Archive for the ‘Gone’ Category

1950 Robson Street

Today there’s a six storey strata building, The Chatsworth, with 44 condos designed by Rhone Morton Architects, and completed in 1985. When it was built the cheapest 1-bed units were priced from $107,000, and the project was described as ‘An Austin Hamilton concept’ – a reference to the developer.

In 1978 there was an earlier rental apartment building also called Chatsworth, which we think was designed by H S Griffith, and completed in 1941. It was built by contractor E M Craig Co with 26 suites, on a lot that hadn’t been developed up to that point. The Craig company built a number of modest apartment buildings in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and used H S Griffith as their architect. Usually they were acting as agent for an investor developer, but if that’s the case here we haven’t found who the building was commissioned by.

The land had been used for many years as the extended garden of the adjacent house, owned from 1913 to 1938 by Herbert Drummond. He died in 1938, and his house and the land were offered as separate sales by the Bell-Irving Insurance Agencies. The building is seen here in 1978, on a site already being eyed up at the time for redevelopment, with a potential to increase density and switch from rental to strata units.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-3.13


Posted 13 January 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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1840 Robson Street

The Richborough Apartments were photographed around 1985, located on Robson Street close to Denman, on the all-residential Stanley Park side of Denman. There was a big house just to the west of here built in 1905 on an adjacent lot, which was divided into eight apartments by the 1930s, but these two lots had never been developed. In 1939, E M Craig and Company Ltd. applied for a permit to build an apartment building on the vacant lots. H S Griffith designed the 28 suite, 14 garage 4-storey building. The developers were identified a little later; R E Humphrey and E Akhurst, of Victoria. They also bought two other West End apartment buildings around the same time.

By 1981 the building, and the house next door, had been bought by Campeau Corporation of Calgary. They planned a redevelopment, and there were soon protests about the loss of affordable housing, and a potential heritage building (as the house was identified as a possible Samuel Maclure designed home).

A Vancouver Sun story in March 1981 told how ‘Caroline’ and Hector Fisher had moved into The New Richborough Apartments when the building was first leased, and forty years later were still there, paying $250 a month for their home. This wasn’t completely accurate. Carolyn Fisher had lived in apartment 203 from 1941, but initially it was with her husband Ewan, who was a master mariner (captain of a tugboat for Young and Gore). She was in Vancouver in the 1921 census, aged 18 and working as a waitress. He sister Lydia, who was 16, and a laundress, lived with her, on Richards Street. They were both born in Alberta, and had a Russian family background. The earlier 1911 census shows Lydia with her family in Medicine Hat, aged 6, and suggests Carolyn was christened Olga.

Ewan was born in 1900 in New Westminster, and died in 1958. His brother, Hector Fisher, who was also a master mariner, was living at 660 Jackson, with his wife Kitty. He married Catherine (‘Kitty’) Shaw in 1941. He was born in New Westminster in 1901, (and Catherine in 1893 in Scotland. She died in 1966 in Essondale, the mental health hospital later known as Riverview).

We assume that the widowed Carolyn married her brother-in-law, Hector, some time after his wife’s death. Hector died in 1982, and the redevelopment went ahead. Ewan and Hector Fisher were buried in the same grave in the Fraser Cemetery in New Westminster. Confusingly on his gravestone he’s identified as Casey Ewan Fisher, born 9 July 1900, while his death certificate says Ewan Alexander Fisher. Carolyn O Fisher was buried in the same cemetery in 1997, which identified her birth year as 1902, in Medicine Hat, in Alberta.

By 1987 the house and the apartments had been replaced by Stanley Park Place, with 45 apartments on 16 floors designed by Hamilton Doyle and Associates.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 786-3.12


Posted 10 January 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Sandringham – Nelson Street

In 1927 this newly completed apartment block, The Sandringham, managed by Mrs J M McMillan was photographed. We’re reasonably sure that the car was a 1927 Marmon – Hyman, distributed by the Russell, Wilson Motor Co on Granville Street. The apartments were developed by Major General J M McMillan at a cost of $55,000, and designed by Gardiner & Mercer.

General McMillan’s military title wasn’t just honorary; in 1918 he was on a tour of the US with two colleagues under the auspices of the Council of National Defense giving short talks of their experiences at the front. The officers were members of the first expeditionary force. In 1927 he was listed as Lt Col J M McMillan, and was president of Cassiar Packing, (a salmon packing plant on the Skeena River), and lived on West 2nd in Point Grey in a new house that Mrs. McMillan had commissioned, costing $10,000. His home until 1926 was 1857 Nelson, next door to this site, and this was a tennis court. Once he moved, his former house became the Sandringham Annex, with apartments that in 1933 were advertised for a ‘refined person’ and offered hot water – day and night.

John McLarty Macmillan was Scottish, born at Lochranza (on the Isle of Arran) in 1871. He arrived in North America in 1894, involved in the salmon canning business, but then headed to Australia in 1900 where he apparently enlisted in a mounted regiment called the New South Wales Imperial Bushmen, raised to fight in South Africa in the Boer War (although the available Australian official war records don’t list him being on active service).

By 1904 he had moved to British Columbia; marrying Isabella Ewen in her home town, (she was born in New Westminster in 1880). Her father was Alexander Ewen, a prominent salmon canner. At the time John was working for Menzies & Co., Vancouver brokers. There’s no sign of the couple for several years, but in 1911 they passed through New York on their way to Vancouver. That year he was listed as a financial agent ‘of Macmillan and Oliphant’, with Thomas Oliphant, but the partnership was short-lived and Oliphant was working on his own a year later. He was also the secretary-treasurer of the Pacific Whaling Company, which was part of the Mackenzie Mann & Co.’s Canadian Northern Railway interests. At the age of 43, once war was declared, he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He started as a Captain, but by the end of 1915, in France, he was a lieutenant-colonel. He was discharged at the end of 1917, and returned to Vancouver where he worked as a salmon broker. (He tried to enlist in the second war, but when it was discovered that he was nearly 70, he was discharged). He died in 1950, and Isabella in 1975.

The apartment building was replaced in 1977 by West Park, a 4-storey wood frame condo building with 42 units designed with loft spaces by Terry Hale Architects. Andre Molnar’s Realmar Developments carried out the development, which offered ‘Condominiums of the future at affordable prices – today’. Units started at $33,900. Today any that become available fetch a little more than that.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu N257


Posted 30 December 2021 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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East Georgia Street and Jackson, nw

This Archives image from 1966 shows the block north of MacLean Park, when it was adjacent to Jackson Avenue. An entire city block of homes was cleared to create a new park, and in turn the old park, and this block were incorporated into a new non-market housing project, also called MacLean Park. Designed in the late 1950s, construction didn’t take place until later in 1966. Here the development consisted of family rowhouses.

The last building awaiting clearance was the only apartment building originally built on the block. Developed in 1911 for H Williamson, it cost $11,000 to build. There were four H Williamsons, but we can probably rule out the meat cutter, clerk, and fireman with the CPR, which leaves Horace Williamson, owner of a brokerage firm in 1910. He lived in Mount Pleasant, and a year later when this was built he owned the People’s Drug Store, on Main and Fraser. Horace was born in Oshawa, Ontario, in 1877, and headed west like so many others. He was a carpenter, building several houses, the first in 1901 for his family. Here here hired architects, Campbell & Bennett, and a builder, C Baumeister.

He married Flora Maclean (known as Hattie and born in Nova Scotia) in 1900 and they went on to have eight children. In 1901 they were in rooms in Keefer Street, living with David MacLean (another carpenter) – Hattie’s father. Horace had lodged with the family from his arrival in 1899, which is presumably how he met his wife.

By 1904 he had become an insurance agent, and then set up his brokerage. Up to 1914 he ran the Vancouver Mortgage Co, and was living on East 15th Avenue. Then the family went missing – there’s no record of them in British Columbia, although they were back in the same house by the 1921 census. Flora is shown born in PEI rather than Nova Scotia, and they had six children at home aged from one to 18, all born in BC. Horace was still an insurance broker, and his oldest son, ‘Melbourne’, (actually he was christened Horace as well), was an apprentice.

It’s possible the family moved away during the war years to Pender Harbour (and not Pender Island – thanks Kathy!) Horace had land there, and in 1908 built a log cabin. The family spent a great deal of time there, and the Pender Harbour Living Heritage Society have many photographs of the family and the homes that Horace built there. His log cabin is seen on the left, and on the right Horace and Hattie with a deer they had shot.

They appear to have returned to live on the Sunshine Coast until the early 1950s. While Horace M was in Vancouver (later working as a mechanic), there’s no sign of his father living in the city. Horace was 80 when he died in Victoria in 1958. He had been living there for six months with one of his daughters following the death of Hattie, also aged 80, in 1957. Her PEI origins were confirmed on her death certificate.

We assume Horace sold his rooming house on Keefer at some point. In the 1920s these were the OK Rooms, run by J Olson in 1925, then from the late 1920s and through the 1930s they were the Asahi Rooms, (run by Mrs. Matsuda in 1938), and in 1953 back to the OK Rooms run by J Krywetzki and Mrs V Prisner.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-374


Posted 16 December 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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Burrard Street north from Melville

This 1929 Vancouver Public Library image, photographed by Philip Timms,  shows the nearly new Loyal Order of Moose Lodge No. 888 on the east side of the street at 636 Burrard. The builder for the $70,000 development was the Dominion Construction Co. It’s possible the company designed the project in-house; Charles Bentall was not averse to sketching how projects could be built, even though he wasn’t a qualified architect.

Down the street is Southard Motors Ltd. at 600 Burrard. Designed by R A McKenzie, it cost $15,000, was built by Bedford Davidson, and developed by G G McGeer – former Liberal politician Gerry McGeer. He had represented Richmond in the Provincial government in the 1920s, and would be re-elected in the early 1930s both as MLA and mayor of Vancouver, and then as an MP.

Southard had been on West Georgia in 1925, selling Essex cars – a part of Hudson Motors of Detroit. In 1930 they had this branch, and one in a different West Georgia location. As well as the Essex Super-Six they were selling the Hudson Super-Eight.

Archelaus Southard was president of the company, with a house in Shaughnessy. He was from a Methodist family, was born in Ontario, and was more often called Archie. In 1895 he was in Alberta, working as a tailor. That year he married Flora McDonald, and in 1911 they were living in Medicine Hat, where he was a merchant. He must have been successful; they had an 11-year-old daughter at home, Kathleen, an American governess and a Swedish maid. They appear to have had a son, also christened Archelaus, in 1918. The Southard name traces back to a family living in New York in the 1700s, and had a tradition of sons being christened Archelaus stretching back several generations; (-some in the the 1800s were Quakers). The owner of Southard’s Motors was 77 when he died in 1950, and his wife Flora was 85 on her death in 1959.

In 1930 the company relocated to Granville Street – in 1938 they were selling Chrysler cars. Knight Motors moved in here, selling Chevrolet motors in the early 1930, although by 1936 De Wolfe Motors had replaced them. Like Southard’s operation here, they apparently sold pre-owned vehicles, but De Wolfe seem to have specialized in trucks, and were Reo Distributors for B C. Named after Ransom Eli Olds, and based in Lancing, Michigan, as well as cars, Reo (or REO, the company favoured either option) were best known for their Speedwagon trucks.

At the start of the war the premises were vacant, and by 1941 Empire Motors had moved in. They sold Ford and Mercury cars, and Ford trucks. They stayed here until the early 1950s, when the site was redeveloped as a Home Gas Station, with the Midtown Motors garage, run by Philip and David Kobayashi, specializing in body repairs and like Empire, offering u-drive cars.

On the north side of Dunsmuir, the half-timbered English styled building was the YWCA, developed in 1905 to W T Dalton’s design, with a 1909 addition.

Today Park Place, addressed as 666 Burrard and completed in 1984, occupies the sites of the lodge and the garage. The YWCA was replaced with a much larger building in 1969, that was closed in 1995 and demolished in 1997. It was replaced several years later by the Cactus Club Cafe a low-rise building associated with Bentall 5, an office tower built in two stages to eventually reach 33 floors in 2007, (but initially only 22 in 2002).


Posted 9 December 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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853 East Pender Street

The three storey building to the right of the image is earlier than the other elements, and was designed by Franklin Cross for ‘Mac Juliana’ in 1923 (according to its permit). We were totally unable to find anyone with a name close to that in Vancouver, or indeed, anywhere in Canada in either census on either side of 1923. Mosimo Julien was recoded living at 853 E Pender in 1925 an expressman, and Michael Julien was shown running the grocery store here in 1926, but whether the clerk at City Hall or the directory recorder were accurate was impossible to say.

Then we realised that Mosimo could be Massimo, and discovered Massimo Giuliani, whose surname was finally recorded accurately in 1927, when he was living on Powell Street. The directory thought he was either Massimo or Mathimo – he had two entries – and he was working as desk clerk in the Hotel Heatley that year. He was born in Abruzzo, Italy in 1889, and was aged 67 and had last been a Boarding House Proprietor when he died in 1957 in West Vancouver. His death notice in the Vancouver Sun noted that he was known as Mike Giuliani. In 1928 he moved from Vancouver to the north shore, and in 1929 he was shown as ‘Giuliani Massinino retired h 151 E 6 N Van’. His wife, Madellena was 69 when she died in North Vancouver in 1962. They had a daughter, Mary, who was born in Vancouver in 1915, although we can’t find the family in the 1921 census, but that might be because the family apparently moved to the US for a while in 1916.

The ‘3-storey brick & concrete store & apt. bldg’ was initially addressed as 853 E Pender, and had 7 suites. In 1930 there were only five shown, and all but one was vacant. In 1931 the entire building was empty, and a year later the St. Vincent’s Home and Shelter had opened, to ‘offer charitable hospitality to transients’ for 15 men, run by the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who also established St Francis Xavier School in Chinatown. In 1942 the building was enlarged (with the two-storey wing to the west, and an extra 51 beds) and added long-term care for the elderly. In 1969 the 152-bed Youville Residence replaced the St Vincent’s Shelter on the corner of 33rd Avenue and Heather Street.

Our 1978 image shows the buildings not long before they were redeveloped. Today the Rose Garden Co-op is located here; technically covered by the single room accommodation by-law. The 54 unit building was completed in 1981.


Posted 6 December 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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Bute Street and Barclay

The two-storey (and basement) ‘residential hotel’ was designed by Franklin Cross in 1925 for ‘Parkinson & Dann’ and cost $46,000. John Dann and Robert Parkinson ran the Langham Hotel, a boarding house on Nelson Street, where they both lived, and we assume they were the developers. The new building wasn’t really a thing of beauty, and was run initially as a hotel, and later as a rooming house called Coniston Lodge. The photograph which dates from 1925 came from an album in the Parks Board archives and was captioned “Bare trunks and arms are all that remain after these trees are reduced to make habitable this new apartment block ‘Coniston Lodge’. The trees on the other side of this block are similarly treated.”

John Dann was born in 1874 in Accrington, England He married Annie Parkinson (who was born in 1888) in 1917, and they had a son, Allan, in 1919. They arrived around 1921, but John died in 1928. Annie continued to live at Coniston Lodge, and died in 1969 In Prince George, having never re-married. Their son Allan was 10 days short of 100 when he died in 2019. Robert Parkinson and his wife Anna also lived at Coniston Lodge for many years. We’re reasonably certain he was Annie’s older brother (he was nine years older, and they had two other brothers between them, Herbert and Fred), and he died in Vancouver in 1956.

Beyond Coniston Lodge is Beaconsfield, a 1909 apartment building developed by A J Woodward, who we think was a Victoria florist and nursery owner.

In 1993 The Stafford, a 25 unit strata building designed by Isaac-Renton Architects replaced Coniston Lodge, in a pastiche historic style presumably intended to fit in with the surrounding older rental buildings.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 357-9


Posted 2 December 2021 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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144 East Cordova Street

This site was vacant for many years before it was redeveloped. Our 1978 image shows the building that was previously located here, when it was known as Cordova Lodge. Set back behind the 2-storey streetfront it’s possible to see that when it was first built, it was a house. That was developed in 1901, by, and for Mrs. Jones. The street directory tells us that a year later this was the home of butcher Thomas Jones, of whom there were several in the city. Fortunately only one was a butcher, so we know that the developer was Agnes Jones, who was from Scotland, and had arrived in Canada in 1884. In 1901 she was aged 29, over 20 years younger than her husband, who was English and had come to Canada in 1889. They had four children, and five lodgers, including another butcher, a carpenter and a gold miner, and lived a few blocks away on the same street in the year they arrived in Vancouver, 1901.

In 1904 they had moved to Dundas Street, and they didn’t stay in the city long. A year later they had gone. While many new residents arrived in Vancouver from the prairies, the family went in the opposite direction. The 1906 census of Northwest Territories finds Thos Johnes, his wife Agness, and their four children in Calgary. Ten years later Thomas and Agnis Jones were living in Bow River, Alberta, where Thomas had shaved a few years off his age and was a farmer, living with their three sons.

Their former home became a boarding house, initially run by George Frederick Mattick. We wondered if the extra space up to the street was added around this period, but the insurance map from as late as 1940 shows the original house, set back from the street, so the addition was more recent. In 1906 it became Gainsborough House, run by Mrs. Mary Baylis “furnished rooms by day, week, or month. All modern conveniences”, and in 1908 by Miss Jean Bucknell. She continued to run the establishment for many years. She died in 1941, and two years later the Sun had the news that “Seven nieces and nephews in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Detroit share the $9.254 estate of Miss Jean Bucknell, who died here on Sept. 16, 1941, according to letters of administration taken out by the official administrator. Miss Bucknell was proprietress of Gainsborough House, 144 East Cordova.” They had reported her sudden death in 1941, aged 84. Before she took over the property Miss Bucknell had worked as a nurse. The 1911 census shows she was from Ontario, and had four lodgers, a carpenter, a lather and two labourers, and she appears to have taken six years off her age (compared to her death certificate). Strangely, we can’t find Miss Bucknell’s origins in Ontario.

Our 1978 image shows the building as Cordova Lodge, which continued to operate as a rooming house in the 1980s. The site stood vacant for several years, until in 2006 a replacement building appeared. Designed by Robert Kleyn, it was developed by, and for, artist Stan Douglas. Most of the space is an art studio, but there is one residential unit included in the building.


Posted 4 November 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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1200 block Robson Street – south side

This 1974 image caption says it shows “houses at 1216 and 1222 Robson Street (La Cote d’Azur Restaurant and Newsome Rooms) and the 3-storey apartment building at 1234 Robson Street (Nottingham Apartment Hotel).

Today the former houses, and the ‘apartment hotel’ have been replaced with retail and office space. The two houses on the left were spec built by Thomas Hunter in 1904 at a cost of $3,000 each. Thomas and his older brother, Samuel, were from Wilfrid, Ontario, and built houses and commercial buildings at a prodigious pace after their arrival here in 1891, some as investments that they retained, and some for clients. Sam died around 1895, leaving Thomas to continue building well into the 1920s. He died in 1940 aged 73. He married Jannie Simpson in Vancouver in 1892 when he was 25. She was also from Ontario, from New Market, and three years older than Thomas. They had a son, Charles, (Theodore on the 1911 census) who also died in 1940.

The three storey apartment house was developed in 1925, designed by Townley and Matheson for John Peterson. There were a surprising number of John Petersons in the city in the mid 1920s, so the developer was hard to pin down. Fortunately, he moved into his 18 suite apartment building in 1926, and was still living here when he died in 1952. aged 68. He was married to Gina, (in Seattle, in 1915), and had a brother, Olaf, and a sister, both in Iowa. John was born in Norway, in 1883, and he may have been an electrical contractor before he built his investment. After his death C D Hardy and B B Tidey took over running the property. Gina Lindland Peterson was 90 when she died in San Diego in 1975.

The houses, when they were completed joined other houses that had already been built on the block. Where the Nottingham Rooms were later built there were houses occupied by two managers. Hugh Gilmour was agent for the Waterous Engine Works, with an office in Molson’s Chambers, while Hugh Keefer was managing director of the Vancouver Granite Co. They were both here for several years, so probably owned, rather than leased, the houses, which were numbered 1216 and 1218 in 1904, but renumbered to 1234 and 1240 a few years later.

The house on the left of the picture was occupied by Con Jones, owner of the Brunswick Pool Rooms (actually a billiard parlour) at what would become 1216 and next door W Bell, a pressman was at 1222, soon replaced by James Galloway, a bookkeeper, later an accountant. Both families were still here in 1920. Con Jones was an Australian; an ex-bookie who had two billiard halls, one he developed on East Hastings (later home to Only Sea Foods, and recently demolished), and one on Cordova. Later he was successful in  the tobacco trade, where his slogan ‘Don’t Argue’ featured extensively, completed by the often missing text, ‘Con Jones sells fresh tobacco’. The family moved to a mansion in Shaughnessy, and Con was only 59 when he had a seizure while watching a soccer game in 1929 at the sports facility he developed; Con Jones Park, and died five days later, leaving a wife and five children.

By 1929 his house had become the Vanderpant Galleries, but next door 1222 was still a house, where Mrs. Stella Hoy, a widow, lived. John Vanderpant was a photographer from Alkmaar, earning his early living as a portrait photographer, while also developing a more artistic practice on the side. The gallery, opened in 1928, became a centre of art, music, and poetry in Vancouver. Members of the Vancouver Poetry Society often held meetings and readings at the Galleries as well as several galas; students from the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, the BC College of Arts, and the music faculty from UBC attended musical evenings to listen to imported symphonic music played on Vanderpant’s Columbia gramophone. Emily Carr and members of the Group of Seven exhibited at the Galleries. He was 55 when he died, in 1939, of lung cancer, leaving a legacy of photographic works in local, national and international gallery collections. His widow, Catharina continued to run the gallery until after the war, but 1222 was still a house, the home of Thomas and Helen McCormick.

The Nottingham continued to offer rooms to 21 tenants, some of them spinsters or widows, and many of the others professionals like accountants, doctors, (including Dr. H Roy Mustard, an ear, nose and throat surgeon,  and his wife Henrietta) and Mrs. Bessie Wall the Proprietor of Walls Womens Wear. In 1955 the gallery had become the Unity Metaphysical Centre (a church, headed by Rev T Conway Jones) and the McCormicks were still living at 1222. The Nottingham was replaced in 1979 with the two storey office, restaurant and retail building designed by Romses Kwan for Daon Development Corporation. The retail replacement for the houses was built in 1996.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-354


Posted 1 November 2021 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Barclay and Thurlow Streets, ne corner

This picture dates from 1887, and is in the Uno Langmann Family Collection of Photographs at UBC. It was taken by a Montreal photographer, William Notman, who took a trip across the country on the new railway, taking photographs of scenic views on glass slides that he then turned into postcards on his return. This sepia print has faded a bit, but the McCord Museum (who have had Notman’s photographic archive since 1956) have made a clearer print.

We’ve enlarged part of the McCord image to show how we can locate the location of the two trees. That’s the First Hotel Vancouver off in the distance, apparently still under construction. The gentleman in the picture is actually sitting in a buggy, so there’s presumably a horse hidden by the left hand tree. Notman titled the image ‘Douglas Pines’, but they were actually Douglas Firs; there is a tree called Douglas Pine but it only grows to 150 feet, and it’s a native of Mexico. These trees could have been approaching 400 feet tall.

It’s not at all clear why they were still standing. The area between where the picture was taken (which Major Matthews, the City Archivist estimated to be where Barclay meets Thurlow today, and the hotel, had been cleared by two different contractors. “The forest on District Lot 541, or “C.P.R. Townsite” was felled in the spring of 1886 by Boyd and Clandenning, who, under contract, received twenty six dollars per acre for slashing and felling, and two dollars extra for cutting the limbs off; $28.00 in all.

The forest on District Lot 185, or “Brighouse Estate,” adjoining to the west of Burrard street, was felled to about Nicola street, in the spring of 1887 by John “Chinese” McDougall, and his employment of Chinese in preference to whites was the cause of the Chinese Riot of Feb. 1887. For some reason not known, solitary trees were left standing. These are two of them. 

Later, Boyd and Clandenning were paid three hundred dollars per acre for close cutting and clearing everything off the “C.P.R. Townsite” so that fire could not run through it again as it had done on 13 June 1886.”

This site was soon built on – there were two houses here by the turn of the century. One was part of a row of homes running down Barclay, and another was built at the rear of the lot, facing Thurlow. The Barclay house, from 1896, was home to Charles Wilson (Q.C.), a lawyer with Courbold, McColl, Wilson and Campbell from 1894. The Thurlow house seems to have confused the directory clerks (the number probably got altered in the early years of its existence) but by 1901 it was numbered as 908 Thurlow, home to Cortes Corydon Eldridge, born in Quebec and the first customs appraiser in the city.

Mr. Wilson was so well thought of as a defense lawyer that he travelled to Vernon to defend Euphemia Rabbitt, a 25 year old married woman who had shot and killed James Hamilton, a miner who had had threatened her, and who was described at her trial as “erratic and most abominable in his speech, especially about women”. Wilson’s cross examining of witnesses was so successful that Mrs. Rabbitt was found quilty of ‘justifiable homicide’ after only 20 minutes of deliberation by the jury, and she left the court a free woman. In 1899 it was suggested he might be appointed attorney general of the province, but in 1900 he stood for election in the Provincial election as part of the Liberal-Conservative Party of Canada. Technically this was the last election held without party affiliations; in practice most candidates identified their support. Mr. Wilson was not elected.

In 1992 Aquilini Investments built a 36 unit strata building here, on 7 floors, called Barclay Terrace. Enough owners were willing to sell to a developer that a 47 storey replacement, designed by ACDF Architecture of Montreal has been proposed, with 270 condos and 91 non-market rental units.


Posted 21 October 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone