Archive for the ‘Still Standing’ Category

527 East Georgia Street

In 1910 when the permit was obtained for this building, it was described as ‘stores and rooms’. Out 1978 image shows that the stores haven’t been apparent for over 40 years. For some reason the Assessment Authority think this dates from 1905, but for some reason almost nothing was built on this block in the first decade of the 1900s, unlike all the other blocks in the area.

The developer was shown as Alexander, R. (Mrs.) and the architect was H McKinnon. The only logical person in the city was Hector MacKinnon, who was a real estate broker with an office nearby on Main Street. H McKinnon had permits as a builder, owner and architect of various projects, mostly in the East End of the city. He was in partnership with Murdoch Campbell in 1909, but sole proprietor of the business a year later. He was Scottish, and proved hard to find as the census either missed him, or mis-named him. We can find his wife, Catherine (formerly McLeod) who was mentioned in the local press a lot, as she was a violinist. Hector was only 54 when he died in 1930. His wife was living in White Rock when she died in 1945.

Mrs. R Alexander could have been the wife of Richard Alexander of BC Mills. Isabella, from Ontario, and was 34 when the building was constructed. However, other permits suggest a different Alexander. The builder of the $7,000 building was shown as Alexander & McKinnon. There’s no identified business with that name in the street directories, or the press, so we suspect it was a one-off partnership, probably of relatives of the architect and developer. In 1908 R Alexander had a $5,000 house built on Larch Street – the first building in the area. Robert Alexander was in Real Estate, and already retired at 55 according to the 1911 census. His wife was Mary, from Ontario, who was 46. The family had a domestic servant, but no children at home. In 1911 the family built a garage at their home; the architects were Alexander & MacKinnon and the builder H MacKinnon, presumably the same H McKinnon who also built the house in 1909. That permit is why we think Mary was the Mrs. R Alexander who developed this building.

Mary was 42 and single when she married Robert in 1908 in Revelstoke. He was a widower, and his profession was shown as ‘gentleman’. Robert was 54, from Forfarshire, and Mary was born in Beaverton, Toronto. The marriage certificate didn’t include a line for her occupation, and the 1901 census – when she was still living in Ontario – didn’t show one either. She was head of a household with her two younger sisters and two boarders. In 1921 Robert and Mary had moved to Alberta Street, and Robert is shown as a ‘retired merchant’. He first appeared in a Vancouver street directory in 1906, and was already shown as retired. It’s possible he was the Robert Alexander who died in Vancouver in 1923, leaving property in Saskatchewan that the BC Government attempted to tax on his death. They failed, after two court cases. Mary Grant Alexander died in 1952, aged 87.

When they opened these were the Harris Rooms – the name of the street they were built on at the time. The BC Candy Co was on the main floor to the east, and Atkins Co to the west. The Harris Rooms were run by Miss C M Morgan, who lived on the premises, and Atkins Co were sheet metal workers, installers of cornices, and furnaces. It suggests that perhaps the plain box seen in our 1978 image wasn’t the original appearance of the building, but we haven’t seen other images of this block that are earlier.

By 1920 Harry Barzman (who lived in a house next door) was running his butchers business in one of the stores. The other was vacant, and oddly, the rooms aren’t mentioned. In 1925 The Zion Kosher Meat Market was in 527, run by Coleman Kolberg. The Harris Rooms were at 531, and the other store, 533 had Joseph Costanzo’s grocery store. In 1930 Guiriato Attilio had taken over the grocery store, and in 1936 Kametaro Mochizuki was running the rooms, and the second store was the Maxim Gorky Club. In that year it was reported that “Meat valued at $45 was stolen from the Kosher Meat Market”. Five years later “Russian residents in Vancouver collected $2457 for medical aid to the Soviet Union at meeting held Sunday at 533 East Georgia Street, under the auspices of the Russian Committee in Aid of the Native Land. The money will be forwarded through the Red Cross.” The hall was vacant later that year, as was the hall, and the rooms were run by O Kawaguchi. They would be removed from the Lower Mainland a year later as war was declared with Japan, and John Berezowecki (who was a shipyard worker) took over running the rooms. The Russian National Committee had taken over 533. They would later move to the nearby Russian Hall. By 1955 this had become the Cathay Lodge rooms, with one store vacant, and Benson Hoy living in the former hall location. Benson, and his wife Edna ran the Cathay Lodge.

Some reports continue to list the building and its 33 rooms as Cathay Lodge, but the owners changed it to ‘Metro’ several years ago.

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Posted 29 July 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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73 Water Street

This brick faced warehouse was, according to its Heritage Statement, built in 1912 for the Vancouver – Prince Rupert Meat Packing Company. While the developer is correctly identified, the building permits weren’t submitted until 1914. There were three permits in total; two in January for $6,400 (presumably for preliminary work) and another in April for $50,000. The company designed all three stages of construction of the 33 feet wide, and 7 storeys high building, built by E J Ryan. It’s on the same block as a ‘rival’, and slightly earlier coldstore and meat-packing building, owned by the Canadian Swift Meat Packing Co.

By 1919 Swift owned the Vancouver – Prince Rupert Meat Co (as well as many other companies), and there is some suggestion that the business was always a subsidiary of Swift (a Chicago-based business). Swift had their name on the building in 1923, but by 1930 they had consolidated to their building to the east, and David Spencer’s departmental store were using this building as their warehouse. T Eaton and Co bought the Spencer business in 1948, and continued to use the warehouse. (When they operated as a rival to Spencer’s, they had a warehouse a block to the west of here).

As Gastown turned into a tourist area, the ground floor became a gift shop (seen in this 1985 image) and today a shoe store, with office space in the converted warehouse above.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-2097

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Posted 26 July 2021 by ChangingCity in Gastown, Still Standing

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54 East Cordova Street

Like the rooming house to the west, (more recently known as the Wonder Rooms) this building was designed by Hugh Braunton, in this case a year later in 1912. The developer was W G Harvey and the building opened as the Alvin Rooms, although they didn’t appear in a street directory until 1914, when they were run by H McIntyre.

The first year he was in Vancouver, 1895, W G Harvey’s store was at 322 E Cordova, and he was living at 515 Westminster Avenue. In 1896 the store had moved to 326 Westminster Avenue, and was described as ‘the leading East End Dry Goods Store’. In 1898 the store was at 400 Westminster Ave, and the family were living at 338 E Hastings, and in 1901 they had moved again, to 800 Hornby. That was the family home through the 1900s, although the store moved again to 70 W Cordova, and then in 1910 to the Hornby address. A year later William had retired, and moved to Shaughnessy, to the corner of Matthews and Granville.

Mrs W G Harvey died in 1919, and was only 58. We can trace from the details on her death certificate that Florence Gabriel married William George Harvey in St Mary’s Church St John’s, Newfoundland in 1891. The family must have moved west quite soon after that; Beatrix Harvey was born in 1892, in Victoria. (She married Ernest Williams in Vancouver in 1919, just before her mother’s death, and died in 1966 in Victoria). Lancelot William Harvey was born in 1893 in Victoria, married in 1921 and died in Coquitlam in 1980. In the 1901 census the children were recorded as Beatrice and Lance, and their uncle (W G’s brother) Herber Harvey was living with the family. W G Harvey was 64 when he died in Vancouver in 1925.

Miss J Anderson was running The Alvin Rooms in 1930, and Mrs S Saiga in 1940. In the 1940s these became the Franklin Rooms, in 1945 run by Choy Chin, and then by 1950 The Cordova Rooms, the name previously held by the building to the west. Choy Jung was shown running them that year, but by 1955 it was shown as Choy Chin again.

The Cordova Residence, as it’s now known, was part of the SRO Renewal Initiative of public owned heritage hotels, so we have documented evidence of the state of the building prior to restoration, and some of the more unusual aspects of the structure. It has a solid wooden frame – the main floor timbers are 12″ x 16″ with 2″ x 4″ laminated floors – suggesting a warehouse or perhaps industrial intended use. There’s an original wooden framed manually operated freight elevator from the main floor to the basement, and a belt-drive jack shaft to power a lathe also survives in the basement. The basement was linked to the building next door, and there’s an original rolling metal-clad fire door across the doorway. All of these elements were preserved in the renovation.

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Posted 22 July 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Gastown, Still Standing

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Central Hotel – East Cordova Street

The building here is called The Central Residence and has been owned by the City of Vancouver for nearly 20 years, but it was built as two separate structures. Each cost $40,000, and 48 East Cordova (the left hand side of the building) was built first, in 1911, followed by the right in 1912. We assume the design of the first, by Hugh Braunton (for W C Marshall) was copied by Archibald Campbell Hope, whose client for the second was the Vancouver Realty Co. They were a business that had been around for a while, but this was their swansong. By the time the 1912 street directory was published the business was no longer listed, and their offices at 433 Seymour were vacant.

We can however provide an explanation for choosing a different architect; the Realty Co were represented by (and probably controlled by) Hope, Gravely & Co, a long-established firm of engineers, accountants and financial agents, with engineer Charles Hope partnering with pioneer land agent Walter Graveley. Charles was from Bradford, in England, and had studied architecture, like his father. His younger brother – the architect of the later building –  was A C Hope, who had been in San Francisco in 1906, and moved north in 1908.

William C Marshall lived on Pacific Avenue with his 41 year old American wife Edna, their two children, and her mother, Susan Darcy. He was from Ontario, aged 48, and in 1911 was shown as living on ‘income’. His wife and mother-in-law had come to Canada in 1884, and William and Edna had married in 1904 in New Westminster. William Crozier Marshall was a widower, which explains how he had a 12 year old daughter at home, Elsie, and an 11 year old son, William, when he married Edna, who was 24 and born in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.

His first wife was Jennie (or Jenny) Loveless, and they had another daughter, Minnie, who was married in 1909 when she was 19.  Jennie had been 19 when she married William in 1888 in Vancouver, and had been born in Burton-on-Trent, in England, but she died in 1893. William had three very young children, so it must have been a relief to marry a widow from Ontario, Frances Chase, (known as Bertha), in 1895 and a further tragedy when she also died, in 1901. She was recorded in the census that year, with the children and two lodgers. The local press reported the nature of her death. “Well Known Lady Dies Suddenly This Morning in St. Paul’s Hospital. A very sad death took place this morning, the victim being a well known lady, Mrs. Bertha Marshall, wife of W. C. Marshall, of this city. Only last Friday the deceased lady was taken to the hospital, and a day later an operation was performed by Dr. McPhillips, which at the time appeared to be successful. but blood-poisoning set in mid early this morning the lady gradually sank and passed away. Mrs. Marshall had a very large number of friends in the city and was universally well liked. She was 32 years of age and had been married a little over three years. She lived since early childhood in Chilliwack, where her people are well known.

Before he became a real estate investor, William had run a livery stable, with the earliest record we can find for him being a payment by the City Council to W C Marshall, drayman in 1888. His inaccurately named ‘Sleepy Dan’ was a notable member of the stable. He was a frequent winner at the Richmond racetrack, and at Hastings Park. In 1905 he was fined $5 for racing on Cordova Street against Tommy Roberts – who also had to pay the same fine. Residents reminisced in the Vancouver Sun about hiring a horse and buggy from ‘Billy Marshall’ to impress a girl on a Sunday afternoon to take them riding around Stanley Park.

William was elected as an alderman in 1916. He was 73 when he died in 1937; the Province reported his death: “William C. Marshall, 73, pioneer of Vancouver In the livery business, died Wednesday night at his home, 1217 Pacific street He had been ill more than a year. Fifty-two years ago Mr. Marshall arrived from Ontario and, with Steve Tingley, drove the first horse stage from Esquimalt into Victoria. Next summer he came to Vancouver to live and for many years was in business on Water street. Marshall’s livery was a landmark In the old days. Twenty-five year ago he retired. He served as an alderman for several years”. Edna was 85 when she died in 1965.

When they opened the two establishments were used slightly differently; 42 was operated as the Central Hotel. Next door at 48 there was a business on the main floor (in 1920 the Kloepfer Hardware Co Ltd) and the Oliver Rooms upstairs. That was true through to the 1950s, although the Central Hotel had become rental rooms by then, run by J K Fun and Sue See in 1955. The Oliver Rooms were run by Harry and Anne Sherban.

This was one of the first buildings in the area to be converted from market to non-market housing. The work was done in 1973-74 by the United Housing Foundation with Jonathan Yardley as architect. During the renovation, which involved the consolidation into a single property, it was discovered that the builders had made the work easier by already leaving blocked up doorways between the two buildings. Our 1978 image shows it as The New Central. In 1980 the City of Vancouver, as owners since 1986, added a fire alarm system throughout the building. In private ownership it had 131 tiny rooms; today, as the Central Residence following a 2003 renovation (following two fires in rooms) the building was reconfigured with CMHC and BC Housing funds to create 64 larger units, 54 with their own bathrooms. Residents are 55+ or under 55 with a disability, although the building is not wheelchair accessible.

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468 Union Street

This rooming house has seen better days, but we were surprised to see how much it’s gone downhill since our picture from 1978. Back then there were still patterned stucco panels and windows with coloured glass and fancy glazing bars.

The 1911 census showed Jerome Martin was 57, living at 466 Barnard (today’s Union St), with his wife Mary, who was 42, and their 2 year old son, Harold. Jerome was a bricklayer, born in Belgium, and it said he arrived in 1905 and that Mary was from Ontario. She was, but Jerome had married Mary in Vancouver in April 1904. His marriage certificate said he was a bachelor, and a bricklayer. (It also, inaccurately, said he was born in 1858). Historian James Johnstone found that Mary Jane O’Brien applied for the water connection for a house at 466 Barnard in August 1904 (Although she was actually Mary Jane Martin by then)

In 1905 they were living in a house at the rear of 757 Prior, and Jerome was shown working as a mason. He got a permit for a frame dwelling on Barnard St in 1905, and another in 1906. From 1906 to 1908 the family were living at 466 Barnard, and Jerome was shown as a bricklayer. In 1908 J C Martin of 466 Barnard obtained another permit for a house on Prior Street. From 1909 to 1911 the Martin family lived at 753 Prior. (Different families were living at 466 Barnard over this period). In 1911 J C Martin had a permit for a $1,000 1-storey frame dwelling house at 466 Barnard. That was probably an initial permit for this building, although oddly, there doesn’t seem to be an detailed permit for an apartment. The water permit was obtained in October 1912 by Jerome Martin, so the building was completed at that point.

The 1912 street directory showed J Clement Martin as the proprietor of the Whitehorse Rooms, and living at the renumbered 468 Union. Later that year, in December, the Daily World reported “Chief Justice Hunter yesterday gave judicial sanction to the separation of Jerome Clement Martin and his wife, Mary Jane Martin. The custody of a child will remain with Mrs. Martin, and she will be paid $15 a month. This decision was the result of the chief Justice holding a private conference with Mr. and Mrs. Martin and effecting a settlement with the aid of counsel.

The 1913 street directory showed Jerome C Martin as proprietor of the White Horse Rooms at 468 Union, and the Roma Restaurant was shown here run by Guiseppe Giovanetti. In September that year the marriage was reported in the Tacoma Times of Jerome C. Martin and Eva Macfadden, both of Seattle. Eva was from Montana, and had been married once before; and this was recorded as Jerome’s third marriage. In 1914 the White House Rooms had no proprietor listed, and Mrs Lipovsky ran a grocery store. A year later the rooms weren’t mentioned, and Mrs Lipovsky was still running her store. She was a Russian-born widow; her husband, a sheet metal worker, died of acute appendicitis at the age of 42 in 1912. In 1916 Sarah Lipovsky had moved her grocery store to 433 E Georgia, and Jerome Martin was running the grocery store here.

Jerome Martin died in Vancouver in June 1917, and was shown as married, aged 63. In 1917 and 1918 468 Union was shown as vacant, and the rooms were not mentioned by name, but their address was shown as 468½ Union. Generally the proprietor of the rooms is shown, but not the tenants. Victor Dorigo was at the address in 1921, with his son, and sister. He was shown in the directory, but not George Carr who was living here with his wife Viola, or Daniel Strickland, a lodger. Roger Victor is shown in the directory, although it’s not clear why, as he worked for the CPR.

Bizarrely, in the 1921 census Victor Dorigo was shown as being born in the USA, his parents were born in Finland, and his ethnicity was shown as Russian. He and his son spoke Italian. He was also a storekeeper, with the confectionery store on the main floor that had previously been run by Eugenio Falcioni. Before them Abraham Charkow had an egg store at 468 Union in 1919. An online biography suggests the census clerk was getting very confused. Vittorio (Victor) Dorigo was born about 1893 in Fregona, Italy, to Guiseppi Dorigo and Regina Piazza. He arrived in the Port of New York, New York, on 16 May 1914, aboard the La Provence from Le Havre, France; age 21 with his destination as Michel, British Columbia. He married Vivian Walimaki about 1920. Victor and Vivian relocated from British Columbia to Ontario, Canada, sometime before 1929.

Herbert Strickland took over in 1923, running a butchers store, then in 1925 the Union Tailor Shop run by Louis Battistoni, joined by his brother’s shoe repair business. Upstairs J Moir ran the rooms, in 1928 with V A Warn.

In the early 1930s the Ungren family moved into 466 Union (on the lane), and John Ungren was shown running the Lethbridge Meat Market under the rooms. By 1932 his wife, Dora had taken over the store space as a grocery and John ran the rooms, and by 1939 they’d swapped again, with John running a confectionery store, and Dora ran the rooms, which the family had moved into. They renamed the rooms Adora Court in the early 1940s. The name stuck, although by then the Ungren’s weren’t there. A variety of names of tenants of the store, and the proprietor of the rooms cycle through the 1940s. At the end of the war John Ivancic was running the rooms, and the store had apparently become a residential address, with the Few family living there, replaced by William and Adwina Jones a year later.

In 1948 George and Katie Kohut were running Adora Court, in 1951 William Baert became caretaker, and in 1953 the rooms became ‘Chinese’, and a year later ‘Mrs Lam Ho’ was added as proprietor. She was still here when our 1978 image was taken, but new managers took over in the 1980s. The name ‘Lucky Rooms’ was adopted in 1999, and then the New Lucky Rooms, (although there was no obvious improvement to justify the name). There are 24 units here, with shared bathrooms. Although advertised as ‘Student Residences’, the rooms let like many others in the neighbourhood, to anyone who can pay the requested rent.

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Posted 12 July 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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800 – 822 Jackson Avenue

Leonard Sankey came to the three-year-old Vancouver in 1889. He was a carpenter, like his older brother Frank, and first appeared in a street directory in 1891 living on Prior Street. His brother lived across the street. They were from Herefordshire. Their father was Herbert Sankey from Ludlow in Shropshire and their mother Emma Bull from Bullingham in Herefordshire. Leonard was 26 when he married Fannie (christened Frances) Robinson, who was from Nottinghamshire. The were married in Vancouver in 1893, and by the 1901 census there were already four children at home, Vera, Ira, Gladys and Harvey.

Leonard built the $1,000 house at the end, on the corner of Barnard as it was then known, (Union today) in 1904. It was finished in 1905, and the family moved in. Two years later he obtained a permit to add four more houses at the cost of $1,000 each – although they were built as a single unit. The rental building was a simplified version of the Queen Anne style of the house. They both had a complicated gable roof and projecting bays, but his house had extra details like fish scale shingles and carved corner brackets.

We eventually found the family in the 1911 census. All four children were at home, and it looks like four had been enough for them. Most of their names were spelled wrongly, (Gladis, Harvie) and the ink ran out writing ‘Sankey’, but the address confirmed it was the correct family. Leonard was still a carpenter, as he was in the 1921 census when only Harvey, who was 22, was still at home, still a student. Unusually, the family didn’t all agree about religious denominations; Harvey was listed as Baptist, his father as Methodist, and his mother as ‘Christian Science’.

The family moved, first to Grant Street, then to Parker Street, but Leonard continued to own and rent the properties, carrying out repairs in 1922 that required a permit. From 1926 to 1928 his former home was used by the Canadian Jewish Council of Women, who provided a variety of social services to the Jewish community in Strathcona. Frances died in 1937 and Leonard was 97 when he died in 1964. The houses have stayed in single ownership, and have been maintained carefully – as can be seen in our 1978 image.

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Posted 5 July 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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205 Main Street

In 1904, according to the building permit, M McRae hire C B McLean to design an $8,500 hotel on the corner of Powell Street and Westminster Avenue. Dowse and Carter built the hotel, which opened as The Melbourne Hotel in the fall. Mr. McLean wasn’t active in the city for very long, but also designed the Invermay Hotel on West Hastings. Here he added a couple of bay windows on the second floor, above a main floor bar.

Later that year 1904 the press carried the following advert: MELBOURNE HOTEL New and up-to-date; steam-heated and electric light; excellent table (white cook); guests receive every attention; cars to all parts of the city pass the door. Rates $1.25 and $1.60 per day. Special rates to steady boarders. D. McRAE. E. McCANNEL Cor. Westminster Avenue and Powell Street. The street directory confirmed Donald McRae, proprietor, although failed to mention Mr. McRae in any other entry. (The only Donald McRae living in the city throughout this period had a job as a customs locker). The Government Gazette published a legal notice at the end of 1904: WE, Donald McRae and Elizabeth McCannel, members of the firm of McRae & McCannel, carrying on business as hotel-keepers at the City of Vancouver aforesaid, in the Melbourne Hotel, under the style of McRae & McCannel, do hereby certify that the said partnership is this day dissolved, the said Elizabeth McCannel retiring from the said partnership. The said McRae is to carry on the said business and pay all liabilities thereof, and is entitled to the stock in trade, moneys, credits and effects of the said partnership, and to indemnify and save harmless the said Elizabeth McCannel against the payment of any partnership liabilities. Witness our hands at Vancouver, B. C., this 29th day of December, A.D. 1904.

We’ve had more luck tracing Elizabeth than Donald. She was living in the city in the 1901 census, and she, rather than her husband, was listed in the street directory. Mrs. Elizabeth McCannell ran the Windsor on East Hastings, although the census only listed her husband Donald’s occupation, as blacksmith. We’re pretty certain it’s the correct household as there are 16 boarders as well as the couple’s 4 daughters and a son-in-law (and grandaughter), so a house seems an unlikely option. Elizabeth’s husband, Donald McCannel, died in 1903. It’s likely that Donald McRae was a relative, possibly her brother, as before she married she was Elizabeth McRae, from Glengarry County, Ontario. She had four children, and didn’t stay in the city after handing over the Melbourne. She died in San Francisco in 1919. Our best guess is that Donald and Elizabeth planned the hotel to help out when Elizabeth found herself a widow, but the arrangement didn’t work out, leaving Donald to take over, and then dispose of the hotel.

Whoever he was, Donald McRae wasn’t running the hotel for much longer. In 1906 John Gaugler was running The Melbourne. In 1908 Earle and Rice were running the hotel, which had been successful at attracting long term residents. There were several engineers, a couple of carpenters and a lumberman and a prospector among the residents. In 1910 Rice and Richter were listed as proprietors, although John Rice appeared to run things, and lived in the hotel. The tenants were a cut above the average East End rooming house; they included Ben Roe, the master of the steamer ‘Farquhar’ and Isaac Forsythe, a master mariner, a fireman on the Great Northern Railway, John Gray, an engineer, the Co-owner of The Dominion Emploment Agency, William Kelman as well as a clerk and a barman who worked at the hotel.

In 1921 M Amano was listed as proprietor of the Melbourne Rooms. The census shows Daiichi Amano, a 27 year old Japanese rooming house proprietor, and his 23 year old wife, Katuyo. Their lodgers were now more typical of the area’s population; a carpenter, a fisherman, two loggers and a pile driver. They were from Japan, Ireland, Quebec, Italy – and one from British Columbia. In 1931 it was once again a hotel, with Dan Mackenzie running the hotel. There was a waiter in the dining room, and a clerk at the front desk. He was still running the hotel a decade later, which had a beer parlour, two waiters, a steward and a porter. The Museum of Vancouver have one of the fancy, art deco styled chaise lounge sofas from the period Dan owned the hotel. After the war the Melbourne Hotel and rooms were being run by John Costock and Goliardo (‘Gillie’) Brandolini. Mr. Brandolini was still running the hotel in 1955. Elma Brandolini was the hotel clerk, and other Brandolinis were running the New Empire Hotel, and BC Hotels, so theirs was a family of hoteliers.

At some point in the early 1970s the bar of the Melbourne joined over thirty other bars and lounges, and transformed into a stripper bar, the No.5 Orange. It was still run by the Brandolinis, Harry and Leon, and was rated as one of the classier venues. Bon Jovi apparently spent time here when they were recording their new album nearby in the mid 1980s, and the shower installed on stage helped them come up with the title of their new album, ‘Slippery When Wet’. Courtney Love performed here for a month in 1989 (before she became a singer). Out of several dozen bars, almost all the other similar venues have closed; there are just four remaining, and (temporary Covid closure excepted) the No.5 continues to be be one of them, although the hotel rooms have long gone.

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Posted 28 June 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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332 Jackson Avenue

We looked at the history of the rooming house on the left edge of this picture in an earlier post. it was designed by W F Gardiner for Frank Vandall in 1911. There were two other buildings on the same 2 lots, and the rooming house on the southern end, next to the lane was given a permit slightly earlier, in 1910. A rooming house was designed by George A Horel for John Elliott. At the time it was 320 Jackson, although by 1912 it was shown on the insurance map as 332 Jackson.

The small cottage sandwiched in the middle was the last remaining outlier of the original development here. There were four houses in a row in 1901, with two being redeveloped for the Vandall Block, and another for John Elliott’s rooming house. They first show up in 1896, when all four were initially shown in the street directory as vacant, so they were probably built speculatively. The City School was on Oppenheimer Street (E Cordova today) on the next lots to the east.

There were seven John Elliotts in Vancouver in 1911, and two listed as ‘real estate’ One lived on West 7th Avenue, was aged 48, from the USA, and listed as a builder. He lived with his wife Nettie, and daughter Elva, and had arrived in 1896. His real estate activity was new; in 1908 it appears that he was a butcher. Another candidate was  John G Elliott, also from the US, aged 50 and lived on Barclay Street in the West End. His census entry says ‘agent, finance’, but the street directory shows a real estate partnership with his son, Irving S Elliott, who lived on East 6th Avenue. John G and his wife May Alice had come from the US in 1906, and still had four daughters living at home in 1911. There was a least one other John Elliott who was a contractor, and we haven’t found a way to pin the permit for this building down to any specific positively identified John Elliott.

It may not really matter, because the street directory seems to suggest that Mr. Elliott’s building may not have been built. There are a series of entries for a single named resident (suggesting a house, rather than an apartment) through to the 1920s, when the directory compilers gave up (or weren’t interested), and just put ‘Japanese’. The first identifiable rooming house here was in 1929 when the lshisaka Rooms, run by S Ishisaka, were listed. By 1932 they had been renamed the Jackson rooms, with S Kishida running them. Once the Japanese were removed from the BC coast, E Karlson took over in 1942. Mrs. Julia Haras was running the rooms in 1945, and Peter Holyk in the 1950s. He was from the Ukraine, had been a miner with a home on East Georgia in the 1930s, and died in 1977.

The two rooming houses continued operations for many years, (and are still operating today), although they came under the same ownership as a single legal lot, and the combined building is now known as The Jackson Rooms. In 1988 a new addition of an infill building was developed where the cottage at 316 Jackson was still standing in our 1978 image.

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Posted 24 June 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Oppenheimer Lodge – East Cordova Street

This non-market housing building was only 4 years old when our ‘before’ shot was taken in 1978. The building has lasted remarkably well for one over 40 years old. In the late 2010s it had a $2.7m makeover to replace the roof and windows, and to patch up waterproofing, but compared to many buildings from the same era it’s doing really well. The 147 units of non-market seniors housing was originally developed by the Federal Government, using the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. It’s now owned by the Provincial BC Housing agency, who in turn identified the City of Vancouver to manage the seniors complex.

This was one of the last designs by architects Erickson/Massey, the Vancouver starchitects of their day. They split up in 1972, and Arthur Erickson then started his solo practice. While this was being built he was designing the Museum of Anthropology. Geoffrey Massey, son of movie star Raymond Massey, also continued in practice, and died in December 2020 from pneumonia in a hospice near Lion’s Gate Hospital in North Vancouver aged 96.

In 1973 the Vancouver Sun reported on the project. “Applications are now being received for low-rent bachelor apartments at Oppenheimer Lodge, Cordova Street at Jackson. Applicants, men or women, must be at least 40, single, with incomes of less than $250 a month and savings of less than $1,000. They must be residents of the skid road area. Oppenheimer Lodge is being built jointly by federal, provincial and city governments.

So far there have been 460 applications for apartments at Oppenheimer. Lucky ones, for about $54 a month, will get a 10-foot by 16-foot living room, plus a fridge and a stove and a private wash-room. Not exactly opulent, but bright and cheerful. The unsuccessful will return to dingy rooming houses and cheap hotels, where $60 rents an 8-foot by 10-foot bedroom, no place to cook. And the bathroom is somewhere down the hall. “Selection is a monstrous task,” says United Church minister Bob Burrows. “There is so much need. “Perhaps the hardest thing we’ll have to do is break the news to those who miss out.”

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Posted 21 June 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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550 and 564 Cambie Street

The smaller building, on the left in this 1974 image, is still standing today. We think 550 Cambie dates from around 1929. There was an earlier building on the site; in 1909 it was shown as ‘cabins’, which was true until about 1920, when we assume the site was cleared. It was still shown vacant on the 1928 insurance map. In 1929 Cope and Sons were shown occupying 550 Cambie, so they might have developed the building.

Fred and his son Frank Cope ran an electrical wholesaling business here, and had been in the city since the 1890s. Frederick Thomas Cope was born around 1861, and had come from England in 1875. (As far as we know he wasn’t related to Fred Cope who was the third mayor of Vancouver, who was born in Ontario). His wife Marjory was from Ontario; their two children, Frank and Bert were born in Manitoba in 1886 and 1888, and Fred was a housebuilder in Brandon in the 1891 census. They first show up in Vancouver in a street directory in 1900; Frederick Thomas Cope was in an electrical wholesaling business with Charles Frey on West Hastings, and F I Cope (who lived at the same address on Hornby Street) was a contractor. In 1905 the directory identified F I Cope to be Frank, who was by then an electrician. By 1910 Bert had also joined the family business, although it was still Cope and Son. By 1913 Fred was company president and Frank company secretary, and both had moved to West 13th, while Bert was living on Granville Street, By 1922 all three lived on W13th at different addresses, and were all working at Cope and Son.

In 1939 The Wellington Plating works were here, offering to re-chrome motorist’s headlight reflectors. They were located at the back of the building. Cope and sons were still here, with H Morris and General Printers and Publishers. In 1956 fire men fought a $75,000 two-alarm blaze which ripped through top floor of warehouse of Van Horne Electrical Supply Co. 550 Cambie. (They were the successor of Cope & Sons). 

The site where the larger building sat (564 Cambie) was developed with a building shown on the 1901 insurance map occupied by the Vancouver Transfer Co. We’ve seen another building that the company developed later on Mainland Street (in 1912), when we looked at the company history.

Founded by Victoria businessman and politician Francis Stillman Barnard of Barnard’s Express in 1886, it was controlled by Fred and Clarence Tingley in the early 1900s. In 1904 Reid Tingley built an addition to the company’s stables here, almost certainly seen in this picture of their premises around 1908, published in Greater Vancouver Illustrated.

Once Vancouver Transfer moved out, George Jones ran the Cambie Street Boarding Stable here through the First World War. By 1918 Julius A Tepoorten had taken ownership, and spent $150 on repairs. By 1920 Central Sheet Metal works had moved in, with Albert Morris, a cabinetmaker and J Morris’s export and transfer company. The Sheet Metal Works was still listed here in 1928. There were possibly major alterations in 1921; J A Tepoorten obtained a permit for $5,000 of repairs and alterations built by Dominion Construction. It’s possible this was initially a single storey structure; in 1974 the windows on the upper part of the building don’t match those on the main floor.

We suspect the redevelopment and additional floors probably occurred at the end of the 1920s. Tepoorten Ltd was first listed here in 1929, with Western Distribution Ltd and Cunningham Drug Stores. The building was now numbered as 560 by 1930, and Knowles and Macaulay, and Terminal Drug Stores had replaced Tepoorten Ltd in the building.

Julius Tepoorten was born in Michigan, and went to school in Ontario. He was apprenticed to James E. Davis & Company, wholesale druggists of Detroit, and went to Victoria in 1887. He travelled the whole of BC representing Langley & Co until 1909, when he set up his own wholesaling business. He married Mary Dolan in Michigan in 1889, and they had ten children, eight of whom survived. His business was based on Water Street, but moved here in the years he amalgamated with National Drug and Chemical Co of Canada. He retired in 1929, but retained a shareholding in the company, and died in 1939.

In 1940 there were seven businesses in 560 Cambie; Knowler and Macaulay, Western Distribution, Ryan Cotton (manufacturers agents), Latch & Batchelor (wire rope) C Korsch Ltd (millinery), Barham Drugs (wholesale) and F W Horner Ltd (pharmaceutical manufacturers). In 1955 there were only two companies shown, BC Leather Co wholesale and Pro-Made Golf Co. They were a Vancouver golf club manufacturer, founded by Roy Francis. Following his death his sons inherited the company, and moved production from Pender Street to here. They sold the business in 1957, but it continued with other brands as well, with Pioneer Envelopes, Pro-made Golf Company, Royal Scot Golf Company and Golfcraft occupying 560 Cambie that year.

In our 1974 image Van Horne Electrical Supply were still at 550 Cambie, and Joe Boshard’s painting company was about to give 560 Cambie a makeover. The building was demolished by 1990, replaced in 1994 by The Seimens Building, designed by Aitken Wreglesworth Associates as the local offices of the international engineering company. This is effectively the back of the building, with the front facing West Georgia and Beatty, curved and cantilevered out over the Dunsmuir Tunnel that cuts across the edge of the site. The tenants name has changed over the years, with Seimens replaced by Amec, and now by Wood Canada Ltd. There’s a proposal to replace 550 Cambie with a much larger office building.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-56

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Posted 17 June 2021 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone, Still Standing

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