Davie and Bute Streets – ne corner

Dr. Ernest Hall lived, and practiced medicine in Victoria, but spent quite a bit of time in Vancouver. An eye, ear, nose and throat specialist, he had a regular surgery as early as 1893, “Office over McDowell’s drug store, Cordova street. Cross eyes painlessly cured; artificial eyes supplied”

The 1901 census said that he was W Ernest Hall, aged 40, from Ontario. His wife, Mary was a year younger, and they had a 2 month old son, and a Chinese cook, Ah Sing. His birth record says he was Ernest Amos Hall, born in 1861 in Hornby, Esquesing Township, Halton, Ontario, son of Robert Shirrow Hall and Jane Greenwood. He was the youngest of four, his brother Thomas was three years older, (and also a doctor in Vancouver), and he had an older sister Orpha and brother, John. His wife, Mary Louisa Fox was from Trafalgar, Halton, Ontario, where they married in 1885.

Dr. Thomas Hall and his wife, Dr. Ruth Hall moved to Vancouver in 1905. They were married in 1902, the year she graduated as a doctor too. He had been married first to Elizabeth Knight, and had four children, a daughter (Amy) Violet in 1887 in Woodstock, Ontario, daughter Unina in 1892 when they were in Worcester, Massachusetts, Victoria in 1893 and a son, Vernon, in 1899 in Kansas. In 1906 Thomas and Ruth opened the Hillside Hospital at Burrard and Barclay in collaboration with Dr Ernest Hall and Dr. Robert Telford. In 1908 Thomas entered private practice and until his death in 1931 his wife aided him in his work. ‘Dr. T P Hall’s Magic Lotion’ was sold in the city for a while.

In 1909 Dr E Hall developed a building on Fort Street in Victoria, designed by Thomas Hooper. He also hired the same architect to design a $32,000 hospital for this corner, but it was never built. Instead, in 1912, he had a permit for a ‘frame store house’ here, also designed by Thomas Hooper, costing $5,000 to build. In June he applied to carry out alterations to a dwelling house, costing $4,000, at 1181 Davie, although he apparently never moved there. That year he was shown in the Vancouver directory at 1301 Davie, the home of Dr. Thomas Hall, his brother. That year he gave a lecture to the Mission Circle “Under the patronage of the same organization a lecture of exceeding interest and importance was given by Dr. E. Hall on “White Slave Traffic.” A large and appreciative audience gathered and were much edified, by the remarks of the lecturer.”

In 1913 Dr. Ernest Hall had an office on Granville Street and a home address at 1185 Burnaby St. His brother moved his practice from his home address to the same office in 1914. By 1915 Ernest had moved back to Victoria, although he continued to practice in Vancouver from the Granville St office. He also still gave public lectures, as we saw in conjunction with the opening of the new Methodist Church on Dunlevy Ave. in 1916.

In the 1921 census Dr. Ernest Amos Hall was living on Fort Street in Victoria with his wife Mary, sons Victor who was 20 and a medical student, Frederick,14, attending a private school, and Grace, 18, who was at business school.

Our Vancouver Public Library image shows the Davie and Bute building in 1926 when it was the home of the Capitola Pharmacy, the business having moved a year earlier from the other end of the block. Next door at 1195 was the Model Grocery. Upstairs were four apartments, addressed to Bute Street.

Dr. Thomas Proctor Hall, died in 1931 in Vancouver, his brother John a year later in Denver, Colorado, and also in 1932 Dr. Ernest Hall, in Victoria. By 1945 the corner had become the Reliable Drug store, next to the Alpine Fancy Bakery, and there were still four apartments upstairs. The building was altered in 1976, and had office space on the upper floor with a walk-in medical clinic, that would no doubt make Dr. Hall happy about the continuity of use. The drug store is now a payday loan store, with a Thai restaurant and a phone store alongside.

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Posted 9 June 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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