St Paul’s Church – Hornby Street

St Paul’s Church was built in Yaletown, which at the time was a newly developing residential neighbourhood, between Homer and Burrard Streets, on the southern end of the Downtown peninsula. It appeared in the 1890 street directory, but our photograph was taken in 1889 when it was first completed. We haven’t been able to trace an architect, but it occupied lots on Hornby Street, between Davie and Drake. The residential neighbourhood developed slowly, with many of the residents working for the railway company who had their maintenance yards and roundhouse nearby. Within a few years of its construction a tower was added to the church.

We’re not sure why, but at the end of 1898 it was announced that “there is talk of St Paul’s church being removed from Hornby Street to the corner of Butte and Pender streets.” Perhaps the fact that there was a West End Methodist, and a West End Baptist church, but no Anglican building, was a factor, The rector by then, the Reverend H J Underhill was already a West End resident. He had become rector in 1896, and a year later was the first resident of a new house on the corner of Barclay and Broughton streets.

In January 1899 there was an illustration in the newspaper, (taken from a photograph), showing the church raised on huge timbers in preparation for moving. It’s new home was not ‘Butte and Pender’, but rather Jervis and Pendrell.

The Archives have that image (left) and another (below) showing the church moving along Davie Street, apparently on rails, built for the task. The West End was more sparsely occupied that Yaletown at the time, so it wouldn’t have created much disruption. The report said the removal was successfully accomplished by the contractor, J N Menzies. ‘The church is 85 x 25 feet, and the tower is 40 feet high.

The site on Hornby, briefly occupied by the church, was vacant for several years, but by 1911 three houses had been built where the church had stood.

In 1989 The Ritz Asia Company built a new hotel here, designed by Eng & Wright. Today it’s a Residence Inn by Marriott, the latest incarnation of the hotel. Before this, it was known as the Cascadia Hotel and Suites, and when it first opened it was the Westbrook Hotel.

The adjacent Landis Hotel was developed in 1993, theoretically as a residential annex to the hotel, although it has always been operated as a hotel.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Ch P33, Ch P37 and Ch P36.

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Posted 8 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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