjacent lot, which was divided into eight apartments by the 1930s, but these two lots had never been developed. In 1939, E M Craig and Company Ltd. applied for a permit to build an apartment building on the vacant lots. H S Griffith designed the 28 suite, 14 garage 4-storey building. The developers were identified a little later; R E Humphrey and E Akhurst, of Victoria. They also bought two other West End apartment buildings around the same time.

By 1981 the building, and the house next door, had been bought by Campeau Corporation of Calgary. They planned a redevelopment, and there were soon protests about the loss of affordable housing, and a potential heritage building (as the house was identified as a possible Samuel Maclure designed home).

A Vancouver Sun story in March 1981 told how ‘Caroline’ and Hector Fisher had moved into The New Richborough Apartments when the building was first leased, and forty years later were still there, paying $250 a month for their home. This wasn’t completely accurate. Carolyn Fisher had lived in apartment 203 from 1941, but initially it was with her husband Ewan, who was a master mariner (captain of a tugboat for Young and Gore). She was in Vancouver in the 1921 census, aged 18 and working as a waitress. He sister Lydia, who was 16, and a laundress, lived with her, on Richards Street. They were both born in Alberta, and had a Russian family background. The earlier 1911 census shows Lydia with her family in Medicine Hat, aged 6, and suggests Carolyn was christened Olga.

Ewan was born in 1900 in New Westminster, and died in 1958. His brother, Hector Fisher, who was also a master mariner, was living at 660 Jackson, with his wife Kitty. He married Catherine (‘Kitty’) Shaw in 1941. He was born in New Westminster in 1901, (and Catherine in 1893 in Scotland. She died in 1966 in Essondale, the mental health hospital later known as Riverview).

We assume that the widowed Carolyn married her brother-in-law, Hector, some time after his wife’s death. Hector died in 1982, and the redevelopment went ahead. Ewan and Hector Fisher were buried in the same grave in the Fraser Cemetery in New Westminster. Confusingly on his gravestone he’s identified as Casey Ewan Fisher, born 9 July 1900, while his death certificate says Ewan Alexander Fisher. Carolyn O Fisher was buried in the same cemetery in 1997, which identified her birth year as 1902, in Medicine Hat, in Alberta.

By 1987 the house and the apartments had been replaced by Stanley Park Place, with 45 apartments on 16 floors designed by Hamilton Doyle and Associates.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-3.12


Posted 10 January 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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733 Keefer Street

The building built to the sidewalk on Keefer Street in residential Strathcona dates back to 1908, when it cost $3,000 to build. (Alongside it to the west, and almost hidden from this angle, is a tenement building from the same year that only cost $2,000 to build). Rogers & McKay were the developers of the building, and William H Rogers signed the permit.

William was born in Bristol in March 1862, christened in May in St Philip and Jacob church there, and was married in August 1881 in St Bede’s Bristol to Lilly Skuce. (It looks like she really was Lilly (with two Ls), and her family name was probably Skuse). She was also born in 1862, and before her marriage was a staymaker (a corset maker). She had been born in Gloucestershire, but her family had moved to Wales and then to Bristol.

The marriage was timely; their son, William Henry Rogers (junior) was born in Bristol in January 1882. Their second child, Lilly Florence Gertrude Rogers, was born in Lucknow, Bruce, Ontario in June 1885. Understandably, she was known as Florence. By 1891 the family had moved to Seattle. Their third child, Edward E Rogers (‘Eddie’ in the 1911 census), was born there in February 1895. William was working as a contractor, but in the 1900 US Census he was a superintendent on the Street Railroad. William jr. was already working, as a machinist.

The family moved north, back to Canada, in 1903. William Rogers, a machinist had rooms on Powell Street that year. In 1904 he had moved to Gore, and was identified as W H Rogers jr, because his father, W H Rogers, a carpenter, was living at 432 Princess. (Lilly) Florence Rogers was 19 when she married James Blackmore Jolly, a 24 year old engineer, from Moonta Mines, South Australia in 1904 in Vancouver. The wedding took place at the family home on Princess Street. The couple went on to have two children, Harold in January 1906, and Gwendoline in 1918. Their family of three were living with William, Lilly and Eddie, as well as Albert Rogers, a nephew (and also a carpenter) in the 1911 census. By then they had moved to 1201 Harris, (East Georgia today), and in 1912 they moved to 1169 Pendrell in the West End.

William had at least 22 house-building projects as a builder working on his own, and several other larger buildings in partnership as Rogers and McKay. The partners owned property in Chinatown that they sometimes hired other builders to repair. We’ve still not confirmed for certain who Mr. McKay was. There were several carpenters, and at least one finance and real estate broker, and one who owned a sash and door business, but the most likely seems to be Thomas Masson McKay who was a timber broker. In 1911 he lived with his brother, William who was a lawyer, on Alberni Street and they originally came from Ottawa.

William Rogers returned south in 1916. In 1919 he completed a Naturalization Form to allow him to stay in the US. As requested, he confirmed he was not an Anarchist, or a Polygamist, he was 57, (born in 1862) from Bristol, and he had grey hair, was 160lbs and stood 5′ 10″ tall. He was a building contractor, living in Tacoma. In 1926 he completed another form (they were good for 7 years). The details were the same, and William’s children were listed. William Henry was born in 1882 in Bristol; Florence in 1885 in Canada and Edward in 1895 in Seattle.

William Henry jr was an inch taller and 20 pounds heavier than his father when he submitted his Naturalization papers in 1917. He was already living with his wife, Catherine, in Seattle, whom he had married in 1902, and he first entered the US in 1888 He was aged 52 and working as a wood preserver when he died in Seattle in 1932. His brother Edward was married to Margaret and aged 57 when he died in Vancouver in 1952.

As an investment property, the tenants here changed regularly. Wilson and Sugden, a bakery was first here, with Harry Wilson living ‘over the shop’. Quite quickly the building was divided, with a grocery store run by Peter Torrance and a bakery run by William Reynolds and Peter Callow. In 1915 the grocery was shown run by Quan Tsang, but not for long, and the property remained empty until 1920. From 1921 to 1928 the building was used by Russian-born merchant immigrant Louis Halperin who ran a fish-canning business called BC Distributors Company Ltd. That business moved to Alexander Street (and expanded to Saskatoon) in 1929, and briefly a Broom and Brush manufacturer was located here.

Through the remaining years of the 1930s it was either vacant, or occupied by unidentified ‘orientals’, until 1938 when it became home to a Japanese Bhuddist temple. That was also short-lived, as they were forced to leave the coastal area in 1942, and a Pullman Porter called Robert Harris moved in. In 1945 it re-opened as a store, with Charles Creer running a grocery, taken over in 1946 by brothers Joseph and H. Comtois, and then a year later by Quong Wing. In 1949 it was ‘Betty’s Light Lunch, run by Chee Kew Wong until 1954. After that it became a home, initially occupied by Chinese residents, several of them farmers. Our 1978 image shows the storefront no longer in use. More recently it has been home to a photographer, who used the storefront as a studio.


Posted 6 January 2022 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Burrard Inlet waterfront from above (1)

This 1965 aerial lines up really well with Trish Jewison’s shot posted six months ago and taken from the Global BC traffic helicopter. There were very few landmarks available to match the pictures. Way up at the top right, behind the Citygate towers lined up across the end of False Creek, Pacific Central Station (the Canadian Northern station) still runs a few trains across Canada and into the US. Next to it, today, the new St Paul’s Hospital is under construction. In 1965 there were still tracks from the Great Northern Railway; the station was demolished very soon before this picture was taken, (to avoid taxes).

The tracks that now terminate behind the CP Station at Waterfront used to run westwards (towards the bottom of the picture) through Coal Harbour. The Marine Building sat on the top of a cliff overlooking the tracks (that had been laid along the beach). The area where the train tracks were is now a row of expensive condo towers, marking the edge of the Central Business District to the south. Remarkably, in 1965 the northern end of the Central Business District was still dominated by The Marine Building. The first Bentall Centre tower broke ground in June 1965, and topped out exactly a year later. The site is already under construction in the picture. The second was completed in 1969, both now dwarfed by later and taller towers (with a fifth tower on the block under construction and a sixth recently proposed).

On the waterfront Canada Place was built on Canadian Pacific’s Piers B-C, originally constructed in 1915, with the buildings added in 1927. The Convention Centre occupies the space under the sails, and was expanded with the new addition with the huge green roof in 2009. It sits where Pier A once stood, with the Canada Immigration Building still standing beside it. The Pier was cleared away in 1968, and the Immigration Building was demolished in 1976 to create more space for the CPR trailer pier parking area.

The shoreline today is quite different from when the waterfront had industrial uses, and Harbour Green Park sits where there were a series of oil tanks. Bayshore Marina was already in existence, as was the Bayshore Hotel to the west, with the main wing opening as The Bayshore Inn in 1961, and the tower added in 1970. The hotel sold for redevelopment in 2015 for $290m.

Image sources City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1399-417 (copyright, Townley & Matheson fonds), and Trish Jewison, July 2021, Global BC traffic helicopter.


Posted 3 January 2022 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown