Archive for the ‘East End’ Category

Hastings and Westminster Avenue

We’ve looked at this corner in a post we published several years ago, when it was newly occupied by the Carnegie Library, with the City Hall alongside. Here it is earlier, in 1895, before the library was built (from 1902 to 1904), or the City Hall role had commenced. In 1895, when this picture was taken, this was the city’s public market, with A M Beattie’s City Auction Mart on the corner.

Mr. Beattie’s office was where meetings of the Vancouver Cricket Club were held. He was clearly also active beyond the city. For reasons lost in the mists of time the Barrington News of Barrington, Illinois reported in 1894 that “A. M. BEATTIE, Hawaiian Consul, at Vancouver, B. C., appointed by President Dole, received his exequatur. This shows that Lord Roseberry has concluded to look upon the provisional government as a fixture.” Why Mr Beattie was appointed to the job was clarified a year earlier in an article from the Vancouver World, reproduced in the Hawaiian Star “A. M. Beattie has received notice of his appointment as Hawaiian consul for Vancouver The appointment comes from the Provisional Government and is signed by Sanford B. Dole as President. Mr. Beattie is going extensively into the purchase of Hawaiian fruits and other products, and with T. V. Harvey on the ground to do the buying, he is in a position to obtain the best goods, personally selected at the lowest price, and also to have the packing and shipping superintended, He disposed of a lot of his importations this time in Victoria and the Sound cities, but local merchants have preferred to buy from an outsider.”

Mr. Beattie was from Scotland, although his wife, Alice, was from the USA. Her father had been born in Quebec, and so were all three of the couple’s children in 1891, aged 10, 7 and 5. In the census Mr Beattie was shown as being 38, and Alice 30. They also had a domestic living with them, born in Nova Scotia. From the 1901 census we know that Mr. Beattie was called Archibald (although he seems to have favoured his initial and middle name, Murray). He had arrived in Canada when he was aged three, and his wife in 1868 when she was six. (She had lost two years of her age from the 1891 census, and was now aged 38). as well as daughters Frances, Edith and Kathleen, who were still at home, William Beattie, A M’s brother was living with them.

In 1895 the family’s home on Cordova had been hooked up to the city’s water system in 1889 by an earlier owner, Richard Cook, who managed the Foundry. The house had been first built in 1886, and was later occupied by Thomas Dunn, the hardware mogul and developer. Still standing today, it’s probably Vancouver’s oldest house. The family were well off, and Alice Beattie’s gorgeous evening cloak is now owned by the Museum of Vancouver.

Mr. Beattie’s death, in 1915, was reported in the Daily World, with a detailed biography. “DEATH COMES IN SUDDEN GUISE Mr. A. M. Beattie, Well-Known Citizen, Drops Dead in Collingwood East. While walking with a friend in Collingwood Last last night, Mr. A. M. Beattie, the well known local auctioneer, suddenly fell to the ground, and expired before assistance could be brought. Dr. Fuller of Central Park was called as quickly as possible, but pronounced him dead on arrival. Mr. Beattie has recently been taking an active interest in South Vancouver politics, and was in Collingwood arranging for a meeting which will be held tonight, when heart failure occurred. The body was removed to the city and Coroner Jeffs notified. but it is not thought that an inquest will be necessary.

There was no more familiar figure in Vancouver than Archibald Murray Beattie, who has resided here for more than thirty years, and had seen Vancouver grow from a little village of shacks to a big city. During the period of that growth Mr. Beattie was engaged as real, estate agent, land auctioneer and in other business capacities and In private business and public life he earned esteem and respect. Mr. Beattie was born In Dumfries, Scotland, on May 25, 1851, the year of the first great exhibition, which it was fondly hoped would inaugurate an era of world’s peace. He came of a fine old Scotch family, which had long been associated with the land, and he inherited the feeling of joy which he often expressed at seeing waste places made fruitful. Brought to Canada as a young boy, he was put to school at St. Francis College. Richmond, Quebec. His progress was rapid, his instincts commercial, and while still a young man he was in business as a general merchant, founding the firm of Beattie & Alexander. In 1886 Mr. Beattie sold his interest in this business and came to Vancouver, and as soon as he arrived here he was convinced of its great future.

As a land auctioneer he has realized millions of dollars for the government and for private corporations by the sale of lands, and as a business man and notary public he has had to do with many big deals, though he never despised “business,” however small – if “straight.” He was a Conservative and Imperialist. When the Marquis of Lome, afterwards Duke of Argyle. was governor – general, A. M. Beattie was in command of the Richmond Field Artillery. He was frequently pressed to enter the political arena, but the only office he held was that of consul for the Hawaiian Islands. This office he held from 1892 to 1895. He was a member of the Anglican church, attending St. James, and he was much attached to the late Father Clinton. He was an active and popular member of the Masonic order. Before he left Richmond, Quebec, Mr. Beattie married Miss Alice H. Rollins, daughter of Mr. George Robbins, an official of the Grand Trunk Railway. His widow survives him

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives City P6

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Posted September 18, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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City Hall – Westminster Avenue

The City of Vancouver’s first purpose-built City Hall was wooden, built on Powell Street near Water Street, and expanded in 1888. Here’s the second location, on Westminster Avenue – today’s Main Street. To the south when this 1930s image was taken, was the Market Hall, and to the north the Carnegie Library. Sansom and Dawson won the commission to design this building in 1889 – but not as the City Hall. They were designing the new City Market, which occupied the building until 1898 when the City Council decided it would suit their purposes better as offices.

The market was moved quite a bit further south, by the bridge to Mount Pleasant (as False Creek went all the way to close to Clark Drive in those days). It didn’t do well in such a relatively isolated location and was moved back here some years later. Here’s a 1908 image from the same angle showing the side of the hall before the market returned.

The city didn’t get round to another location for their offices for 30 years, finding their quarters increasingly cramped over the years as the city grew, and the administrative functions with it. Finally, in the mid 1920s, they leased the Holden Block, an office ‘tower’ (for its day) on West Hastings, and after extensive alterations to add a Council Chamber, they relocated, only to move again to the present City Hall in 1936.

Today there’s a modest two storey building, first built in 1959 and altered in 1979. It’s no doubt a good candidate for redevelopment in future.

Image source: City of Vancouver archives CVA 447-298 and Vancouver Public Library

Posted September 14, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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31 West Pender Street

Here’s the Pender Hotel in 1977, although at that time it was called the Wingate Hotel. Today it has a new name, Skwachays Lodge, and it’s effectively a new building. It was first a new building in 1913 when it was called the Palmer Rooms and it was an investment property designed by W T Whiteway for Storey and Campbell. They were owners of a manufacturing company making saddles, harnesses and trunks, with a new warehouse and manufacturing building just up the street on Beatty Street. We looked at the owners of the company when we described the history of that building.

This was a $40,000 investment, which was only a fraction of the budget that the same architect had three years earlier for the World Building, (today known as the Sun Tower), just across the street. Whiteway still managed to add some fancy architectural details in terra cotta with some elaborate pressed metal work on the cornice. Structurally the building wasn’t sophisticated – steel columns supporting millwork floors. In 1946 it was acquired by Lai Hing, who lived in the building and operated his hotel business under the Wingate Hotel name for over 30 years.

More recently it was acquired by B C Housing, one of over 20 SRO buildings that were bought to stabilize the stock of older, cheaper rental space, and to improve the state of the buildings, both structurally and in terms of facilities. After years of neglect (and with some harrowing stories of former activities in the building), the Pender Hotel was the only one found to be beyond repair. Instead a completely new building was constructed in 2012 behind the original (and now seismically stable) façade. Joe Wai, who designed the adjacent native housing building to the east, was the architect.

Today the building is run by the Vancouver Native Housing Society, and provides 24 housing units for artists and 18 hotel rooms, each one designed by first nations artists on a specific theme with names like the Hummingbird, the Moon and the Northern Lights suite. They’re available for first nations medical stay guests as well as tourists. As a social enterprise, the hotel needed at least 50% occupancy, but initially that wasn’t being achieved. The idea of adding the themes made all the difference, and now the hotel is recognized around the world and in high demand. As well as the first nations designed rooms there’s a sweat lodge on the roof, as well as a totem pole called ‘Dreamweaver’, carved by Francis Horne Sr, and a Haida designed screen by Eric Parnell as well as a Fair Trade Gallery at street level.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1135-19

Posted August 17, 2017 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End, Victory Square

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159 East Hastings Street

Our previous post looked at the Dawson Building (for the second time) on the corner of Main and Hastings. It’s a substantial office (now residential) building, completed in 1911. As it is located close to where the city was founded, it wasn’t the first building here. Our 1898 image shows the building that was there before the office. The numbers associated with the buildings on East Hastings have changed, (so today 159 E Hastings is the Balmoral Hotel, several buildings to the west of here), but as far as we can tell this was a fairly new building when it was photographed.

At that time this was the home of the Scotch Bakery, who perhaps surprisingly, according to the delivery wagon, used Ogilvie’s Hungarian Flour. It turns out that this isn’t a reference to where the flour came from. Rather, the Ogilvie Flour Mill, built in 1881 in Winnipeg (the first flour mill in western Canada) was fitted with the latest equipment, using the “Hungarian process” that combined stone and gradual reduction rollers to grind grain into previously unattainable fine flours. For just one year, 1899, James S Morrison was the baker and confectioner running the Scotch Bakery here. A year later the same James S Morrison was a driver for Dominion Express, and seems to have left the city by the end of 1901.

As he wasn’t a resident in the city (as far as we can be sure) for any of the census dates, we don’t know anything about Mr. Morrison, although it would be nice to think he might have been from Scotland. A bakery continued to be located here once he had gone, but it changed frequently. Wilkinson, Gardiner & Co had their bakery here in 1901. Trudgeon & Poulson’s shoemakers were located next door. A year later Adams & Farrant, bakers had moved in, and in 1905 the City Bakery, run by Adulf Mahrstedt was here. H Jago took over a year later, and in 1980 J P Morgan was running the bakery. In 1909 and 1910 the bakery became the Silver Medal Bakery, run by H C Lucas. (There was no Gold Medal Bakery in the city that year). The bakery here closed when George Dawson developed his office building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str P4

Posted July 24, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

Dawson Building – 375 Main Street (2)

George Dawson developed this building on the corner of Main and Hastings in 1911, and we first looked at its history in 2012. At that time we looked at the background of the builder and ‘architect’, Bedford Davidson. We didn’t really examine the background of the man who paid the $180,000 to develop it. George was not a cannery agent as described in the Historic Building Statement; rather, as Dawson & Buttimer, George was an active owner and developer of canneries. Fred Buttimer (actually Alfred) was his younger brother-in-law, and briefly, when the 1911 census was conducted, the two families were sharing a house on Burnaby Street while the Buttimer’s were waiting for their new house to be completed.

They both came from New Brunswick, and George looked after the books and sales, while Fred managed the production. Fred was said to be short, quiet and even tempered, while George was large, distinguished looking and generally silent unless aroused to fury – which was said to occur quite often. In 1893 with their partner George Wilson they acquired their first cannery, in Steveston, which they called Brunswick #1. Their second, Brunswick Cannery #2. was opened in 1897 at Canoe Pass in Delta. Brunswick #3 was in the Rivers Inlet District. They sold all three canneries to the B C Packer’s Association in 1902.

In 1903, now as Buttimer and Dawson, (or Dawson and Buttimer – there was no consistency to the company name) they established a new cannery on Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island (which they sold to Wallace Fisheries in 1911). In 1905 they bought a cannery on Harlock Island, opposite Steveston, a year later they built the Kildala Cannery in Rivers Inlet, described in the New Westminster Daily News as being constructed with the aid of “an immense pile-driver”, and then in 1907 another called the Manitou Cannery in Northern BC. The also bought the Carlisle Cannery on the Skeena River in 1905. B C Packers were unhappy with the increased completion, especially as part of the agreement to buy the Brunswick Company in 1902 suggested that Buttimer and Dawson would not compete. Not only did they compete; they did it with the money B C Packers had paid them for their earlier investments.

George Dawson was from Bathurst, married to Vina Buttimer, 16 years younger, and they had one son, David. We haven’t found a great deal about George, although his marriage was noted in the Times Colonist in 1895. For some reason it took place in Winnipeg “George W. Dawson, canner, of Vancouver, was wedded here today to Miss Vina Buttimer, of Bathurst, N. B. who had journeyed half way across the continent to meet her lover.” There are almost no references to George’s involvement in civic life, although know he was involved in local politics because he was the seconder nominating Walter Hepburn when he stood for the 1916 election for mayor. (Hepburn wasn’t elected). George died in 1935, aged 83. Vina lived on until 1965, when she was 96.

Alfred Buttimer (and we suspect George Dawson) continued to be involved in the fishing industry until 1925, when their remaining cannery interests were sold to B.C. Packers. Alfred devoted his time to Vancouver real estate, and died in 1934.

In 1940, when our image was taken, this was still an office building. It stayed as offices until 1985, when it was converted to residential use, designed by Adolph Ingre and Associates. Today it’s non-market rental housing run by the Affordable Housing Society.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu P296

Posted July 20, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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300 block Main Street – east side

This 1951 image shows a series of buildings soon to come to the end of their existence. In 1953 Townley and Matheson’s Public Safety Building was completed where the earlier structures had stood. While the adjacent addition of the Public Safety Building was completed a year later, and was supposedly designed by Dawson and Hall (if you believe the Heritage Statement for the building), there’s an architects illustration in the Archives that suggests it was all designed as a single project and was all the work of Townley and Matheson; Dawson & Hall were a construction company, so that was presumably who built it.

The buildings that were replaced were built over a number of years. The 2-storey corner building pre-dated 1900, and we haven’t identified the developer. The largest building on the block was once the location of the Hotel Blackburn, then the Blackburn House Hotel and was later converted and renamed as the Lanning Apartments. Next door was a more ornate building, completed as the Star Theatre in 1921.

Albert E Blackburn had operated a hotel here from 1900. Before that he ran the Russ House on Powell Street. He was from an Irish protestant family, and born in Ontario (in 1854), where his wife, Aggie (who was three years younger) was also born. The couple almost needed a hotel just for their family; in 1901 there were 9 children at home, 6 girls and 3 boys, aged 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, and 19 years. The family had moved around quite a bit; the oldest children (still at home) were born in the United States, then the next in Ontario, then in British Columbia, three in the US again (in Seattle), and the youngest in British Columbia.

In 1908 the Blackburn Hotel reopened, ‘entirely rebuilt and refurbished’ with steam heat piped to the ‘commodious rooms’. We haven’t traced a permit for the architect of the new hotel, but the rebuild cost $16,000 and the owners then were shows as ‘Boyd & Clendenning’ although we believe they were just the contractors at this point, not the owners. Patrick Gunn pinned down when the rebuild occurred: in July 1907 the Daily World reported “Mr. A.E. Blackburn’s request to be allowed to put up a corrugated iron building for temporary use while the Blackburn hotel is being remodeled could not be complied with as it would be a breach of the building bylaws.” In 1909 rooms on the European Plan could cost as little as 75c a night. A 1913 advertisement, when Mr. Blackburn was still in charge, noted the hotel’s convenient location for Orangemen – the Orange Headquarters were only a block away.

In 1914 Albert was appointed the Province as an Election Commissioner, and had given up his ownership of his hotel, selling it to what the Daily World referenced as ‘Boyd and Clendenning’. In fact, the new owners were Boyd & Clandening; Thomas Boyd, originally from Nova Scotia, and James Clandening from Ontario. The partnership had cleared much of the city, working on contract for both the railway company and the City Council. They cleared Granville street in 1886, worked on the Stanley Park road in 1888 and also on bridges, including the Westminster Avenue bridge. They also helped construct the BC Electric line to Cloverdale and in 1908 the Seymour Creek waterworks.

Invariably Mr. Clandening’s name was wrongly reported; in newspapers, in contracts, in the minutes of the City Council, and in the street directories. The Census however reported the correct spelling in 1901, identifying James, aged 62 with Eliza, his wife who was 17 years younger, and their children Nellie, Norma and Gordon. As early as 1898 (when the street directory managed to spell his name correctly) Mr. Clandening had owned part of the site, basing his contracting business here. At that time there was a grocer’s shop on the corner of Cordova and Westminster Avenue (Main Street) and Gordon Drysdale had his ‘People’s Store’ alongside. In 1903 Drysdale moved his business to Hastings Street and later to new premises that he built on Granville Street. Mr Clandening had first come to British Columbia during the Cassiar gold rush of 1873, but returned west before working on Vancouver Island helping build the E & N Railway in 1884 (when he had a crew of 60 working for him).

Thomas Boyd arrived in BC in 1883, in New Westminster, and helped build the Crow’s Nest Pass for the railway, and before that the Eagle Pass wagon road to help railway construction. He married in 1893, and had two daughters, one who died as a baby. Thomas had another simultaneous partnership, as Boyd and McWhinnie, and they had hired the same architects to build another substantial hotel quite close to here in 1911. He owned that property with Mr. McWhinnie as early as 1886.

In 1914 the partners hired Honeyman and Curtis to totally rebuild the site of the Blackburn Hotel, spending $75,000 and hiring J J Franz to construct the building described as ‘apartments, rooms, 4-storey concrete hotel’. However, it doesn’t look like they followed through, as out 1951 image shows the 1908 brick building still standing. They retained the Balckburn name, and Albert Blackburn was still shown as proprietor in 1916, although Harry Todd was managing the property. In 1918 they spent another $4,500 converting it to apartments, again hiring Honeyman and Curtis for the design work. Initially called the McDonald Apartments, it very quickly switched to the Lanning Apartments, a name it retained until demolition in the early 1950s.

In 1921 they hired the same architects to build on the plot to the south. This time the spent $20,000 to build “Miscellaneous; New; Picture Theatre; 49-ft frontage, 120-ft long; brick & tile with tar & gravel roof; provision made for two small stores on either side of theatre entrance; seating capacity of 450”.

The theatre was run by Mrs Annie Graham, who had been running the Star Theatre on the opposite side of the street since the mid 1910s. Before that it was run by Wilson and Allen, but Mrs. Graham made it a success and wanted to both expand and improve the theatre. When the owners were unwilling to invest, she presumably persuaded Boyd and Clandening to construct a new movie theatre, which continued in use until the 1953 redevelopment. Although her ambitions were for a 600 seat theatre, the new Star had 449 seats. The previous theatre space never reopened as a movie theatre.

Albert Blackburn died of a heart attack in Seattle in 1921, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery. James Clandening died in 1927, aged around 90, and was also buried in Mountain View. Thomas Boyd died in 1938, aged 81, and was interred in the same cemetery.

Today the former police building is getting a complete makeover as an incubator for tech startup companies.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1399-100.jpg

1025 Main Street

“Morrow Coal and Ice. Co.” first appear at this location (initially 1027 and then 1025 Main Street) in 1924 . Their motto, over the entrance was the punning ‘Phone TO MORROW For Your COAL TO-DAY’. The yard in 1922 was owned by Alberta Pacific Coals Ltd and Kirk & Co’s Yard #2, with A L Amiel at 1029 Main.

Alfred Amiel emigrated to Vancouver from Deal, Kent, England in 1902. He worked as a teamster for Vancouver Ice and Cold Storage Company c. 1908-1910, before becoming the manager of the Almond Ice Company, manufacturers of ice. The company history says that by 1914, Amiel was the proprietor of the company. In 1915, he opened the Amiel Ice & Fuel Company at 406 E Pender Street. The following year, the company moved to 1024 Main Street next to the Almond Ice Company. This part of the story isn’t quite accurate; in 1915 the street directory shows the Almond Ice Co on West Pender (at #406) next to the Almond Ice Cream Co, owned by H E Almond (at 400). Mr. Amiel was the owner of the Almond Ice Co at 1025 Main. In 1917 the company became a coal and ice company, run by A L Amiel. Before Amiel’s move here the site was home to the Main Horse Repository.

The company history says William Morrow purchased the Amiel Ice & Fuel Company in 1922 after original owner Alfred Lewis Amiel went bankrupt. That year the street directory shows Morrow Ice Co and the Alberta Coal Co (owned by William Morrow) sharing this yard. (However, in 1923 Amiel was still shown in business at 1029 Main St, although that might be an error, as he actually stayed on working for Morrow as retail manager of the ice company). William Morrow was the manager until his death in 1930 when G.A. Strickland took over, and Myldred Morrow, William’s widow, was president. By 1935, William and Myldred’s son William J.T. Morrow was the manager and his mother remained the company president. In 1967 William became the president and the business moved to 1251 Charles St. In 1978 a second location is given at 745 W. 54th Ave which then was no longer listed after 1985. Wm Jorgensen became president in 1988 and the business closed the same year.

We can find Myldred Morrow’s death certificate from 1970, so we know she was born in Melborne, Australia, in 1885, and that her father was James Tyrell. He husband was William Bradshaw Morrow, born in Ireland and dying in 1930, aged only 47. In the 1911 census he was lodging in Vancouver Mansions, and a year later in the St James Rooms on Granville Street, working at a sheet metal works. Just before he took over the Alberta Coal Co he was running the Alberta Woodyard.

By 1931, when this Stuart Thomson image was taken, they had ’15 Trucks to Serve You’, and their yard was on a finger of filled land with a wharf to the west. Today you can buy a laser-cut HO scale model of their coal dock, built by Fairbanks Co. The company specialized in lifting bucket mechanisms used to empty the  hoppers. The coal dock was used to fill coal sacks for delivery to retail customers, usually on flat bed trucks. Coal was unloaded into the hopper type building, then dispensed through a number of chutes.

The truck seen here is a pre-1927 Stewart, built in Buffalo, New York, by a company that existed from 1912 to 1941. Morrow’s also owned at least one Ford truck, shot in almost exactly the same image configuration as this one, also in 1931.

Today this is the retail and non-market housing component of Citygate, the high-density housing project built over twenty years from the early 1990s after the site had been part of Expo 86.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-4147

Posted July 10, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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