Archive for the ‘Gone’ Category

Jervis and Barclay Streets

Here’s a West End house that was replaced nearly 50 years ago. ‘The 950’, a 41 unit rental building was completed here in 1974. The house had been built 69 years earlier, and although it had a corner turret that was a signature for the houses designed by Parr and Fee, in this case the architect was W T Whiteway. His client was Thomas Langlois, who paid $7,200 for his new home, which he called Rosemont.

We looked at Thomas’s history when we looked at one of his Downtown office developments. Thomas Talton Langlois was born in Gaspe in Quebec. He arrived in in BC in 1898 when he was 31, and already a successfullang businessman. Here he organized the British Columbia Permanent Loan Co.; was president, of the National Finance Co. Ltd., the Prudential Investment Co. Ltd. and the Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Co. He also developed an Arbutus subdivision which had pre-fabricated craftsman style houses built in a factory on West 2nd Avenue, and then re-erected on site. He owned property on Bowen Island, and in 1912 commissioned a 60 foot steam yacht to sail there. In 1910, through the National Finance Co, he acquired much of the Port Moody waterfront for $600,000 for a consortium of investors.

Initially Thomas and his wife, Diana, lived on Nelson Street, then Robson, before he had this house built. He was active in politics (but indirectly, as President of the Electoral Union, and later the Good Government League) and in Wesley Church. Thomas travelled extensively, presumably in relation to business as well as for pleasure. His trips were often noted in the press, sometimes accompanied by his wife. While he would head to ‘eastern cities’, she would visit friends in Victoria. They married in Orangeville, Dufferin, Ontario in 1892, when Diana Hall was four years older than her husband, and a widow. As Diana Baker she had married Marshall Hall in 1883, but he died in 1890. In 1894 Albert was born, and Muriel followed in 1905 while her mother was in England.

In December 1914 the National Finance Co was liquidated. In earlier months the company had been pursuing its creditors through the courts, but the collapse of the economy and the onset of war left the business with more debts than assets. In January 1916 the Sun reported “The many friends of Mrs. T. T. Langlois will be pleased to learn that she Is making some progress towards recovery after a severe attack of la grippe.” This was the Spanish flu, that infected a third of the population and killed over 50 million around the world.

In March the family moved to California. The Daily Province reported it as a regular trip “Mr. and Mrs. T. T. Langlois and their daughter Gwendolyn left on Monday on a trip to Los Angeles, Cal. Their son, Mr. Albert Langlois, is in the city at present and is to leave for England soon to take a commission on one of the fast scouting boats in the British navy.” The trip stretched: fifteen months later “The wedding is announced in Los Angeles of Mr. Albert W Langlois and Miss Flora Wintzel of Newport Ky. The bridegroom is a well-known Vancouverite, a son of T. T. Langlois. He was a graduate of Lord Roberts and King Edward High schools. Last year he left McGill College to enlist with the motorboat patrol but was unable to go overseas and has now re-enlisted with a forestry regiment from Vancouver“. There was no further mention of any of the family in local newspapers  until they visited friends in 1930.

Thomas died in November 1937, and was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles. Diana died at Suncrest, San Diego, California in 1943, and was buried with Thomas. Albert and his wife Flora had two children in Los Angeles, but Flora died in 1925. He remarried in 1928, and seems to have married again at some point before his death in 1979. Gwen Langlois appears to have never married, and died at Spring Valley, San Diego, California in 1992, and was buried with her parents.

The house barely gets mentioned once the family left. John Harper had moved in in 1917, manager of the Bank of Hamilton, and the address is switched to 1275 Barclay. By 1921 it had become a rooming house – ‘Large room, suit 2 gentlemen, hot and cold water, and toilet’. Henry Dobbins, a mail carrier, was shown as the primary resident. In 1933 Mrs. Dewhurst was overcome by gas fumes when she fell asleep while cooking, and the light was extinguished. A year later Mrs. Sutherland found a man entering her suite through a window, but on seeing her he beat a hasty retreat.

The building was obviously still reasonably prestigious: In 1937, when Freda Bates and Elmer Ackley were married, the reception was held at Rosemont in the suite of Mr and Mrs Robbins, Freda’s grandparents. In 1943 John Vernon died in his suite. He was a successful real estate and mining broker. Various break-and-enters were noted through the 1940s; significant items were taken; a diamond ring in one, a fur coat in another. In 1947 Soren Paulsen Elgaard was running the rental business, but he didn’t own the building (or even have a lease on the property). He sued for damages for misrepresentation that the lease had not been transferred when he took over in 1945 – and lost the case. In 1950 Andrew Novak disappeared from his room. His empty fishing boat was found drifting off Spanish Banks. He had previously run a tavern in Tacoma. Following his death $90,000 was found in two bank deposit boxes, but no will was found. Eventually the cash was split between eight relatives.

In 1955 a resident managed to drive his car into a store on Howe Street. He was fined for impairment, and assessed over $1,200 in damages to the store. In 1958 another resident spent four hours injured in a ditch when the car she was a passenger in drove off the Seymour Mountain Highway.

In 1967 an 18-yearold resident was jailed for two years for possession of marijuana. (His defence counsel denied that he was one of the “hippies” who haunt the public library). This picture was taken a year later.

We haven’t found a reference to who built the replacement building, which is leased as a mix of studio and 1-bed units.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1348-42

[unusually, we have processed the image to lighten the shadows so more detail can be seen]


Posted 8 September 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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737 West Pender Street

These modest single storey buildings were built in the 1920s, and seen here in 1931. The left hand building was developed in 1924 by Stamatis & Evans, (Tom, and George), who hired W T Whiteway to design the $20,000 restaurant.

Constantine Stamatis was the oldest member of a family of restauranteurs in the city. He was born in Greece in 1879, and it looks like he was initially in the US; we think he married Helen Dupont in Seattle in 1910 (where he was recorded as Stanatis). He first appeared in the street directory in 1912 as the first family member to arrive in Vancouver, running the People’s Waffle House on Powell Street, and living on Keefer Street. A year later his home got more crowded when Harry and Tom Stamatis moved in. Harry was a waiter and Tom was shown as the proprietor of both the Waffle House and the Fountain Cafe on W Cordova. (There was some shuffling of responsibilities; in 1914 J R Smith owned the Fountain Cafe and C Stamatis was shown as a waiter there. The People’s Waffle House that year was owned by both Thomas and G Stamatis – Constantine was more often known as Gus, or sometimes Gust).

Thomas Stamatis was born in 1885, according to a 1914 border crossing at Blaine. The third brother, (Aristotle) Harry Stamatis was born in 1895 in Thebes, according to his 1923 death certificate. In 1916 Tom Stamatis was the only family member still listed in the city, and he ran the National Oyster House at 727 W Pender, (a few doors to the east of here) which a year later became the National Oyster and Chop House. By 1920 it was renamed the National Cafe, and George Evans had joined him in running the business. Tom had married Victoria Kyrias in 1918, when his birth name of Anastasios Stamatis was recorded. Victoria was 24, and originally from Macedonia.

‘Gust’ Stamatis reappeared in the directory briefly in 1919 (so he may have been fighting in the war). He ran the King’s Cafe on Carrall Street, and when Harry reappeared he was a waiter at the Palace Cafe. As Constantine Stamates he was apparently the only family member in the city in the 1921 census, living alone on Parker Street and running a restaurant. George Evans was shown running the National Cafe at 727 W Pender, and Thomas was running the Trocadero Cafe on West Hastings, but in 1922 Thomas was shown running both the National and the Trocadero.

Their new cafe here was described as “First-class lunch counter and restaurant, for Mr. T. Stamatis of the Trocadero & National Cafes; one-storey & bsmt., lower floor substantial enough to carry another story if owners choose in future; brick & tile construction”. It opened in 1924 with a full page story in the Vancouver Sun. There was a bakery upstairs, and coolers in the basement.  “There is a machine for paring potatoes, a machine for slicing potatoes for preparation as “French fried,” a machine for slicing bread, a machine for mashing potatoes, a machine for peeling and coring apples, a machine for washing dishes in fact one for almost every task where human judgment and skill are not needed to do a better Job than a machine could do.” The whole project was reported to cost $85,000

The only reference to George Evans was in the permit to build this, and the opening news piece. He lived on West Pender, and later on Burrard, but seems to have been missed by the 1921 census. He continued to partner in ownership of the restaurant here, and on West Hastings, with Tom Stamatis until at least 1939. He appears to have been Greek – we assume Evans was an anglicized version of his name. He was active in the Hellenic Society, and he often attended events with his wife and Tom Stamatis and his spouse.

By 1932 there was a Trocadero on Granville, and another on West Hastings. As well as this National Lunch, there was a short-lived National Lunch #2, two blocks from the Trocadero, on Granville. The Granville Trocadero and National Lunch #2 had both closed by 1935. In 1933 there was a fire on the roof of the restaurant, but it doesn’t appear that the damage was sufficient to close the business.

In 1935 Gus Stamatis developed a close relationship with Nobutaro Okazaki who farmed a homestead owned by Gus, four miles south of the New Westminster Bridge in Surrey. The restaurants got their supplies from the farm – one of the earliest examples of ‘farm to table’. All that ended when the Okazaki’s were forced into a camp in the interior in 1942, and in 1947 Trocadero Farm was sold to Surrey Council as the home of the future Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Constantine (Gus) Stamatis died in 1941, aged 62, survived by his brother Thomas, and three sisters, in Greece. Tom took over as manager of the National Lunch, and president of the Trocadero, and that year Mrs. Thomas Stamatis hired C B K Van Norman to design a new home for them. In 1953 Thomas and his wife Victoria applied to change their name to Stamatis Standish. George Stamatis (their son) and his wife Eunice had changed their name to Standish in 1945, and so did their son Christopher. Thomas died in 1957, in Surrey, and Victoria four years later, in Vancouver.

Next door was a building owned by W E O’Brien. He carried out repairs in 1924 but in 1927 rebuilt the premises on a double lot at a cost of $14,492 with Townley & Matheson designing the building. When they were completed there were three storefronts; Campbell Brothers (shoe repairers) at 731, the Soo Barber Shop run by A Cowell at 733 and the Soo Cigar Stand with F Edwards at 735. By 1931, when this photo was taken, 735 was part of the National Lunch, with the shoe repairer, Andy’s Barber Shop and the St Dunstan’s Cigar Stand all operating in the same unit.

The developer, William E O’Brien had for many years been a ‘Dance Master’. The British Columbia Land and Investment Agency Building on West Hastings was known more often as The O’Brien Hall. William and his wife Gertrude were from Ontario. By 1930 the O’Brien’s were no longer shown in the street directory, but they were living in Vancouver again in 1935, in retirement. Gertrude died in Vancouver in 1951, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery, and  William in 1957, when he was buried with her.

The building to the left of these buildings had been built in 1929, designed by Winnipeg srchitects Northwood and Chivers, and named the Hall Building. In 1970 the Montreal Trust Building replaced the National Cafe and was attached to the earlier building, set back from the facade, in a style to match, designed by McCarter, Nairne and Partners. Sprott Shaw College occupy space in the building, with a contemporary furniture store on the main floor.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-3985 fire CVA 99-2803




Posted 22 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Compton Lodge – 2095 Beach Avenue

Today’s building is over 70 years old, and is considered an ‘A’ category heritage building. It’s predecessor only lasted twenty years before it was redeveloped. Compton Lodge was designed by R T Perry, and cost its developer, J P Hodgson, $34,000 to construct in 1928. The builders were Hodgson, King & Marble, which gives us a helpful clue about the identity of the developer. Joseph P Hodgson had built three houses on the adjacent sub-divided lots in 1923 – the arched entrance of one of the Beach Avenue homes helped us line up the image accurately. He initially moved into the house on Pendrell.

Remarkably, considering the location (next to Stanley Park and overlooking English Bay), it appears that this was the first building constructed here. The view of the ocean was blocked by six houses built on the south side of Beach Avenue, and Englesea Lodge would have blocked the view to the east. It was designed in the fashionable Tudor, half-timbered style, and R T Perry also designed a very similar building in Calgary for a Vancouver client in 1929.

Joseph Pollard Hodgson was born in England in 1880 and became an engineer. He married Persis Compton, who was also born in 1880, in California. (Hence the name of the apartments). Their marriage was in 1909, in Rangoon, at the time the capital of British Burma. They had a son, Foster, who died in 1910, a daughter, Jennie, in 1912 and another son, Roger in 1916. They first appear in the city in 1913, when Hodgson and King were listed as contractors, and the family lived on Robson street. J P Hodgson’s specialism was bridge construction, and while Hodgson King and Marble built several significant buildings (including Point Grey School, Tudor Manor in the West End and the $300,000 Union Bank on Granville Street), their best known construction was the Burrard Bridge.

As far as we can tell, this was Joseph’s only investment (as well as the houses next door), and he moved from Englesea Lodge, where he lived in the 1920s, to the North Shore. He died in 1935, aged 54 and Persis was 77 when she died on Christmas Eve, 1957. The inquest inquiry found Joseph’s death was “by poisoning, self-administered, while temporarily insane”. It must have come as a huge shock to the family, who were away from the city at the time of his death.

The apartments were put up for sale for $65,000 in 1929, when the revenue was listed as $8,640. Less than 30 years after the building was constructed, it was demolished. In fall 1958 ‘The Beach Park’ was advertised for sale, as a self-owned apartment building. (There was no strata act at the time, so purchasers owned fractional shares in a company that in turn owned the structure). At some point the building became a market co-op; an alternate mechanism for collective ownership. The building is considered important enough to be listed ‘A’ on the Recent Landmarks Inventory of post-1940s buildings compiled in 1990, but that doesn’t guarantee any protection, and the list doesn’t even appear to be available online. The designer was, as far as we can tell, an engineer called R Antonius.


Posted 18 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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St Paul’s Church – Hornby Street

St Paul’s Church was built in Yaletown, which at the time was a newly developing residential neighbourhood, between Homer and Burrard Streets, on the southern end of the Downtown peninsula. It appeared in the 1890 street directory, but our photograph was taken in 1889 when it was first completed. We haven’t been able to trace an architect, but it occupied lots on Hornby Street, between Davie and Drake. The residential neighbourhood developed slowly, with many of the residents working for the railway company who had their maintenance yards and roundhouse nearby. Within a few years of its construction a tower was added to the church.

We’re not sure why, but at the end of 1898 it was announced that “there is talk of St Paul’s church being removed from Hornby Street to the corner of Butte and Pender streets.” Perhaps the fact that there was a West End Methodist, and a West End Baptist church, but no Anglican building, was a factor, The rector by then, the Reverend H J Underhill was already a West End resident. He had become rector in 1896, and a year later was the first resident of a new house on the corner of Barclay and Broughton streets.

In January 1899 there was an illustration in the newspaper, (taken from a photograph), showing the church raised on huge timbers in preparation for moving. It’s new home was not ‘Butte and Pender’, but rather Jervis and Pendrell.

The Archives have that image (left) and another (below) showing the church moving along Davie Street, apparently on rails, built for the task. The West End was more sparsely occupied that Yaletown at the time, so it wouldn’t have created much disruption. The report said the removal was successfully accomplished by the contractor, J N Menzies. ‘The church is 85 x 25 feet, and the tower is 40 feet high.

The site on Hornby, briefly occupied by the church, was vacant for several years, but by 1911 three houses had been built where the church had stood.

In 1989 The Ritz Asia Company built a new hotel here, designed by Eng & Wright. Today it’s a Residence Inn by Marriott, the latest incarnation of the hotel. Before this, it was known as the Cascadia Hotel and Suites, and when it first opened it was the Westbrook Hotel.

The adjacent Landis Hotel was developed in 1993, theoretically as a residential annex to the hotel, although it has always been operated as a hotel.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives Ch P33, Ch P37 and Ch P36.


Posted 8 August 2022 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

The Selkirk – 1225 Barclay Street

This is another 1920s West End rental building, but unlike many of the buildings built in the mid-war years, this one hasn’t survived. Gardiner & Mercer designed it in a similar ‘mission’ style to several other buildings they designed in the mid 1920s. This was built in 1926, (and photographed a year later) costing J Stenhouse, its developer $55,000 to have Smith Bros. & Wilson build it.

John Stenhouse was the accountant at Vancouver Barber Supply, and he lived next door at 1213 Barclay Street. When the Selkirk was completed, the house became the Selkirk Annex apartments, and John moved to an apartment at 1170 Barclay, the Florida Apartments.

We had problems finding John; we knew his wife was called May, and that they had a daughter in the early 1930s called Carole. He wasn’t in the city in the 1921 census, the most recent we can currently access. We finally found a clipping with an obituary of John’s brother, James, who died of a heart attack aged 50 in 1943. James was a stonecutter, living in Ohio, and his father, also James, was alive, and living in Hawick in Scotland. He died three years later, and his gravestone tells us that John’s mother was Janet Hind, a sculptor. We were able to find John’s birth, in Hawick in 1891, and his wife; Rena May Muttart, who was from PEI, born in 1900. John came to Canada in 1910. In 1916 Rena was living with her family in Edmonton and John was living in Lethbridge. She was still at school in 1918. In December 1934 we find him retired at age 43 with his wife Rena, 34, and their infant daughter Carole (who was born that year) aboard the Letitia of the Donaldson Line travelling from Quebec to Glasgow on a visit.

In 1947 the Province reported an accident: “Propeller Hits Arm, City Pilot Injured John Stenhouse, 60, suffered an arm fracture Sunday when he attempted to start the motor of his airplane. His arm was caught by the propeller. A light plane pilot Mr. Stenhouse is the proprietor of a barber and beauty shop supply house in Vancouver. He lives at 1432 West Forty-seventh.” (John was 56, not 60).

In 1948 Rena was working as a saleswoman for Mme Runge, a clothing store in South Granville, In 1949 It appears that John and Rena had separated, as she was shown living on West 1st Avenue. In 1952 she had become Mrs. Rena Aston, marrying Cecil Aston who was president of the Medical Hall Drug Co.

In 1952, John Stenhouse’s presumed death generated an unusual story in the local press: “Girl Given Two Years To Decide A 19-year-old city girl has been given two years to decide whether to fight her mother’s claim for a half share of the $289,000 left by her father when he disappeared more than a year ago, Chief Justice Farris Thursday adjourned the Supreme Court claim of Mrs. May Ashton, 5611 Chancellor, until Dec. 1 of next year. At that time it will be adjourned for another year. The unique case revolves on the interpretation of a separation agreement between Mrs. Ashton, the former Mrs. John Stenhouse, and her husband. Mr. Stenhouse, proprietor of a beauty parlor supply business here, took off in his light plane to visit his daughter, then in Eugene. Ore., in October of last year and has not been seen since. He has been declared dead. The claim asks simply that the separation agreement be set aside. Chief Justice Farris heard the preliminary application and decided Carol Lynne Stenhouse should be 21 before she is asked to decide whether to fight the action. He adjourned the case accordingly.

Two years later the Vancouver Sun reported on Carol’s decision in the case “Supreme court proceedings over the $300,000 estate of John Stenhouse have been wound up by dividing it equally between his widow and daughter. Sixty-year-old Stenhouse owned three apartment buildings and operated Coast Novelty Co., a barbers’ supply firm. He disappeared Oct. 6, 1951, while flying his own plane to Eugene, Oregon, to visit his daughter, Carol Lynne, who was attending university there. The question, of the estate came before the courts three years ago but was postponed until the daughter came of age so that she could consent legally to an equal division with her mother, now Mrs. Cecil Aston of University Hill.”

By 1957 Cecil and Rena were living in Penticton, and took a trip on the Queen Mary, (New York to Southampton, First Class). In 1961 they applied to buy a 2.4 acre plot on Okanagan Lake to build a summer home. Rena M Aston’s death was in 1964, in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, and Cecil died in 1980.

Lord Young Terrace was developed here in 1989, a 28 unit strata building designed by Hywel Jones for Nova Developments.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu N255.


Posted 28 July 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Elysium Hotel, West Pender Street (2)

This is our second look at this surprisingly short-lived hotel building, the New Elsium Hotel built on West Pender Street. The image in our first post wasn’t particularly good (as the photo had faded, or been badly under-exposed) and we now have much more information about the mysterious developer ‘C C Smith’. Robert Moen, of the comprehensively researched WestEndVancouver blog, has worked out who C C Smith probably was – not a Smith at all, but a gentleman called Christopher Cameron McRae.

The September 1909 permit for the $95,000 construction was to C C Smith, and the architect was identified as Sholto Smith, to be built by ‘McNeil & Marsegh’. The building was described as apartment or rooming house. Expectations were for the building to open in April 1910, but before it was completed, Robert Forrest took on the project, and it would seem that C C Smith was no longer involved as a developer. Robert Forrest, a civil engineer who ran the Glenwood Rooms, also on West Pender, purchased the site.

A court case in 1911 tells a different story to the building permit (and tells us something about the construction of the building). A bricklayer called Sydney Hosgood filed a claim in the BC Supreme Court for over $10,000 for the injuries he received when the scaffolding he was working from collapsed. In November 1909 he was working on the fourth floor, when ‘the walls separated, allowing the fifth floor to fall in on top of him’. He was knocked unconscious and thrown onto a verandah two floors below. In the case C C Smith was described as the contractor, and Joshua Mansergh was the client. (The case was found in favour of Mr. Hosgood, who was awarded $3,500 in damages against Mr. Smith, who declined to pay, and was cited for contempt. We don’t know if he went to jail, or eventually paid up).

There’s considerable confusion about the roles of Smith, and Mansergh. A 1909 Daily World article said “Mr C C Smith is having this magnificent structure erected having great faith in the future development of Vancouver”. One article about the judgement referred to him ‘of North Vancouver’, but that seems inaccurate. Charles C Smith, a real estate broker there, was perhaps being confused for the developer.

Joshua Mansergh has been as elusive as ‘C C Smith’. He was listed as a contractor between 1909 and 1911, in partnership with a variety of changing partners, and while he was sometimes listed as John, a mining claim he made in 1911 shows he was a contractor, and confirms he was named Joshua. In a 1909 court case Mansergh and Burkley failed to get additional payment for a stables they erected in the West End. In 1910 the architect, Sholto Smith, designed a house for himself (and his wife and child) on W 14th Avenue, which was built for him by Mansergh and Walker, so there was clearly a business relationship between Sholto Smith and Joshua Mansergh.

Another court case in 1910 strengthened that connection; J Wilson sought $500 from Mansergh for wages from the construction of the Wigwam Inn. The defence was that he was a partner, and not entitled to wages, but the court awarded him $421. The Wigwam Inn was up Indian Arm, developed in 1910 by Benjamin Dickens and Konstantin ‘Alvo’ von Alvensleben, and one of the few buildings we know was also designed by Sholto Smith.

J Mansergh lived in rooms at 991 W Pender, which was the home of a Mrs. Cropley. As a contractor he only seems to have built two houses in three years, (one of them the house for Sholto Smith). He doesn’t seem to have been listed by any Canadian census, or indeed, in any other publications except reported court cases – where he generally lost. He’s most likely to have been born in 1873 in Yorkshire in England; the only Joshua Mansergh we can find born in the later half of the 1800s was a joiner in 1901.

In 1923 an obituary appeared in the Vancouver Sun under the headline ‘C C Smith dies in City Hospital’. It references his wife, daughter Donalda, and a home on W 11th Avenue, and says he was a 58 year old contractor who came to the city from Ontario 31 years ago. All the other newspapers referred to the death of C C McRae, with the other details the same. There’s no indication why the Sun should identify Mr. McRae as ‘Smith’.

C C McRae called himself an architect in 1894, with on office on Cordova, and married Jennie Boyd McMillan, of Mount Pleasant, in 1902, when he described his occupation as architect. The Museum of Vancouver has a copy of their framed wedding photograph. Jennie was a school teacher, and their daughter Donalda was born in 1909, and became a social worker. (In 1907 the couple had a son, who only lived for a week). Jeannie McRae lived in Vancouver until her death in 1951, and Donalda died, having never married, in 1987.

Apart from the name ‘Smith’, there seems unlikely to be any connection between C C McRae and Sholto Smith. The architect was born in Nice, to English parents, and arrived in Quebec when they emigrated, and he was aged ten. His training as an architect was in Montreal, and he ended up practicing in Moose Jaw between 1906 and 1908, and then moved to Vancouver. He married Charles Woodward’s daughter, Peg, in 1909, and picked up some work for the retail magnate, as well as the Elysium and the Wigwam Inn. As the economy paused, work dried up, and the family moved back to Moose Jaw. Following the war, and the failure of his marriage, he moved to New Zealand.

The earlier post describes the fate of the hotel following its construction. It was demolished in the late 1970s, and replaced with an office building designed by Hamilton Doyle in 1985.

Image source: Simon Fraser University, British Columbia Postcard Collection.


Posted 25 July 2022 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Howe Street – 600 block, west side

This row of houses was photographed before the street had been levelled. This remarkably clear image dates from around 1889, and shows two families out on the porches of their homes. (It also shows why reports of  injuries to people crossing the street at that time were probably not exaggerated.)

The houses would have been built on wooden piles hammered into the forest floor, and the sidewalk was built level on heavy timber posts. The street levelling often took a few more years to complete. Even today, it’s still sometimes possible to come across sawn-off stumps in the crawl-space underneath houses from the 1880s and early 1890s, with the house supported on wooden posts or short brickwork columns.

As best we can tell, these were on today’s 600 block; described as ‘between W Georgia & Dunsmuir’. In 1889 it was the 400 block, and these would have been the second of two identical houses, both (confusingly) numbered as 427 with 429 Howe Street in the middle and 431 beyond.

George DeWolf was managing Director of the British Columbia Smelting Co, living at 427 Howe. By 1891 he was in real estate, and had moved with his wife and three daughters to Georgia, on the corner of Bute. His wife Frances was English, but George was from Nova Scotia, and his eldest daughter Elsa would have been about six when the photo was taken. In 1890 the numbering had been sorted out, and George was at 425 (which would have been off the picture to the right).

J M Clute also lived at 427. He worked for J S Clute and Co, dry goods (and J S Clute lived next door at 429, as well as an otherwise unidentified Beasley family). In 1891 J M moved on to work in real estate, (although the street directory thought he was still in the dry goods business), and  J M Clute had moved to rooms in the Manor House Hotel. He was from Ontario, and his wife was American. They had two daughters, aged 13 and 9 when the picture was taken, which makes him a more likely candidate to be in the picture.

A Mr. Watson (occupation unspecified) was at 431 Howe, where there was a family party in the porch, and a boy wearing a sea captain’s hat (maybe a pirate?) apparently intrigued by the photographer. In 1890 Mr. Watson had moved, and been replaced by James Lacey Johnson, an insurance agent.

The houses didn’t last too long. As we saw in an earlier post, by the 1930s this was already a commercial street. The commercial buildings that replaced these homes were modest, and in turn redeveloped in 1984 by the Metropolitan Hotel, designed by Dalla-Lana / Griffin Architects for Hongkong Land. When it opened it was managed as the Mandarin Hotel, and was said to be the most expensive investment per room in North America, and designed on Feng Shui principals. That didn’t help turn a profit – the hotel lost millions in each of its first 3 years of operation, and it was renamed as the Delta Place (and at least one website exists that says it’s still called that, although it became the independently owned Metropolitan in 1995.) There’s a squash court among the hotel’s fitness offerings, as well as a swimming pool.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA SGN 140


Posted 14 July 2022 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

169 East Hastings Street

We took a look at this modest 2-storey building’s neighbour to the west (the left) at 163 East Hastings a few years ago, intending to look at 169 when a better ‘before’ image was available. Our 1978 image as as good as it gets, and while the facade today is looking solid, (but boarded up) the building behind was just extensively damaged by fire, so we’ve categorized it as ‘gone’. The Maple Hotel to the east was only slightly damaged in the fire.

The 2-storey building on the left was built in 1903 for George Munro, and designed by Parr and Fee. 169 East Hastings, on the right, was built a year later. The architect, and builder, was listed as A Pare, and the developer was Thomas Storey, who only spent $5,500 on his 2 storey investment. We generally don’t dig into the biography of the architect, but we’ve made an exception of Mr. Pare. That’s partly because he was listed as an architect in the city for several years, but this is the only building associated with his name in the register of building permits. To bring up a family in the city, we assume he must have designed other buildings, but somehow they were not recorded.

The 1901 census showed him as Aime Pare, but other records (possibly with French speaking recorders) show Aimé Paré. His wife was Victorine Langré before she married, and while he was from Quebec, she was French. While later records show him born in 1845, the 1880 US Census shows him 5 years older.

Aimé and Victorine were in Portland, Oregon in 1875, and California from 1875 to 1890, before moving north. In 1880, in San Francisco, his wife was aged 23 and they had three children aged five, three and two. In 1881 Victorine was in Montreal, with her three children, but not Aime. He was in Fresno from 1884 to 1887 (with son Eugene born there in 1885), and he designed the Chula Vista school in 1888. Around 1890 he was in Washington State, and in 1892 he was apparently living in Idaho, where his son Aime Stanislaus Pare was born. That year he submitted a design in the competition for the British Columbia Parliament Building in Victoria.

he was first listed as an architect in Vancouver, living on Barnard street, in 1895. A year later he was listed as a contractor, and in 1897 he had moved to Keefer, and was an architect again. In 1899 only Mrs. Pare was listed, perhaps because Aime’s name consistently appears as an architect in the annual city directories of San Fransisco from 1898 until at least 1914. He was listed in Vancouver again in 1900, and in the 1901 census three of their (we think eight) children were shown living with their parents. Victorine, unusually, was listed as agnostic; Aime was Roman Catholic, and the children were Presbyterian.

The family moved to Pacific street in 1903, and Aime (listed as Airne) was a contractor again in 1904, and a year later when he became Amie. On 23 December 1904 Victorine Pare died in Vancouver. “Mrs. Victorine Langley [sic] Pare, a native of France, aged forty-eight years, died in the General Hospital last night.”

In 1906 Aime had rooms on Granville street, and his son, Eugene ( a fireman) was living in the Pacific Street house with his brother Joseph, a night watchman. There’s no sign of him in Vancouver after that, although his daughters Emma, Leonie and Vina were both still living in the city. Emma married Charles McPhalen, but died in 1909. Leonie married John Weeden, and lived in Chilliwack but later ran the Victorine Langre chocolate shop on Denman Street in the 1930s. She went on to spend many years as a prospector and placer miner and died in Lillooet in 1980.

Aime’s client, Thomas Storey, was also a builder, and also from Quebec. He was listed in the 1911 census aged 46, with his wife Lavina, who was 20 years younger, and their 5-year-old daughter, Mabel. He was doing well enough to have a domestic, who was Scottish. Lavina Campbell had married Thomas Storey in Ottawa in January 1904. He admitted to being 36; she was 20.

In 1913 he developed an apartment building at Heather on the north side of West Broadway. He appears regularly in the press, although not in conjunction with this property. He was regularly awarded construction contracts, and also acquired, and sold property. His other activities apparently avoided news coverage.

In 1922 Lavina Storey’s death was recorded. She was struck and killed by an automobile in Oakland, California, where she was staying for her health. She had been planning on returning to Vancouver, where her parents were still living. It seems likely she was estranged from her husband, who is not mentioned in the death notice, which said “she was well known here, having lived In the city for more than 20 years. She is survived by a daughter, Mabel Storey, who resides with her mother’s family”. In 1926 Mabel’s engagement and forthcoming marriage was noted. She married Charles Whitely, who was divorced and ten years older, in Port Moody.

In 1928 and 1929 Thomas sold properties in the city, also 2-storey buildings, probably originally erected by him. In April 1940 his sudden death was announced at the age of 73. Described as a ‘retired contractor’, he suffered a heart attack while working on a house-painting job, and died before he could reach the hospital. In June his estate of $18,000 was announced, mostly going to his married daughter, who was living in Vancouver again.

The first tenant here was F W Tyrell, who sold ‘gents furnishings’. By 1908 this had been numbered as 151 E Hastings, and was home to The Crystal Theatre, one of the city’s earliest movie theatres, run by Bradford Beers and Edward Trippe. (There had been an earlier Crystal Theatre on E Cordova, run by John Murray Smith). The Province reported “Messrs. Beers & Trippe of Chicago have for a financial consideration of $25,000, purchased a number of Important real estate holdings in Vancouver number of real estate holdings in Vancouver belonging to Mr. J. W. Williams, a well-known business man”. The package included the Exhibit, the Variety and the Crystal. In March, when the Bijou opened down the street, the Crystal responded by offering 10c vaudeville.

At the end of 1908 the property was part of a portfolio owned by ex-alderman W J Cavanagh. He had apparently skipped town ‘across the line’, leaving a heap of debts, including three properties where he held a half share (including The Crystal) valued in total at $20,000, but with $66,000 of mortgages held against them. By March 1909 the mess seemed to have been sorted out. Evans Coleman & Evans had advanced one of the mortgages, and according to the Province, ended up owning the building. The sold it for $40,000 to ‘a local capitalist’. However, in April, court proceeding were still trying to settle Mr. Cavanagh’s affairs. He had apparently transferred property to Miss Lilly Campbell before his flight from the city. She declined to answer questions about the transaction. “She was disposed not to answer questions and declared that she would not be compelled to. When asked where the papers were she reluctantly admitted she could get them if she desired, but she didn’t desire. Mr. Grant asked that the court order her to produce the papers.” We can’t find a further report on Miss Cambell’s dealings with the court, but in August the property was sold again, this time by A E Steels, for $45,000.

None of these transactions affected the theatre, which seems to have specialized for a while in showing wrestling matches and boxing fights. In early 1910 the cinema advertisements announced “The Films at the Crystal Theatre have never been shown in the city before” – although often not what they were. In April it was Tom Thumb ‘bring your children’, and a few days later Sarah Bernhardt ‘strong drama’. In May Cupid In The Motor Boat was showing, followed by Gold Diggers. Tickets were still 10c. The theatre wasn’t mentioned for several years, although there were repairs in 1913, but in 1917 the manager, Mr. Brown, was fined $40 when the Juvenile Detention Home discovered one of their charges was playing truant and watching movies during the day. In 1919, the year the cinema closed, James Connors was remanded for discharging a revolver in the cinema.

By 1920 renumbered as 163, the building became a branch of Vancouver Drug Store, with the Crystal Rooms (still numbered as 151 1/2) over. There was an apparently revolving door of new tenants, and businesses. In 1928 the London & British North America Co. Ltd. were owners and the Gerrard Shoe Co were tenants. In 1935 Bert Henry’s tobacco store was here, and the rooms seem to have closed (although there seem to have been residents in the building again in the 1940s). In the late 1930s there was a confectionery store, and ice cream parlor, but it soon closed and the contents of the business were sold at auction in 1939.

In the 1940s Main Taxi had their office in the front, and there was a billiards hall run by B Tomljenorich at the back. By 1945 they had become Balmoral Cabs, with New Hastings Billiards, but by 1948 were Main Taxi again. Marie Wagenstein was one of the cab drivers, and nearly lost her licence in a sting operation where she was asked to buy liquor for a friend, who was a police operative. She was convicted of selling liquor, but the magistrates granted her a taxi licence despite the legal case. (That wasn’t her only problem – she also had a dangerous driving conviction). In 1947 Veteran’s Amusements and Specialties had a store here – one of their specialties was apparently firearms, as a .22 calibre rifle was stolen from the business, and later recovered. In 1950 a raid on the premises netted 38 charges of being inmates in a disorderly house, and two of keeping a betting house. Jack Green was one of the two two organizers, and he was back in court a year later as part of a huge gambling ring covering dozens of premises in the city, including this one.

In 1965 the International Bookshop was raided by the city morality squad of the Vancouver Police Department, who took away 1,486 magazines and pocket books under the obscenity section of the Criminal Code. The case eventually wound up in court in 1967, only to be dismissed on a legal technicality because the Crown failed to correctly identify the owner of the business. The raids continued in 1968 through to 1971, with both books and films seized and prosecutions brought against the owner (who lived in Surrey). Bail was set in one case at 10c, with the judge saying the arrest was ‘deplorable, unwise and unnecessary’. In another case bail was set at $100, and eventually (18 months later) the business was fined $4,000, and its owner a further $1,250. The owner appealed the case, and sold the business (but not before being arrested again for selling an obscene book to an undercover police officer).

By 1978 the store was still International News, and now offered jokes and an Arcade, as well as gifts and souvenirs. It didn’t serve minors, but did sell ‘herb mixtures’ that claimed to offer a ‘legal high’ (but without any illegal substances). By 1982 the rules seemed to have changed. JNK News ran an advert in the Vancouver Sun for X-Rated video cassettes and adult merchandise. But in 1983 100 tapes were seized by the police from 3 stores, including JNK News. Despite continued raids in the mid 1980s, the store stayed in business. In 1988 it had video peepshow machines showing 70 second clips from porn films for 25c.

When the fire destroyed the back, and interior of the building, it had been used by the Street Church for nearly 30 years. Randy Barnetson founded a church here in 1993, which provided both food and clothing to Downtown Eastside residents, as well as regular worship and bible study. He died in 2020, and lead pastor is now Christina Dawson, who is from the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. The church is looking for a new location to operate from. The future of the buildings is unknown, but with the Balmoral Hotel to the west intended to be demolished and replaced with a new rental building, it’s possible the site could also include these buildings.


Posted 11 July 2022 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

Denham Court – 745 Jervis Street

Sharp and Thompson were hired by Mrs. E E Bewes to design this $37,000 apartment building in 1912. It stood on the corner of Alberni and Jervis, and is seen here in a 1912 photo in the Vancouver Public Library collection

Mrs. Bewes didn’t live in Vancouver – or, apparently Canada. Mr. E E Bewes travelled from Liverpool to Quebec in 1912, but otherwise there’s no trace of a Canadian connection. The Pacific Builder and Engineer added a little more information in a 1912 entry (with typos). “Mrs E E Bewes, 615 Pender st, will build a 5-sto brick apt house at 748 Jervis st. The plans were prepared Sharpe & Thompson”. Clearly this is just a rework of the building permit, with the same error on ‘Sharp’, and an additional error in misreading 745 for 748. It does tell us that her address was 615 Pender. Unfortunately, that’s the Crown Building, an office full of lawyers, real estate brokers and other offices, so it doesn’t get us any further in identifying who she was.

Then we came across a list of planning applications from the Eton District Council, in Buckinghamshire in England. Mrs E E Bewes obtained permission to build a bungalow at Mopes Farm, Denham in 1920. As this was Denham Court, she seemed a very likely candidate to be our developer.

Her address was shown as The Marish, Denham. That’s a 17th century half-timbered Grade 2 listed building in Denham Green, and the resident was ‘W Austis Bewes’ in 1901. A county directory said “Mrs. Goodlake and Mrs. Bewes are the chief landowners. The soil is loam and gravel; subsoil, chalk. The chief crops are oats, barley, grass and wheat. The area is 3,880 acres of Iand and 59 of water; assesable value, £8,999; the population in 1901 was 1,146, including Denham New Town“.

Wyndham Anstis Bewes was a lawyer, born in Dublin in 1858, although he was christened three months later in Plymouth, and three years later his family were still living in Devon, where his mother, Mary was listed as an ‘officer’s wife’. He was sent to Repton School in Staffordshire, attended Cambridge to study law, but was forced to leave due to ill health. He completed his studies in London, and was called to the bar, and became a lawyer. He became an authority on the laws of Spanish-speaking countries, and translated into English the codes of commerce of various South American countries.

He married in South Kensington in 1890 to Ellen Elizabeth Muller, who was aged 50, seventeen years older than he was. In the 1891 census they were living in Kensington, where Wyndham was a barrister, and had an instant family with Alicia and Charlotte Wyld, his step-daughters, aged 14 and 15 living at home.

Ellen was shown born in ‘Chili British Subject’, (Chile) and her death record shows that she was the daughter of William Christian Muller of Hillside, Shenley in Hertfordshire, and the widow of Edward Wyld of The Tile House, Denham in Buckinghamshire. She married Edward Wyld, a Scotsman, in Marylebone in 1869, when she was 29, and he was 45. They had 10 children in 13 years, and the youngest, also Edward was only aged 4 when his father died in 1887. His father had been a wine merchant, and the family lived at Tolbooth Wynd in Leith. In the 1881 census, Edward Wyld was shown as an ‘Australian Merchant’, and he was shown as a merchant (living in Shropshire) twenty years earlier. He worked for Brown & Co of Moorgate and Sydney, (wine merchants) and was also made a board member of the British Bank of South Africa in 1876. As well as her two daughters at home in 1891, Ellen also had younger children who were perhaps away at boarding school.

We hadn’t found any reason that Ellen Bewes would have invested in an apartment building in Vancouver, but we found a reference on the Social Page of the Province: “Mr. and Mrs. Wyndham Bewes of “The Marish,” Bucks. England, are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. C. Tweedale. They expect to return home in three weeks“. In 1913 the Sun reported that ‘W Bewes and wife’ were staying in Revelstoke. Quite how Cyril Tweedale came to know the Bewes family remains a mystery, but his influence appears to have been considerable. The block developed by Ellen Bewes in 1912 looks very similar to a West End apartment that Cyril developed, also designed by Sharp & Thompson in 1912, and also no longer standing today.

There was a fire at Denham Court that caused $3,000 of damage in 1914, and advertisements for suites that year were run with those of Gilford Court, Cyril Tweedale’s building. The residents were mostly professional, and sometimes were shown by the social pages receiving guests in their suite. In 1920 there was an unwanted guest in one suite “Gaining entrance through a rear window that faced on an air shaft in the Denham Court apartments, 725 Jervis street, last night, thieves ransacked the suite of Victor A. McLean, taking Jewelry, expensive lace and wearing apparel which, according to the police report, is valued at more than $3,000.” In 1927 Mrs. Armitage, mistaking the accelerator pedal for the brake, drove at full speed into the front of the building. Although rendered unconscious, she was taken home. The building was apparently unhurt.

Ellen Bewes died in 1928, and her husband, Wyndham, in Cambridgeshire in 1942. In 1929 Cyril Tweedale brokered the sale of the building to a local investor for $40,000, cash. It changed hands again in 1941, and in 1949 D Nemetz sold it to W H Miller of Kamloops for $50,000. Apartments continued to be offered through the 1950s, always stating ‘adults only’. By 1962 it was even more restricted, becoming Denham Court Men’s Residence. In 1974 it gained a new lease of life – albeit only for a short while, when a company owned by Derek Adams acquired it. The Sun reported “In two, three, five years it will come down,” Adams says ruefully. “A 12-apartment three storey building in that area isn’t economically feasible. But we’ve rehabilitated it, and we’ll keep it going as long as possible.” Opened in 1913, Denham Court was a West End landmark, an imposing example of elegance and good taste, a fashionable address tenanted by well-known names.”

The site of Ellen’s investment was redeveloped in 1990 with a 31 storey condo building designed by Eng & Wright, called Emerald West.


Posted 7 July 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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1213 Barclay Street

William Templeton was a successful grocer with his Ontario Grocers store at the corner of Hastings and Carrall. He was in Vancouver when it was still called the town of Granville, and lost his earlier premises in the 1886 fire. Initially William and his family lived in the East End, but as early as 1890 he had moved to a new house on the corner of Barclay and Bute, and the street directory also listed stables here. (That’s probably the building in the background behind the house, that would have been on Haro Street, and which was gone only a few years after this picture was taken). He was one of only 10 residents on the entire length of Barclay Street, and assuming this image dates to 1897, it was several years before the road was made up.

William Templeton was born in Belleville, in Ontario, in 1853 to Irish parents from County Donegal. His father, also William, was a grocer. His wife, Clementina Hawley was born in Boston, Massachusetts is 1860 to Scottish parents, and married William in Boston in October 1879. Their son, yet another William, was born in Ontario in 1880, and Maud 14 months later, in the same year that William’s father died. In 1886 the family moved across the country. Kathleen was born in 1888 while they were still living on East Hastings and Edwin in 1892, about two years after the family moved into their new house, and a year after the Templeton Block had been built on East Hastings, designed by C O Wickenden. (He may have also designed the house, but there are no records to confirm that).

Not long after he arrived in the city, William became involved in local politics. He ran for mayor, unsuccessfully, in 1890 against David Oppenheimer, representing himself as serving the “working and middle class”, (and representing himself as a member of the working class), with Oppenheimer a “higher class businessman”. He is also said to have mocked Oppenheimer’s German accent and to have lost supporters as a result.

A year later he set his sights lower and was elected as an alderman. He was a School Board trustee from 1892 to 1897, when he ran for mayor again, this time successfully. This picture of the mayor was taken that year and our main image was taken in the same year and almost certainly shows some of his family; Maud would be 15, Kathleen 9, and their mother is possibly the figure on the veranda. As a politician, even the City’s records note he was ‘a bad political strategist with an aggressive personality’. In 1898 his rival candidate for mayor was an engineer, James Garden, who won election by a comfortable margin. One of the issues in the election was the granting of licenses to music halls in the city, which Templeton opposed and Garden supported.

The campaign for the 2,210 votes was bitterly fought, and often nasty. The Rossland Times recorded that “he told of the shameful lies that had been circulated about him and remarked “These slanders cut into my heart like a knife.” The Victoria Daily Times, on reporting his death on 16th January, four days after the election reported “inquiry elicited the fact that Mayor Templeton had been unable to sleep for five nights, and on Saturday sank into a deep slumber that became a trance. He passed away on Sunday afternoon at three o’clock.” At the time the death was described as due to apoplexy – a stroke – although newspapers in other parts of the province said heart disease, or a cerebral hemorrhage. Later reports suggested an overdose of sleeping potion, with the suggestion that it might have been suicide, although no contemporary reports suggested that.

The entire city closed its doors for three hours for his funeral. Mayor Garden made a statement stating that he would rather have lost the election than have Mayor Templeton’s death occur. In July Mrs. Templeton sold the grocery business to J S Foran, who had been running it in the interim. She continued to live here, and was recorded in the 1901 census as Clem Templeton, aged 40, with her son, William, who was working in the customs office, and Maud, Kathleen, and ‘Edward’ who were all still in school. Ida Bliss, a lodger was also in the house.

On the last day of 1906 Clementina married Charles Parsons, who was from Quebec, and three years older. The 1921 census finds the family living on Pine Crescent, with William and Edwin Templeton still living with their mother and her husband. Mah Sang, their domestic was also living with them. Charles was vice-president of Wallace, Parsons, Farmer Co, a wholesale dry-goods business. In 1925 a new house was commissioned on W 32nd Avenue, designed by Townley, Matheson and Partners. Mrs. Parsons was photographed in 1940 for the Archives, looking much younger than her 80 years. Clementina was 83 when she passed away in February 1943, and her husband died in May of the same year.

In 1907 a banker, Alexander Fraser Sutherland was living in this house, carrying out alterations, and he was still here in 1921. He was originally from Garden of Eden in Nova Scotia, and had five children. He had spent time in California, for his health, in the 1890s, and was then in Seattle for five years from 1898. While he was a financier, he also had logging interests, with an operation on Vancouver Island in 1907. He also acquired land in the Chilcotin in 1910, when he was described a ‘Alexander Fraser Sutherland, capitalist’ In 1917 he was made Inspector of Investment and loan societies in Vancouver. He was aged 83 when he died in 1931, although he had already moved out of the house.

In 1926 J Stenhouse built a new apartment building on the garden area on the side of the house, and this became the Selkirk Apartments Annex. In 1964 a 12-storey concrete rental building replaced the house, named ‘Baron’s Court’, and addressed to Bute Street. The landscaping has grown to the point that in summer the building is almost invisible from this view.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives SGN 1080.2


Posted 4 July 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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