About   34 comments

This blog features before and after photographs, mostly from the Vancouver Archives, BC Archives and Vancouver Public Library collections. The older images are all in the public domain. It’s a companion blog to the Changing City blog which tracks contemporary development projects in Vancouver BC. We also blog at What Was There Before,  that looks at before and after of recent buildings, and buildingvancouver a blog that looks at who built some of the heritage buildings that are still standing in the city.

We generally try to post a couple of images each week, and anticipate that will continue in future. Because of the volume of spam blogs can generate, and the nature of the blog, we’re not intending to add a comment opportunity, except here. If you want to point out any errors or suggest additions we’ll contact you if we can incorporate your material, and we always acknowledge your help in the post.

We are very happy to try to use any historic family pictures that you have of Vancouver that you’d like to see here. Obviously we’ll acknowledge the source of the original images.

Posted December 25, 2011 by ChangingCity

34 responses to “About

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  1. Thank you so much for this new blog. I am a native Vancouverite, age 52, so this is just wonderful for me.

  2. Nice nice work!

  3. First of all .. Congratulations on this wonderful blog!
    Would love to see the original hotel at the corner of Main and Georgia ( Now the London Pub).

  4. Thank you for this series, one per day. Clicking on a new one makes a great start to my day.

    • You’re welcome – we can’t guarantee to keep that pace up for much longer, but we should get two up every week for a while longer.

      • You might have some fun with the WordPress Before and After slider. I just installed it on a site, and found the plugin and their support excellent.

  5. Wonderful sight, My wife used to work at H. A. Bordgerson Ship Chandler company (41 Alexander St.) right across from the Europe Hotel in gas town…In those days you could walk around gas town without ever worrying about your safety 24/7 In fact she use to carry many thousands of dollars in a brown paper bag to the bank over on E.Hastings st….. (Can’t do that today…) keep up the good work I will be sending some others to look….

  6. Great Site–can I add a footnote?

    The date you give for the closing of the Sears in Harbour Centre (1980) didn’t seem right to me–in fact it seemed way, way, off–so I did a fact check search on Google;
    Hastings and Richards
    (…. the Harbour Centre redevelopment by WZMH including a Simpsons Sears store which closed in 1980 …)

    “The struggling Harbour Centre Store in Vancouver closed its doors on New Year’s Eve. (1987)”

    Craig D LangBay BC
  7. Thank you. Love this! I am 3rd generation Vancouverite and my great grandfather was mayor way back. Wondering if someone can steer me to where I could find a photo (if one exists) of 1428 Robson Street back around 1900 – 1920 – ish.

    Heather Lapierre
  8. The South East corner of Hastings and Gore was a Canada Safeway for many years up until maybe the mid 70’s. And the lot you questioned was the parking lot as it is in the produce store snapshot.
    Great blog.

  9. I’m curious if you have ever seen a picture of the Minit Man car wash that operated on Robson street in the 1970’s and 80’s up until Expo 86? Seems that area of Robson at that time is not well documented and I have yet to find a picture anywhere.

    • We haven’t seen it as it isn’t available online, but the Vancouver Public Library apparently have one of Burrard from near Haro that included the car wash twenty years earlier.

      VPL Accession Number: 82320
      Date: 1953
      Photographer/Studio: Artray
      Content: Photo series
      Copyright Restrictions: Vancouver Public Library Copyright

  10. Interesting to see this post and blog, as I was researching some old Stock Certificates for the Wong Kung Har Tong Company that I found, dated 1924
    there is a picture of the building and staff sitting in front of the building on the Certificate Looks as good today, from your pictures posted here

    if anyone can tell me more about these certificates or interest in them, I would appreciate hearing from you

    cheers to all and early wishes for a Happy Chinese New Year

  11. Really nice bolg!
    Thanks for doing this.
    Do you have something about the Trounce Alley (Blood Alley) in Gastown?

  12. A great site! Brings back many memories. I was born in 1931 and lived up near 30th and Main until I went off to join the U.S. Marines in 1952. How many times have I been on the number 3 streetcar! Wasn’t the police station on Main, just north of library (and the museum on the top floor)? Also on the west side of Main in the blocks north of Hastings were storefront Gypsy establishments. My mother warned me to never go near them, or else I would be kidnapped — or worse! Does anyone know anything about the Ivanhoe Hotel as it was in 1927?

  13. Great Blog!

    Any plans on researching the Desrosiers Block at 6 E. Hastings? Desrosiers is a family name and I’m curious to see if I have a connection to the original owner of the building.

    • We’ll see what we can do in a couple of weeks. Spoiler alert – it said to be Michael Desrosiers, a tinsmith – but that’s not completely accurate.

  14. How do I sign up for updates by e-mail. I prefer that method over RSS, which never seems to work for me.

  15. The work and effort you put into this site is heroic! For many years I have admired the young history of our city but I have felt that little has been done in the background of the buildings, urban landscapes and the depiction of where things stand today – through social media and in books. Until I came across this site, you have brought faith and further interest in bringing awareness and education to the history of Vancouver. Detail info and picture perfect angles of sites s truly an effort worth calling inspirational. Thanks so much!

  16. Thank you so much for this! I am super fascinated going through these posts, keep up the great work.
    Do you happen to do architectural tours (I know the AIBC does some)? How can I support this blog?

  17. Your Feb 25, 2019 post refers to them in 1921 living in Point Grey (on Granville St) – was Point Grey defined differently then? Someone challenged me on my FB post. Cheers.

  18. The southwest corner of Homer and Robson was the headquarters of Yellow Cab until about 1983-84 – I was hired as a driver there in 1981 and changed over to Blacktop when Yellow moved to Vernon Drive. The Chevron station was “The Pumps” and administration offices were above the garage, along with a rooftop parking lot.

  19. It is an interested but somewhat incorrect read on Granville Island. In the mid 1960’s a small group of like minded entrepreneurs started the redevelopment of Granville Island. Bud Jones, Mitch Taylor, Gary Anderson and Eric Weiser bought out the leases from the Harbour’s Board of four buildings on the north side of the island just to the west of Ocean Concrete and directly under the Granville Street Bridge. They also renovated the building that now hosts the Keg and the building where the Granville Island Brewery currently is. They were followed by other like minded entrepreneurs like John Keith King who started the redevelopment of the Maritime Market and others. When the Federal Government saw how successful they were in their efforts they allocated $28,000,000 to do the Net Loft and the Public Market in the mid 1970 – almost ten years later. Norm Hotson and his partner deserve a lot of credit for the work they did to bring a harmonized vision to Granville Island – however the credit for starting the revitalization of the island rests solely with the entrepreneurs who came much earlier and who invested their time and money years before. The part of Granville Island’s history seems to be relegated to oblivion more and more these days – and its really sad to see it happening.

  20. In regards the the Stettler Cigar Factory at 418 West Georgia Street. The lawsuit of Mr. Carder was eventually thrown out. The judge essentially ruled that there was no evidence that Mr. Carder had been promised shares in the company.

    Also. It appears the building has been torn down.
    Thank you for your posts on the building. I research Stettler and your page was a great find. You folks do great work.

  21. In regards to 620 Main Street — Tosi Building– the website has been updated and is now pointing to this website for information on the origin and construction of the Tosi & Co. Store in 1930

  22. Whoops, Shamrock Rooms is 635 E. Hastings.
    Thanks for your wonderful work!

  23. The Advance Cab in front of the Guinness Tower dates the photo to late ’80s – Advance dissolved & the licenses went over to Yellow and Blacktop before 1990.

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