Archive for the ‘Gone’ Category

28 Powell Street

In this 1931 image these were the premises of Henry Darling & Son Ltd. Henry had been in Vancouver from 1891, and his business was founded in 1902. He was born in New Zealand in 1863 (although the 1911 census seems to have inaccurately recorded him as much older). He trained in London, England as a marine engineer, and worked subsequently for a steamship company based in British India. He settled down quickly in Vancouver – a year after his arrival the local newspaper recorded the theft of some valuable ornamental trees from his newly-established garden.

During his early years in Vancouver Henry was appointed Superintendent and Manager of the Union Steamship Company, and also General Manager of the British Yukon Navigation Co. The Union Steamship Co had been founded in 1889 by New Zealander John Darling – Henry’s father – with Captain William Webster. John Darling was a former Director and General Superintendent of the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand. Both the name of the Canadian company and the colours of the funnels were borrowed from that company, founded by taking over the three tugs already operated by the Burrard Inlet Towing Company.

Henry’s role was to expand the fleet of the Union Steamship Co by adding three new vessels, the Comox, Capilano and Coquitlam. They were built in Glasgow, shipped in pieces to Vancouver, and then assembled and finished at Coal Harbour. The S.S. Comox was built by J. McArthur & Co. at Glasgow, Scotland, and assembled in 1891. She was 101 feet long and 18 feet wide, equipped with a compound steam engine, and was the first steel ship launched in British Columbia. >In 1919, she was owned by the ‘Vancouver Machinery Depot’ for breakup, but a year later she headed south; she was rebuilt and renamed the ‘Alejandro’ for the Mexican coast trade. In 1927, she was owned by the ‘Cal–Mex Line’.

The S. S. Capilano was built in the same year as the Comox, and was slightly larger at 157 registered tons. In the mid-1890s, the Capilano transported stone from quarries on Nelson Island and elsewhere to Victoria, to be used in the construction of the new provincial Legislature buildings. On July 22, 1897, the S.S. Capilano, with a full load of passengers, cattle and horses aboard, became the first steamer from Vancouver to take part in the Klondike gold rush, shipping men and supplies to Dyea and Skagway, Alaska. The ship foundered in the northern Strait of Georgia on October 1, 1915, and today forms the Capilano Shipwreck provincial heritage site. The S.S. Coquitlam, launched in 1892, lasted the longest afloat in BC waters; she was retired in 1923.

In 1892 Henry Darling married Mary, in Glasgow, and she moved with him to Vancouver. They had six children, and lived in the West End. Henry’s business on Powell Street was as a wholesale dealer in paints, oils and varnishes, but when he started out in business on his own he was listed as being at 18 Powell street, and he was a Marine Surveyor and Shipping Broker. By 1906 he had added manufacturer’s agent to his role and was at this address, advertising his paint and varnish business from early 1906, so the building was probably built around 1905. We haven’t been able to identify the architect or builder of the premises.

In 1993 a six storey 25 unit strata building called Powell Lane was completed, designed by Rositch Hemphill & Associates.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives City N5.

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Posted July 30, 2018 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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West Pender and Howe Street – nw corner (2)

We looked at this short-lived retail store in an earlier post when it was occupied by Dunlop tire dealer Norman Tullis, about a year before this picture was taken, late in 1918. A year later in this Stuart Thomson image, the Auto Supply Co had replaced the tire store. They sold Dirigo oils and greases, as well as Premium gasoline. We wondered how this was achieved, then we realized that the single gas pump was actually embedded in the sidewalk, as this detail from the image shows. The Rapid Delivery truck is refueling outside the store, and the board on the sidewalk politely requests that other motorists refrain from parking in that spot. H B Nielsen was managing the business, in a modest building that we think was probably developed by D A MacDonald – there’s a 1914 permit for over $3,000 of repairs where Mr MacDonald was owner, architect and builder. The Dirigo Sulphur and Oil Co appears to have been based in Maine, so the oil travelled a long way to Vancouver.

Next door at 429 Howe the Double Tread Tire Co run by William J Bartle was in operation. The next year F C Roberts was running the business, but by 1921, while the Auto Supply Co were still in business, the tire store had become the Mac & Mac Tire Repair Co. Rupert Parkinson was the vulcanizer, and Margaret Barten the clerk, but there’s no mention in the street directory of who either of the Macs were. In 1922 Herman B Neilson was still managing the Auto Supply Co, and next door Auto Electric Co run by E Marshall and V Holman had replaced the tire business.

In our previous post from five years ago, the Stock Exchange block that’s now on the site, designed by Townley and Matheson and completed in 1929, was awaiting the construction of the Exchange Tower – a contemporary office building incorporated into the heritage building. Today it’s completed, and the corner retail unit is now a Swiss chocolate store. (The project was designed by a Swiss architect for a Swiss developer). The remainder of the heritage part of the building is soon to open as the Exchange Hotel.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-624

Posted July 23, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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519 Hamilton Street

Here’s the Hamilton Hotel seen in our 1978 image. If you believe the internet, it appears to still have a phone number and a Facebook page, despite being demolished for the construction of BC Hydro’s support building which was completed in 1992. The new building was leased to the Customs Office when we shot the ‘after’ image a while ago, although they have now moved. The older building was actually vacant even earlier – the Vancouver Archives have a picture from 1974 captioned “Image shows the now vacant premises of the Hamilton Hotel (515-517 Hamilton Street, City of Vancouver Social Services Department single men’s housing)”.

The building dated back to 1907 when the upper floor was first operated as Roccabella furnished rooms, operated by Esther Carmichael, the widow of John. Downstairs was the wholesale confectionery business of the Gavin Brothers, (F J Gavin, G D Gavin and L H Leigh) who seemed to have been the developers as it was known as the Gavin Building, and was identified as ‘new’ in 1908. Grant and Henderson were the designers. In 1911 the rooms became the Edina Rooms, with half a dozen tenants but no identified proprietor or manager. The Gavin business wasn’t just a wholesaling operation; there were several employees, at least one of whom was identified as a candymaker.

The family had moved from Scotland around 1888; Duncan Gavin was accompanied by three sons, Francis and George, who ran the candy company in Vancouver, and Alexander who was a bookkeeper at the Hastings Mill. In the 1891 Canada census the family were in Broadview, a town east of Regina, then part of the Northwest Territories and today in Saskatchewan. When they first arrived in Vancouver in 1894 Duncan Gavin was already retired, and he died in 1901. Francis Gavin married in 1904, worked until 1935 and died in 1955. George married in 1903 and later lived in Burnaby and became a bookkeeper with Martin & Robertson Ltd. He died in 1928 when he was hit by a BC Electric streetcar at Hastings Street at Lillooet Street, and is buried in New Westminster.

By 1919 the name of the rooms had changed again, this time to the Rubell Rooms. Gavin’s were now F Gavin and H Leigh, and had moved to East Pender, and Gibbs & Jackson, who were contractors, Hygiene Products Ltd and the Vancouver Jewel Case Co operated on the main floor of this building. By 1930 these were known as the Garland Rooms, with an engraver and a dye works among the main floor tenants. Hygiene Products Ltd were still here, occupying the rear of the premises and wholesaling toothbrushes and toothpaste in the space where the candymaking had once taken place. From before 1940 these were the Beechmont Rooms, with the Dye Works still operating alongside McLean magazine and Macfadden Publications and the Vancouver News Agency.

Posted July 19, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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834 to 846 Thurlow Street

It looks as if these three houses may have been built by the same builder. Their condition in this 1974 image was pretty good considering that they had been standing for 80 years. The first two appear around 1894 in the street directory – although they could have been there a year longer. Their first occupants included W Crickmay and E B Welsh, but there were no numbers associated with the buildings. A year later we have H St.John Wright at 834 (the house on the corner of the lane, on the left), F G Monserat in 846, on the right, and there’s another house on the block on the corner of Haro (off the picture to the right) with George Robinson living there.

840 Thurlow, the house in middle appeared in 1895, with E Atkinson living in it. W Patterson had moved into 846. 840 and 846 saw several changes of tenant, but Mr. Wright stayed at 834 for many years. In 1899 David Hunter moved into 840, and he also stayed for several years. In 1902 only 846 had a new occupant: D A Grant, a post office clerk, (who replaced a family called Grace who were there in 1901).

We weren’t confident that we had found the Wright family in the 1901 census, and the street directory never stated where Henry St.John Wright’s was employed. His son, Henry Wright was living at home in 1894 and was a clerk with Scott and Hughes, auctioneers, and in 1896 with J S Rankin & Co, also auctioneers. Another son, R F Wright was a clerk with R W Armstrong, a barrister. By 1902 Richard F Wright had become a linesman, and M J Wright, a clerk was also living at the same address with both Henry Wrights. That suggests that Henry Wright was listed in the census as Harry Wright. He arrived in Canada in 1893 from Ireland and was a land agent aged 62. There’s just one reference to anybody called Henry St.John Wright who an Irish land agent. He was on a jury in 1867, and he lived in Killeena in Skibbereen. Harry’s wife was Olhelia, 55, and three children were shown; son Richard, 20, a clerk, daughter Marcia who was 18, and 15-year-old son Monsarrat, also a clerk. Henry (or Harry) junior wasn’t noted (in 1901).

By 1906 the family had moved on, to Barclay Street, and Wilfred Huston identified in the street directory rather cryptically as ‘pianos’, had moved into their old home. David Hunter, a clerk was still at 840 and David Grant was still at 846. David Hunter was also from Ireland, aged 40 in 1901, with his 31-yea-old wife Minnie, from Ontario and their children Erskine, 9 and Browne, 7.

The houses saw many families come and go, and a complete list would be exhausting. In 1980 a residential and commercial project called City View was built here by Qualico Developments, with the commercial element fronting Thurlow.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-443

Posted July 16, 2018 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

Dunsmuir and Howe – nw corner

We’ve looked at the other three corners of this intersection in previous posts, including the Angelus Hotel which once stood on the south east corner. This 1936 image shows Angelus Confectionery on the opposite corner to where the hotel was built (in 1912), so presumably the store borrowed the name of the hotel. The store was identified as being run that year by Antigoni Gogoras. A Gogoras had been shown running the business in 1929, and Miss E Gogoras in 1930 and again in 1938 (assuming Miss E A Gogoras is the same person). By that time it was a restaurant, known as the Angelus Dairy. In 1935 W Gogoras was running the confectionery store.

We can guess that the family name is Greek, as there was a Greek family recorded as Gougowras in the census, but identified as William Gogoras in the street directory. He who ran a grocers business in the city in the 1920s, but appointed a receiver to wind up the business in 1923. Basil Gogoras was born in Greece in 1870, and died in Vancouver in 1944. His father was Anastasios Gogoras, and his wife, Mary, also born in Greece died in 1980, aged 92. They had a daughter, Kaliopi. We also found Ethel Gogoras, from Vancouver, who married John MacGowan, and in 1930 had a daughter born close to Vancouver in Sedro Wooley, in Washington.

By 1951 the Angelus Café was run by S L Miloff, with the entrance on Howe Street, and Angelus Confectionery still existed nearby on Dunsmuir, run by W Kaltsatos.

The house was very old – it’s clearly shown on the 1889 insurance map. It looks as if John Clements, listed as an architect, (but described as a ‘well known builder and contractor’ in the newspaper of the day) may have lived here in 1890, across the street from a better known architect, William Blackmore. Mr. Clements built many buildings for the CPR, and was supervising a new station when he died in 1896, in North Bend. The Daily World noted at the time ‘He did considerable contracting in the way of station building on the C.P.R. and was sometimes spoken of as foreman on construction of buildings.’ He was from Newfoundland And Labrador, (although one census record shows Ontario), and in 1880 was living in San Francisco. We don’t know if he built the house for himself, but that seems possible.

Today there’s a 14 storey office building dating back to 1976.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str N284

Posted July 9, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Angelus Hotel – Dunsmuir & Howe se corner

This 1912 hotel was swallowed up in the construction of the Pacific Centre Mall in 1974, so this 1972 image must show it very soon before it was demolished. Sitting on the corner of Dunsmuir and Howe, it was designed by Parr Mackenzie and Day and resembles a number of other hotels from that era in this area of Downtown. When Thomas Fee and John Parr finally parted company in 1912 after designing hundreds of Vancouver buildings, Parr took two new partners and continued working with them for several years, although the economic downtown and then the First World War saw work dry up across the city.

E J Ryan built the $145,000 building, described as ‘apartments/rooms; four-storey mill construction store and rooms building’. W J Bowser and G I Wilson were the developers. They owned several properties, with other buildings on Granville, Seymour and Hastings. They continued to own this property, hiring hired Sidney Eveleigh to supervise various changes to the building in 1921.

Bowser development interests were secondary to his political career. Born in New Brunswick, he was a lawyer, arriving in Vancouver in 1891. He was first elected to the provincial legislature in 1903 as a conservative, becoming attorney-general from 1907 until 1915 when he became premier of British Columbia until 1916. Accusations of corruption saw a divided conservative government replaced by the liberals, but Bowser stayed as leader of the opposition until he lost his seat in 1924.

George Ingram Wilson was also from New Brunswick, and as an early pioneer of the city had made his fortune in the canning industry partnering with Alfred Buttimer and George Dawson in the Brunswick Cannery. He had extensive mining interests as well, one apparently shared in the same consortium with William Bowser in the New Victor Mining Co., ‘Formed to acquire and work the mineral claims known as the “ New Victor,” “ Royal,” and “ Excelsior,” situate on Wild Horse Creek, in the Nelson Mining Division of the West Kootenay Mining District’. Both men lived in the West End, although Bowser moved to Victoria around the time this building was constructed. They had known each other a long time; in 1896 G I Wilson was president, and W J Bowser vice president (for Ward 2) of the liberal conservative association in the city.

The hotel started life as the Ansonia Hotel, run by Mrs. J Lancaster, but two years after it opened in 1914 it was listed as the Angelus hotel, run by Philip Gaovotz. The hotel soon had many long-term residents, while downstairs was what appears to have been a well run bar. The Liquor Board (initially pressured by the Health Officer) applied more stringent requirements to how they were run, but the Angelus was allowed to delay some of the required upgrades. While men could (by invitation) drink on the segregated ladies side of the bar, women weren’t allowed on the men’s side. The ladies side was therefore required to have a men’s lavatory, which the Angelus lacked, but as there were no recorded problems, the inspectors, who noted the lapse in 1948, allowed the situation to remain through to 1954.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-371

Posted July 5, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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1128 and 1132 Robson Street

We don’t know much about these small almost certainly speculatively built houses on Robson Street because their construction pre-dates 1900. When they were built they were numbered as 1130 and 1132, and they were constructed before 1898 when T F Watson of H M Customs, and H J Thorne were resident. Mr Watson stayed on, but T C Gray was in 1132 in 1899, and in 1901 George O’Loan, an engineer. At 1130 Alfred McMillan, another engineer, had moved in that year.

We could create a long list of tenants who occupied the houses over the years, (it seems unlikely that the houses were sold every year or two), but the point of interest is how this part of Robson Street stayed residential in character for a surprisingly long time. Even in 1921 only one of the two houses had a commercial use. Charles Pearse and John Ross were listed as living in the properties. Charles was a checker for the CPR, living at 1130, while John was a baker, running his business at 1132 while living on Cardero Street. A decade later 1130 was empty, and 1132 was occupied by C H Knight, a tea and coffee merchant. In 1941 1130 was the West End Dairy & Cake Shop, with Mrs. E Bartlett living upstairs, and 1132 was home to Kyra’s Ladies Wear.

Two years before this 1957 image was taken 1130 was home to Ace Radio & Electric, while Bonita’s Dress Shop was at 1132. Both businesses were still in the same place when the picture was taken. At least we know who designed the redeveloped retail buildings in 1999. W T Leung was architect for a new retail unit that for a while was home to Ghirardelli Chocolates. Today there’s a restaurant upstairs over a nutrition supplement store, with an optician next door.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives Bu P508.63

Posted July 2, 2018 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End