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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