Archive for September 2022

1399 Barclay Street

We’ve titled this with the street address today, but it had several different addresses over its early years. The house was built around 1897, and was sometimes just referenced as ‘Barclay, corner of Broughton’. Initially it was numbered as 1373 Barclay, but by 1901 it had become 894 Broughton. By 1905 it was back to 1373 Barclay. In 1914 it appears to have become 912 Broughton (although that block of Broughton was in the process of being renumbered, and some houses still had earlier numbers, and were not in numerical sequence). We haven’t identified an architect. It’s most likely to be Thomas Fee, who designed several houses of a similar style in the West End starting in 1896.

Rev. Harold John Underhill was from Staffordshire, and was the first resident listed here, although he was rector of St Paul’s church on Hornby Street in 1896. In 1898 the church was moved to a block from here, on Jervis at Pendrell. However, it was his brother, Dr. F T Underhill who requested for a sidewalk to be laid on Broughton Street to his residence (in December 1897), and who was mentioned in 1898 as having built a $4,500 house here, although at the time his medical practice was still in New Westminster. Both brothers were shown living here in 1898, but by 1901 Rev Underhill had moved to Nicola St, and in the census that year he was aged 49, living as a lodger with Benjamin Walker and his wife Sarah. In 1904 he moved to Alberni St, and in 1905, aged 52, he married Helena Ross, who was 19, and from Quebec (and before her marriage living with her family on Comox Street).

They moved to Pendrell, and he continued as rector of St Paul’s through to 1908, so he was rector during the period of the move of the original church from Hornby St, and the construction of the new church in 1905. The couple had three children; Helena in 1907, Harold in 1909, (while the family were living in Yale, where Rev. Underhill was chaplain of the school), and (Herbert) Stuart in 1914, a year before Rev. Underhill moved to become rector of St John’s, Maple Ridge. He remained only a short time before moving again to become rector of St Alban’s in Burnaby. He died in 1932, and his widow, Helena, 40 years later at the age of 86.

Dr. Frederick Theodore Underhill was from Staffordshire in England, born in 1858. He married Beatrice in 1885 and came to BC in 1894, having studied medicine an Edinburgh and practicing in Tipton, in the West Midlands. Initially he was in Mission, and New Westminster, before becoming the city’s first full-time medical health officer in 1904. Although his biography said his recreations were ‘all outdoor sports’, it’s surprising he had time as he had seven surviving sons and five daughters.

In the 1901 census Fred T Underhill was head of household, and aged 42 and a doctor. He arrived in Canada a year earlier than his brother, in 1894. His wife, Beatrice, was six years younger, and the rest of the household included seven children, a female ‘companion’ called Rixon and a maid, Conolly. The children’s names were recorded as they were used; for example, 8-year-old Jim was born in England, and Bill, who was five, in BC.

In 1906 Dr. Underhill helped create the Vancouver Medical Association. He moved to Westminster Road in 1908, and a year earlier had had a permit for $2,000 of alterations to 1373 Barclay. It’s possible the house was planned to be used in conjunction with the hospital that was built next door, but it looks like it was more likely remodeled, and became 912 Broughton

Dr. Underhill led the city’s fight against the 1917 flu epidemic; requiring people in public occupations to wear masks. His actions to order schools and places of entertainment closed in the fall of 1918 was a dramatic (and unpopular) move. By October 25 there were 1,300 hospital cases. Two days later, on average, one patient was dying every hour. Eventually there were only 778 deaths in the city – far fewer per capita than in many other places. He died in 1936, aged 77.

As 912 Broughton 1914 Charles McKeen, a shoe merchant lived here for a couple of years. He was followed in 1917 by William Arnott, a 76-year-old accountant, who arrived from England in 1873. He lived here in 1921 with Annie, his wife, who was 22 years younger, and their 2 sons Geoffrey and Clarence working as clerks, and 18-year-old Frederick, who was still a student. Four other children had already left home. The couple had married in Yorkshire in 1886, and then Annie had accompanied her new husband to their life in Canada. That year the contents of the house were auctioned off.

Next, Ethelbert Lecky Simpson was shown in the street directory to have moved in. He was a 53-year-old Irishman, but it was probably his wife, Alice who was here, running a rooming house. In 1921 she was head of household on Haro Street, with her 13-year-old daughter, a housekeeper, and 13 roomers. She was born in London, and her husband wasn’t recorded on the census, but died in Essondale, the provincial mental hospital, in 1925. In 1927 Samuel Holt was the last individual owner listed; that year the house was broken up into apartments (although really it was a rooming house with shared bathrooms), called Broughton Lodge.

The Museum of Vancouver have an image of the house before the veranda was filled in, they think from the 1920s, although we think it’s probably earlier.

When the house was photographed in 1972 it didn’t have too many years left. In 1980 Romses Kwan architects applied to build a 14 unit 6-storey condo building to replace the corner house, and its neighbours. The project wasn’t built, although the house was demolished around 1982. In 1986 a 3-storey condo building called the Westbriar was developed with 20 strata units. In 2004 the building had to have a new rainscreen, but unless there are future plans to allow larger buildings across a wider area of the West End than the recent plan permitted, it seems likely to stay as it is for many years.

Image source: with thanks to one of our readers, Dennis, and the Museum of Vancouver. Thanks too to Patrick Gunn, for research above and beyond.


Posted 29 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Royal Bank – Granville and Robson

This simple 1960s bank didn’t last very long on the prominent Granville and Robson corner. Completed in 1963, it was demolished in 2004 to be replaced with a 3-storey retail building. The corner now has an electronic billboard (the second, and larger one on the corner). Beyond it the Orillia can just be seen on Robson Street. Until it was demolished in 1985 it was a reminder that the big city retail and commercial centre had not that long ago had a row of terraced houses in this part of Robson.

The office was commissioned by the Royal Bank who hired Underwood McKinley Cameron to design it. Leonard Frank’s photography company were hired to record construction progress and the finished product. The owners of the retail building have indicated that its days may be numbered, as there potential for a significant office building on the site, an opportunity that existed when the retail was developed less than 20 years ago, but at the time demand for office space was less than it is today.

Obviously the bank wasn’t the first building here. It replaced a three storey brick faced apartment and retail building designed by T E Julian for Jonathan Rogers in 1904. In 1912 the Royal Bank of Canada carried out alterations, and moved a bank branch into the building. That closed for the redevelopment in 1961, and this building served the same function for another 40 years. The bank no longer have a presence on Granville, but there’s a branch on West Hastings Street a few blocks to the north, on the corner of the street.

Image Source: Jewish Museum and Archives LF.00793


Posted 26 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Pendrell Mansions – 1419 Pendrell Street

Seen here in 1975 (and almost unchanged, apart from the increase in foliage in summer) this apartment building is another that now offers heritage rental accommodation, although on a different basis than most.

Claude Percy Jones was listed as the architect, and H C Elliot hired him to design the Georgian styled $16,000 building in 1910. This was one of only two apartments Mr. Jones apparently designed between arriving from England in 1906 and leaving for New Zealand by 1916. He doesn’t seem to have had a lot of work here, although he won a competition to design one of Hastings Park buildings, and designed a biscuit factory on West 1st Avenue.

We think Harold C Elliott was (perhaps briefly) one of the city’s earliest residents. He was a shipbuilder, from Pugwash, Nova Scotia, and it seems likely that he was the H C Elliot building a stern-wheeler in Vancouver in 1889, intended for Harrison Lake. There’s a passing reference to Harry Elliot being in the original consortium for the first streetcar, but we can’t be completely certain it’s the same person. In 1895 he was in Nelson, building boats with G W Hale, who took over the business. He doesn’t appear in any street directory until around 1902, but he wasn’t living far away. In 1900 he married (Isa)Bella McTaggart in Seattle. (Bella was born in Victoria). Their son, Harry, was born in Vancouver in 1904. In 1906 or 1907 H C and L Elliott built three houses on Pacific Street.

In 1921 H. C. and his younger son, Clint Elliott built the ‘Bella E’ at Beach Avenue Shipyard, at the foot of Burrard St. In 1929 H. C. Elliott and his sons Clint and Harry built the ‘Anywhere’, a 45′ yawl, at the foot of Angus on the North Arm of the Fraser River, built of yellow cedar that was selected, cut and trimmed from standing timber at Deep Cove, on Burrard Inlet by the Elliotts. Clint Elliott sailed Anywhere for at least 35 years. Harold Clinton Elliot died in Vancouver in 1956.

When it was first built, this was called ‘The Pendrell’, and the residents were well off, and the apartments were advertised having six rooms including two bedrooms. At least one family lived here with their 7-year-old child, as they advertised for a live-at-home young girl, to assist. In 1914 another ‘small family’ was looking for a girl for general housework, in exchange for ‘room and board and small wages’. In 1922 one family (with no children) wanted a female ‘cook general’. By 1919 it had become Pendrell Mansions, and there were still only 7 (huge) suites.

In 1929 a 34-year-old resident of the building was killed when the car he was travelling in plunged off a bridge on Marine Drive in West Vancouver. Dennis St Denis Duchesnay lived with his mother, Lilly, in an apartment here. She had been a widow for 28 years; her husband, Edmund, was superintendent with the CPR, and was killed instantly when a rock struck him on the head while he was standing at the mouth of the Cariboo Joe tunnel five miles east of Spuzzum, after fighting a fire nearby. The driver of the car was charged with Dennis’s manslaughter. Having lost another son in the Great War, and a third who was living in California, Mrs. Duchesnay left Canada for England in 1930, where she died four years later.

There were still just seven suites in 1940, when four of the tenants were female; Mrs. Julia Hastings who managed rooms on Broughton Street, but lived here, Mrs. Berta Madden, a widow, Mrs. Ida McDonell, another widow and Mrs. Lillian Cavanagh (who was also a widow, and the caretaker for the building). Mrs. Madden and Mrs. McDonell were both still living here a decade later.

By the 1970s the apartments had become a hotel, with 8 suites, known as the Pendrell Apartment Hotel Rooms. In 1993 a Los Angeles production company switched filming for a new TV series to Vancouver, and rented six of the apartments here for cast and crew. When the second series of the X-Files was greenlit by Fox, one of the suites was used as Dana Scully’s apartment, with a backdrop of Manhattan added for ‘authenticity’. Today you can find Pendrell Suites on the Trivago travel platform, but the suites can also be long-term rented. A 3-bed 1,800 square foot apartment was recently offered at $4,500 a month.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-422


Posted 22 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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2224 Alberta Street

This 1913 apartment building is today surrounded by industrial and commercial building. Sitting in what is now the Mount Pleasant Industrial Area, it’s only a block from the headquarters and laboratories of a major bio-tech company, and a block and a half from the offices of Best Buy Canada.

The architect was J Y McCarter, Dominion Construction were the builders for the $22,000 investment, and W G Elliott was the developer. In 1913 he was living at 226 W6th Avenue, which was the house that was on this lot before the apartments were built. The first resident here was in 1905, listed as W G Elliott, agent, and the 1903 permit for the house was issued to E M Elliott.

He had been in Vancouver since 1890, when he had rooms at the Leland Hotel, and worked for J. M. Holland & Co., a real estate company. In 1891 he was shown in the census as born in the US in 1862, although his death record shows he was William Gallogly Elliott, born in 1861. He married in 1893 to Eunice Madella Peet, who was 25 and from Braut Co, Ontario, while her husband was from Ohio. In 1893 W G Elliott threatened he would hold the City liable unless the snow was cleared off Cambie and Hastings Street near his property. No doubt Eunice was the E M Elliott who obtained the building permit for their 1903 house.

By 1894 W G was a newsagent and tobacconist on Cambie, living on Homer Street, and his first daughter, Carrie, was born almost exactly a year after his wedding. Alma followed in 1896, and the 1901 census showed a son – so new he was listed as ‘Baby Elliott’. He didn’t survive, but Hiller did, born in 1907. In 1910 William G Elliott was still listed as a newsagent, but in 1911 he was in real estate,

The building featured in The Vancouver Sun in January 1913, with expectations of completion by June. “In designing the building Mr. J. Y. McCarter, a Vancouver architect, has closely followed the colonial style of architecture, producing a most admirable as well as artistic effect. In all there will be twelve suites of three rooms each in the structure, four of which will be considered suites de luxe and will be elegantly equipped with disappearing beds. All, however, will contain individual telephones, tiled bath-rooms fitted with the latest inventions and will be hot-water heated by a most modern system. The usual decoration of British Columbia fir will be used for the panneling and other interior wood work. Elaborate decorations and flooring of marble and tile will be used in finishing the entrance. In the basement of the structure will be placed a laundry, locker rooms for each tenant and a janitor’s comomdious and comfortable living quarters

In 1914 Alma Court was listed for the first time in the street directory, showing 10 apartments on 2 floors, and initially a basement unit as well. That reappeared later, with 12 apartments on two floors. William continued to be shown living at 226 W 6th, even though it had been demolished to develop the apartments, but in 1917 the directory clerk corrected that to 222 W 6th, (so he was living next door). In a change of occupation, he was shown as working as a farmer in 1916 and again in 1921. We’re not certain what happened to the family after this. One daughter, Alma Elliott married Leopold Miller in 1921 in Los Angeles. Earlier that year Carrie Elliott had married Lorne McIntosh, in Vancouver.

W G Elliott is shown farming in Richmond in 1925, and Mrs. W G Elliott won a prize for her eggs and was shown resident in Eburne (which was where Richmond residents were listed in the early 1920s). Whether it’s the same W G Elliott we can’t be sure, but it seems likely as Mr. Elliott advertised both livestock and real estate from his ‘Bridge No. 1’ Eburne address during the 1920s and early 1930s. The family were still in Vancouver in 1933 when Eunice Elliott’s father passed away, aged 88, and the couple had moved to E 29th Avenue, where William was shown as retired. In 1934 Mrs. W G Elliott was noted as having returned from Glendale, California, where she spent the winter with her daughter. In 1939 she took another trip to California with her other daughter and son-in-law.

In 1936 William wrote a letter to the press from his home, back at 222 W 6th Avenue. He advocated construction of a highway to gainfully employ the thousands of unemployed, and (in a thoroughly modern suggestion) answered the question ‘how do we pay for this?’ answered simply ‘print the money as required’. William died in 1943, and in 1945 Eunice took a trip ‘by aeroplane’ with her daughter for two months, visiting her other daughter, and to Palm Springs. She was living there when she died in 1947, as was her son Hillier.

Over the years the apartment building had a few tenants who made the papers. There were three different tenants with DUI charges, and in 1946 a tenant was driving a car that struck and killed a pedestrian – but he was not charged in that case. In 1961 another tenant received a 2 year prison term for passing $152 of forged cheques. In 1976 Gregory Baumeister stood trial for possessing a pipe bomb that police found when they raided his apartment here. An electrical technician aged 19, he was found guilty and sentenced to 9 months in prison.

In 1966, and into 1967 the building was offered for sale at $75,900, with a rent roll of $10,500. In 1973 it was offered for sale as 13 suites, with the adjacent lot, for $150,000 ($17,000 down payment). Our picture was taken in 1978. It was offered again in 1982 for $299,000 – said to be land value. The gross rent was $32,000, and expenses estimated at $11,000. ‘Level – easy to build on’. Either it didn’t sell, or was flipped – a year later in July 1983 it was $379,000, although rent was only $1,000 more. It had dropped to $319,000 in November ‘best deal in town’ – (although the building ‘needs some work’) and the rent roll now brought in $37,000.  It was offered for sale as a development site again more recently at $4,500,000, and today has an assessed value of just over $7,500,000 (although the building is only valued at $20,000) – a number that would have shocked William Elliott.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-41.01


Posted 19 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Mount Pleasant, Still Standing

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The Buckingham – 925 Cardero Street

This is yet another West End apartment building that is nearly a century old. It was developed by C S Gustafsom, and the architect was Henry Holdsby Simmonds. It cost $60,000 to build in 1927, and the owner also built it.

We’ve seen other buildings developed by Carl Gustafson, who was Swedish. He built houses in the West End as early as 1903, and developed the Clifton Hotel on Granville Street in 1910, and The Bilmore on Thurlow in 1928.

Carl Sidof Gustafson was born in Hinneryd, Kronoberg, Sweden in 1874. The newspapers reported that he married Hannah Johnston in 1904 at the bride’s family home on Homer Street. Actually, legally she was Hanna Carolina Johansdotter, born in Hallingeberg, Kalmar, Sweden, and two years younger than Carl. In the 1911 census Carl was 36, having arrived in Canada in 1890, living with his wife Hannah and their three sons and their domestic servant, and a lodger. Two more children followed, in 1912 and 1918. Mr. Gustafson was an early motorist, with BC Licence #2844.

Carl Gustafson often appeared in the local news buying and selling properties, and obtaining permits for development. The Buckingham was noted in 1927 as a two-storey brick veneered building.

The building is mentioned for the usual letting opportunities (both furnished and unfurnished suites were available), deaths, marriages and sales. In 1929 one resident’s experience suggested the state of the economy was tough, and that Vancouver was far from crime-free. “Winston Morcroft, 16, of 925 Cardero street, was held up shortly after 7 pm. Tuesday at Barclay and Burrard streets by two men and robbed of 75 cents, he reported to the police. He said that one man pressed the muzzle of a revolver against his side while the other searched his pockets.”

In 1935 Eddie File briefly rented here, but soon had his home raided by police. He was convicted of living off the earnings of prostitution. He was alleged to have a half share in the Panama Hotel in Victoria, which was being used as a brothel. His wife was identified as someone who owned a house of ill repute in Gold River – the house had to be physically moved because of its proximity to the school.

Also in 1935: “The efforts of a marooned Vancouver couple to stave off hunger and cold for fifty hours were related today when Mr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Caesar, 925 Cardero returned to the city after being stranded In their automobile and a trappers’ cabin between Hope and Chilliwack from 2 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday. “We were snowed In while trying to get through to Hope,” Mrs. Caesar said today, “and for the first nineteen hours we kept warm by running the car motor for half-hour periods, which supplied warmth through the car heater. “We had some cold turkey, bread and butter, and some coffee with rum in it. If it hadn’t been for the small lunch, which we made last until Thursday, and for the car heater, we would have been in a bad way. After the first nineteen hours the couple took refuge in a cabin a quarter of a mile up the mountain from where their car was stranded

In 1937 Frank Forshaw was held up at gunpoint in his apartment here, when a stranger buzzed his front door, claiming to be delivering a parcel. The parcel turned out to contain an automatic pistol, that the assailant held onto, before making off with $100.

The building was reported sold for $78,500 in 1946. In May that year Mrs Rita Forshaw had her suite ransacked, and $2,000 of jewels stolen, including a platinum brooch set with diamonds, valued at $1,000. A month later Mrs W. C. Cooper answered the door one morning to two men who asked for a room. She slammed the door in their faces. The men then held up Harold Crooks, of 1601 Barclay, in front of his home. “One of the thugs shoved a gun in his back, Crooks stated, and said: “O.K. Buddy, stick-em-up, let’s have your money.” Mr. Crooks fought, and escaped from the men.

In 1947 John Heffernan was living here, when he was arrested and charged with dangerous driving after striking a parked car in the 1000 block of Granville Street

The building doesn’t appear to have featured in any further crime stories. It was sold in 2000, and had been refurbished in 1989 when studios were $550 and large 1-bed units were $695. Our image is from 1985. The rent in the late 1980s was quite a bit more than in 1973, when the 1-bed suites were $140. In 1960 they were $75 (and up).

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-5.10


Posted 15 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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93-95 West Cordova Street

The Union Bank of Canada commissioned this single storey masonry-fronted brick building built in 1910. They hired A J Bird to design it, and Adkinson & Dill to build it for $12,500. In 1910 The Union Bank of Canada had one branch in Vancouver; their modest office building at 550 West Hastings that they had moved into in 1907. In 1911 there were four new branches in the city, including this one, but most were in existing buildings.

There had been an 1887 wooden 2-storey building on this corner, built very soon after the fire that destroyed the city, where Quebec-born Z G Goldberg had his clothing store. Not long after it was built he was allowed to rebuild the verandah after a stray team of horses destroyed it. In 1891 he was known as Z Gordon Goldberg, and in 1881 he was still at home where his older brother David was head of family, a pawn broker, with parents Hyman and Leah who were from Poland. He was recorded as Zabelon, and also had an older sister, Sarah.

His Cheapside Clothing Co remained in operation for many years. In 1896 it was noted that “For the last three months a dog belonging to Z. G. Goldberg has been in the habit of following the streetcars along the double track portion of the line. Nothing seems to break it of the habit, and if locked up it starts out again as soon as let loose. It never makes itself a nuisance by barking.” By 1909 Joseph Izen was selling second-hand clothing in the store, and a year later the site had been cleared.

Referred to as the ‘pioneer bank’ of western Canada, the Union Bank followed the railway across the prairies to the West Coast. It was the first to provide an extensive branch system throughout the prairies, but suffered during post-war depression and was absorbed by the Royal Bank in 1925, who closed this branch.

Fred W Thompson took the premises, and converted it to a shooting gallery. By the early 1930s it was home to Service Confectionery. In 1932 a thief grabbed $30 in cash, but only after a strenuous tussle with the Japanese owner, ‘K Inoueze’, who gave chase to the ‘armed bandit’. “The Japanese overtook him and made a grab for the money. He later discovered he had retrieved only a bunch of old letters.” It was burgled in 1936, but the would-be thieves were disturbed and police found a tablecloth bundled up around cigarettes ready to be removed. The company was still owned by K Inouye in 1941, but with the forced removal of the Japanese from the coast, S Quon took over. In the 1950s the business was being run by C B H, H and D Loo.

In 1965 there was a barber’s shop here run by Bill Allen, and in 1980 this was home to fast food restaurant ‘Chicken On The Run’, but the business was liquidated in 1983. There was an optometrist here in the early 1990s, and today it’s a kitchen showroom, part of the Inform furniture business.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2128


Posted 12 September 2022 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Jervis and Barclay Streets

Here’s a West End house that was replaced nearly 50 years ago. ‘The 950’, a 41 unit rental building was completed here in 1974. The house had been built 69 years earlier, and although it had a corner turret that was a signature for the houses designed by Parr and Fee, in this case the architect was W T Whiteway. His client was Thomas Langlois, who paid $7,200 for his new home, which he called Rosemont.

We looked at Thomas’s history when we looked at one of his Downtown office developments. Thomas Talton Langlois was born in Gaspe in Quebec. He arrived in in BC in 1898 when he was 31, and already a successfullang businessman. Here he organized the British Columbia Permanent Loan Co.; was president, of the National Finance Co. Ltd., the Prudential Investment Co. Ltd. and the Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Co. He also developed an Arbutus subdivision which had pre-fabricated craftsman style houses built in a factory on West 2nd Avenue, and then re-erected on site. He owned property on Bowen Island, and in 1912 commissioned a 60 foot steam yacht to sail there. In 1910, through the National Finance Co, he acquired much of the Port Moody waterfront for $600,000 for a consortium of investors.

Initially Thomas and his wife, Diana, lived on Nelson Street, then Robson, before he had this house built. He was active in politics (but indirectly, as President of the Electoral Union, and later the Good Government League) and in Wesley Church. Thomas travelled extensively, presumably in relation to business as well as for pleasure. His trips were often noted in the press, sometimes accompanied by his wife. While he would head to ‘eastern cities’, she would visit friends in Victoria. They married in Orangeville, Dufferin, Ontario in 1892, when Diana Hall was four years older than her husband, and a widow. As Diana Baker she had married Marshall Hall in 1883, but he died in 1890. In 1894 Albert was born, and Muriel followed in 1905 while her mother was in England.

In December 1914 the National Finance Co was liquidated. In earlier months the company had been pursuing its creditors through the courts, but the collapse of the economy and the onset of war left the business with more debts than assets. In January 1916 the Sun reported “The many friends of Mrs. T. T. Langlois will be pleased to learn that she Is making some progress towards recovery after a severe attack of la grippe.” This was the Spanish flu, that infected a third of the population and killed over 50 million around the world.

In March the family moved to California. The Daily Province reported it as a regular trip “Mr. and Mrs. T. T. Langlois and their daughter Gwendolyn left on Monday on a trip to Los Angeles, Cal. Their son, Mr. Albert Langlois, is in the city at present and is to leave for England soon to take a commission on one of the fast scouting boats in the British navy.” The trip stretched: fifteen months later “The wedding is announced in Los Angeles of Mr. Albert W Langlois and Miss Flora Wintzel of Newport Ky. The bridegroom is a well-known Vancouverite, a son of T. T. Langlois. He was a graduate of Lord Roberts and King Edward High schools. Last year he left McGill College to enlist with the motorboat patrol but was unable to go overseas and has now re-enlisted with a forestry regiment from Vancouver“. There was no further mention of any of the family in local newspapers  until they visited friends in 1930.

Thomas died in November 1937, and was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles. Diana died at Suncrest, San Diego, California in 1943, and was buried with Thomas. Albert and his wife Flora had two children in Los Angeles, but Flora died in 1925. He remarried in 1928, and seems to have married again at some point before his death in 1979. Gwen Langlois appears to have never married, and died at Spring Valley, San Diego, California in 1992, and was buried with her parents.

The house barely gets mentioned once the family left. John Harper had moved in in 1917, manager of the Bank of Hamilton, and the address is switched to 1275 Barclay. By 1921 it had become a rooming house – ‘Large room, suit 2 gentlemen, hot and cold water, and toilet’. Henry Dobbins, a mail carrier, was shown as the primary resident. In 1933 Mrs. Dewhurst was overcome by gas fumes when she fell asleep while cooking, and the light was extinguished. A year later Mrs. Sutherland found a man entering her suite through a window, but on seeing her he beat a hasty retreat.

The building was obviously still reasonably prestigious: In 1937, when Freda Bates and Elmer Ackley were married, the reception was held at Rosemont in the suite of Mr and Mrs Robbins, Freda’s grandparents. In 1943 John Vernon died in his suite. He was a successful real estate and mining broker. Various break-and-enters were noted through the 1940s; significant items were taken; a diamond ring in one, a fur coat in another. In 1947 Soren Paulsen Elgaard was running the rental business, but he didn’t own the building (or even have a lease on the property). He sued for damages for misrepresentation that the lease had not been transferred when he took over in 1945 – and lost the case. In 1950 Andrew Novak disappeared from his room. His empty fishing boat was found drifting off Spanish Banks. He had previously run a tavern in Tacoma. Following his death $90,000 was found in two bank deposit boxes, but no will was found. Eventually the cash was split between eight relatives.

In 1955 a resident managed to drive his car into a store on Howe Street. He was fined for impairment, and assessed over $1,200 in damages to the store. In 1958 another resident spent four hours injured in a ditch when the car she was a passenger in drove off the Seymour Mountain Highway.

In 1967 an 18-yearold resident was jailed for two years for possession of marijuana. (His defence counsel denied that he was one of the “hippies” who haunt the public library). This picture was taken a year later.

We haven’t found a reference to who built the replacement building, which is leased as a mix of studio and 1-bed units.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1348-42

[unusually, we have processed the image to lighten the shadows so more detail can be seen]


Posted 8 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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East from Burrard Bridge (2)

Here’s a view eastwards down False Creek from Burrard Bridge taken in 1941. (We saw a closer view taken in the 1950s that was posted last month). In the foreground is the Kitsilano Trestle, originally built by Canadian Pacific in 1886 (although by 1941 the structure was more elaborate than the original, and considerably strengthened). It was torn down in 1982, deemed a navigational hazard for shipping. From 1902 CP had run two passenger trains a day from Vancouver to Steveston, an established river port with up to 10,000 seasonal residents working in the 29 canneries. In 1905 BC Electric leased the line, and electrified it, running the ‘interurban’ that departed from Downtown, crossed the Kitsilano Trestle and in Vancouver stopped at Millside (4th Avenue), 9th Avenue (Broadway), Kerrisdale (41st), Magee, and Eburne, on the Fraser River, before crossing to Richmond.

In 1958 the trains were abandoned as BC Electric’s “Rails to Rubber” program converted most of the streetcar lines to trolley bus lines. To the west of the trestle, on the waterfront, there were the abandoned pilings of the wooden wharf used for Macdonald and Marpole’s coal shed and stables. Next door were the huge stone blocks of the Vancouver Granite Co, which had expanded into the area occupied by the Vancouver Marble and Tile Co. A S Allen’s stone contracting business shared the area as well as a paving contractor. On the other side of the trestle was a boat building yard, the Beach Avenue shipyards. Their first boats built here were the tugs ‘Edith’ and ‘Navvy Jack’ in 1907, but by the 1940s production was limited to scows, (large flat-bottomed barges with broad square ends used chiefly for transporting bulk materials). George Cates, originally from Nova Scotia, ran the Cates Shipyard here initially from around 1900. In 1902 he built the steamer, “Britannia” powered with a steam engine built in Glasgow by McKie and Baxter and equipped with reversible, plush covered pullman seats for the comfort of the day passengers. His brother, Captain John Cates owned land at Bowen Island where he built a picnic ground, and later a hotel. It was a family business – Miss Lillian Cates was co-owner of the Terminal Steamship Limited (and the sponsor of the launching of the “Britannia”). Captain W. Cates was the captain and Willard Cates was the engineer.

The Granville Bridge, seen in 1941 beyond the trestle, was the second to be built here. The first was constructed in 1889 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, running over the sandbar on the southern shore. Two years later it was widened for streetcar tracks, which narrowed to a single track where they crossed the opening swing span that was tied with wire ropes to a central wooden tower. It was replaced in 1909 with the bridge in the picture, mostly built of steel, with a through truss swing span which could be open for shipping on a central pivot. In 1915 four Germans were arrested after a fire broke out on the bridge that was thought to be an arson attack.

The present 8-lane bridge opened in 1954, designed to have the traffic capacity for a freeway system that was never built. It followed the alignment of the first bridge, but crossed Granville Island created in place of the sandbar (and just visible on the right of the picture). The bridge has recently had extensive seismic upgrades (that are costing a lot more than the original construction of $16.5m). Once complete a new bicycle crossing and wider sidewalk will be created on the west side of the bridge, while retaining six traffic lanes.

On the skyline the only building visible in 1941 is City Hall, completed in 1937 and located outside Downtown. Today there are offices along West Broadway and hospital buildings to the south, with more taller buildings likely in future as the SkyTrain is extended along Broadway and a new plan for the area increases permitted development density and encourages new higher density rental buildings.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 586-682


Posted 5 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Altered, False Creek

Beach Lodge – 1080 Gilford Street

This 1920s West End apartment was developed and built by Hugh A Warner, who hired E Evans & Sons to design the building in 1928, and spent $70,000 to build it. It was one of over 20 buildings Mr Warner constructed in a ten year period, with several in the West End but most in South Granville. We looked at some of Mr Warner’s history in greater detail in the post on the Plaza Apartments.

Originally Mr. Warner was a south London carpenter. His wife, Emily, died in 1909, and soon afterwards he moved to Canada with his 2-year-old daughter, Dorothy. In 1914 he remarried, also to Emily, and they had a daughter, Betty, in 1919.

This site had been addressed as 1100 Gilford, and had a substantial house built around 1907, initially occupied by Mrs. Charlotte Mackedie. In 1922 the entire contents of the house were sold at auction, (including a Karn piano, an Italian mandolin, and a Hotpoint electric vacuum sweeper). Three years later Mrs W A Allen sold off the contents of the home again. There was another piano, antique furnishings, and a grandfather clock. The house was advertised as Beach Lodge, with attractive suites and single rooms, but that only lasted a couple of years before Mr. Warner’s redevelopment.

The new Beach Lodge (seen in this undated Vancouver Public Library image) offered West Wind ventilating fans, and radios in every suite. Mr. Warner clearly didn’t hang onto his apartment building, (and probably didn’t make a huge profit, either). In 1931 it was sold to Mrs. Filtness by Mrs. Margaret Hall. The sales pitch to rent here in 1932 didn’t try too hard – it was advertised as ‘a satisfactory residence’. In the 1940s there were the usual stories of residents dying, getting married, or moving. Those types of story ended around 1949.

Through the 1950s into the 1970s it was hard to tell if this was an apartment building or a hotel. In the early 1950s it was described as having ‘fully furnished transient apartments’, and in 1958 it was the ‘Beach Lodge Apartment Hotel’. In 1963 it was briefly called ‘Beach Lodge Motel’ and in the 70s it was still available at daily, weekly or monthly rates, fully furnished, with a maid service.

In the past 35 or so years the building has returned to regular apartment rentals, in what is now a heritage building.


Posted 1 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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