Archive for the ‘Still Standing’ Category

823 and 827 Union Street

The Strathcona building on the left of our 1973 image was once a laundry. There’s an earlier image (on the left), said to have been shot some time after 1960, showing that use. We think it’s probably as earlier image, from the 1950s. The Laundry was constructed in 1911 – there are three different permits, and the laundry operator’s name is slightly different in each. The permits were issued for 823 Barnard, but by the time they were built it was 823 Union Street. The street directory says it was operated as Yee Yat’s laundry, but George Dunlap was the builder for either To Lo Wang, or To Loy Wing (the more likely name).

Next door, at 827 was the Standard Glass Co, built in 1910. There are two permits here – an initial $1,000 proposal for a store and then a more expensive $3,000 version which added both a store and dwelling house, which was the developed building (still standing today). This was designed by E Stanley Mitton for H M Thompson, and built by F M Parr and Sons. Henry M Thompson was secretary and treasurer of the glass company, and lived on York Avenue.

Standard Glass actually did work that was anything but standard. The firm was founded in 1909 or 1910 by Charles Bloomfield, the most experienced glass artisan in the city at that time. Bloomfield, his brother James, and father Henry founded the province’s first art and stained glass business, Henry Bloomfield and Sons, in New Westminster in 1891. Burned out by the great fire of 1898 they moved to Vancouver. James was a talented artist and glass designer who trained in the United States and England between 1896 and 1898. In 1904 he decided that prospects for quality stained and art glass work in the city were limited and the firm broke up. Charles acquired some of the technical and artistic expertise of his brother and carried this experience into the firms which he subsequently worked for and the one which he founded and managed in this building, Standard Glass. Charles initially lived upstairs, over the production space, although not for long.

By 1914 there were ‘foreigners’ in the first two houses on the block to the west of here, Yee Yet’s laundry, and Rothstein Bros, junk dealers had replaced Standard Glass. Charles Bloomfield was working elsewhere as foreman of the Western Plate Glass & Importing Co, and living on Yew Street. By 1916 almost the entire north side of the block was vacant, except for Yee Yick’s laundry, and ‘foreigners’ at 817. The two buildings stayed empty for many years. By 1924 827 was occupied by W Coste upstairs, with the Atlas Rubber Co on the main floor, but the laundry at 823 was still vacant. (Lawrence Coste was a salesman with Atlas Rubber).

By the end of the 1920s the laundry had reopened as the City Laundry, Chinese were living upstairs, and the Buckingham Chair Works was in the back of 823. Next door was residential on both floors – listed as ‘Chinese’. Chinese residents continued to occupy 827; in 1955 it was Low Chew and Low Sing. In 823 BC Paper Excelsior operated: tragedy struck a year later when fire broke out in the living space behind the works: Oliver Beaulieu, the proprietor, died in the blaze, as well as Harvey Markel, a visitor. A third man escaped through a basement window. From the state of the property in 1973 it may never have been occupied after that. The narrow Vancouver special that replaced the building was built in 1974.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 808-27 and CVA 780-332

 

 

Advertisements

Posted November 6, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone, Still Standing

Tagged with ,

Balmoral Hotel – East Hastings Street

Today the Balmoral Hotel is closed, slowly being restored after the City of Vancouver finally tired of trying to get its owners to meet basic standards for the SRO housing rooms in the 1912 former hotel. When it opened it was a smart addition to the booming new city, although completed just before a serious bump in Vancouver’s economic road. An economic boom that had lasted from the mid 1900s to 1912 suddenly went into reverse, made no better for several years as the First World War saw thousands of men leave the city.

In a September 1912 announcement of the official opening of the Balmoral Hotel, the journal Architect, Builder, and Engineer noted that construction of this first-class hotel “will relieve some of the former congestion in hotel circles of the day“. It appears that this was a bigger building than originally planned, and with a different use. In mid 1911 the Contract Journal reported “Plans being prepared for office building (Hastings street). Owner, J. K Sutherland, 1901 Barclay street, Vancouver; architect, Parr & Fee, 570 Granville street, Vancouver; 6 storeys, store and offices. Tenders for excavation have been called. Supplementary report later.” A few weeks later it was reported that Hawley and McMillan had won the excavation tender for $5,000 of work, but the other details remained unchanged. There’s no further mention of the building in that publication. In September the building was described in the Daily World as ‘six-storey, apartments over stores‘. On completion the Province newspaper, referred to it as the Sutherland Block. It was built by J J Dissette and the building permit was for apartments, with the whole construction estimated at $140,000. It was built next to George Munro’s rather more modest two storey building that had appeared in 1903. Two doors to the east was a building that became the Crystal Theatre, designed in 1904 by A Pare for Thomas Storey. In the early 1950s it became the 24 hour Common Gold Café.

Mr Sutherland took a hand-on role in the construction of his project – which faced an initial problem with drainage; The Daily World in November 1911 reported “The dissatisfied – with – the – sewers brigade was well represented at yesterday’s session of the board. One delegation, headed by Mr. Cross, made an emphatic protest against the condition of things in the sewerage facilities of that portion of Lansdowne street between Quebec and Ontario streets. There was a four – foot sewer being put in along there, but it was neither big enough nor deep enough to drain the bottoms of their basements, for which excavations had already been made in connection with several new buildings that were being erected there. They wanted a seven – foot sewer at least, as under present conditions with a four – foot sewer at the present level they would have to install a pump to keep their basements from filling up. The board recognized the urgency of their case and will try to make conditions satisfactory there. Mr. J. K. Sutherland had an almost similar complaint to make in connection with the lack of a suitable basement drain for Hastings street, between Columbia and Main streets. He, too, was promised relief if within the power of the board.”

From the building’s completion it was never occupied as either an office or apartment building: ‘The Balmoral Hotel; Fiddes & Thomson, proprietors’ was the first entry in the 1913 street directory. However, it immediately had many permanent residents who listed the hotel as their home address. Robert Fiddes and James Thomson continued to run the establishment for several years, which is generally not true of hotels in this era, when proprietors changed frequently. In the early 1920s the hotel had a manager, E R Hunter. In the 1940s the neon sign was hung on the front of the building, designed by Neon Products, a local company, which by the 1950s was one of the biggest neon sign producers in the world. Our image shows the block in 1985.

J K Sutherland was a pharmacist, born in Ontario in 1870. He arrived in Vancouver in 1892, living with his parents; his father was a tax collector. He initially worked for a druggist on Cordova Street, and established his own store on Westminster Avenue by 1895. Several rival druggists merged their interests to form the Nelson, Macpherson, Sutherland Drug Co in 1901, with seven stores. By 1903 the partnership had been dissolved, and John Sutherland continued on his own, although by 1910 he was described as ‘retired’, and his 1911 census entry confirms this, with John aged 41, his wife Lily five years younger, their children aged six and four, and two domestic servants, both from England. A year later he built the East Hastings building, and in 1913 he also owned the Clarence Hotel, where he had repairs completed.

The Sutherlands lived in the West End for many years. John’s death notice in 1937 read “John Knox Sutherland, in his sixty-eighth year. Mr. Sutherland, retired druggist, leaves his wife at home, one son, John Burton Sutherland, city; one daughter, Mrs. Robert L. Cold, London, England; one sister, Miss Jessie B. Sutherland, city, to mourn his passing.” His wife had married John in 1904 in Montreal and died in Vancouver in 1960.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-1912

Posted November 2, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

Tagged with ,

727 Keefer Street

The building permit for a frame tenement building on Keefer Street was issued Wednesday, March 18, 1908 to George E. Munro, valued at $2,000. The water service permit application was issued March 23, 1908.

George Edmund Munro was from Prince Edward Island, and his wife Hadie was from Ontario. In 1908 when the tenement was developed, George was aged 46. In the 1911 census he was living in Vancouver and his occupation was shown as ‘income’, and Hadie was listed as ‘Addie’. That year they were living at the Bellview Apartments on Nelson Street. George had married Hadie in 1891, and the records show George was from Georgetown, and Hadie Mugridge was born in Hamilton and was three years younger than George. The 1901 census shows them living in Victoria, where George was in partnership as a commission agent with John W Morris as George E Munro & Co. He was living with ‘Adie’, and his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Mugridge, and was inaccurately shown born in Nova Scotia.

The 1911 street directory was the first time they were shown living in Vancouver, so George had built this property while he was still living in Victoria. By 1909 he had retired to his newly built house in Esquimalt, but in 1911 he moved to Vancouver, and commissioned Parr and Fee to design a $10,000 house on West 14th Avenue, although that was probably never built, as he continued to live on Nelson Street. He had also developed a commercial property on East Hastings in 1903, and planned to add two more floors in 1912, but decided against it, presumably because of the economic crash that preceded the war.

Georgia and Hadie are shown emigrating to the US in 1914, in Vermont, but apparently didn’t stay as they continued to live in Vancouver. In 1919 George was President of real estate company Ecclestone & Co, and in 1921 built a new home on Angus Drive. He died in 1930.

The tenement remained virtually unchanged for nearly a century. The only mention of the building was in January 1934, in the Times Colonist, with a short news report: “Struck down by an automobile on Kingsway, near St. Catherines Street, on Tuesday. Mrs. Jane Smithson, 727 Keefer Street, died almost immediately. The automobile, police say, was driven by J. H. Ruddick, Dunbar Street.”

The 1973 image shows the building avoided the ‘urban renewal’ of Strathcona that saw over a third of the area’s buildings cleared away. In 2002 the building was extensively renovated, and the 12 apartments each had a bathroom added.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 808-22

Posted October 26, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

Tagged with

Alexander and Gore – sw corner

This 1934 Vancouver Public Library image shows the Nippon Auto Supply garage run by S Maikawa. Sadakichi Maikawa was one of five brothers, four in Vancouver owning a variety of Japantown businesses including hotels, rooming houses, communal bath houses (furoya), restaurants like the Maikawa Fuji Chopsuey, Taishodo Drug Store, Furuya grocery store and the Maikawa Fish store. T Maikawa was the largest store in the area, owned by Tomekichi Maikawa, who divided his time between his Vancouver business interests and a lumber business in Japan. This garage first appears in the street directory in 1926, but the business operated two years earlier than that at 102 Main street.

The Nikkei National Museum have Sadakichi Maikawa’s story. He was born in Matsubara Mura, Inugami gun, Shiga prefecture. He came to Vancouver on May 31, 1906 and went to a cannery in the Skeena to work. He opened a fish shop at 246 Powell Street in October of the same year with his brother Tomekichi. They moved to 369 Powell Street in November of 1907 and opened a grocery store. He worked hard for five years and then called his wife Chieko from Japan in 1911 who helped with the store. Kazuyoshi, Mickey Maikawa was born November 23, 1911 on Powell Street. Sadakichi went back to Japan in 1912 for business and when he came back, his brother Sannosuke helped this business and he opened Maru Man. At that time there was no competition, so Maru Man did quite well. But his wife got ill and passed away, and he had to abandon the store and begin a transportation business in December of 1913 at 369 Powell Street. He was ahead of his time in using automobiles instead of horses and had a lot of customers, enabling him to expand his business. He opened another fruit store at 324 Powell Street as well. He married Tetsuko, his second wife and eventually had eight children in total, by 1928 they had a nice large home at 551 Powell Street. His Transfer business grew into Nippon Auto Supply which had the largest garage and storage for automobiles perhaps in Vancouver. Sadakichi was a keen fisherman; his nephew recalls him driving his Buick at high speed to get to the Fraser river to fish.

Mickey Maikawa later ran the automobile business, and was also a star Asahi Baseball team player. He started playing in 1923 at the age of 12 and became a versatile pitcher. He was on the team from 1928-1934 who won the Terminal League Championship in 1930 and 1933 and played against the Tokyo Giants in 1935. Mickey also played for the Seattle Taiyos every weekend. Sadakichi supplied the trophy which was awarded to the team batting champion every year from 1934 to 1941.

The Maikawa family moved to Bridge River, a self supporting camp at the time of internment. The children had to be educated by correspondence as there were no schools there. Eventually they moved to Toronto, having had their business confiscated. The original structure is still standing, and looked the worse for wear for many years. A recent renovation has seen it used for a number of film and TV shoots.

Posted October 9, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

300 Alexander Street

300 Alexander Street was built in 1922, and designed by F W Macey, an English architect who was living in Burnaby . It was built for the Victoria and Vancouver Stevedoring Company; based in Victoria, who adding this Vancouver office some years into their existence. We haven’t found an early image, so don’t know if the stucco finish on the façade is original. The building has something of the Mission Revival style, with nautical details like the oval insets (looking a bit like ship’s portholes) and an anchor and ship wheel motif at the top of the parapet. The building has two entrances, and sometimes had two businesses operating inside. In the 1940s, for example, 302 Alexander was listed as the Vancouver Girls School of Practical Arts, and in 1950 Washington Laboratories had their offices here, although their plant was in North Vancouver, while Vic & Van Stevedoring were still at 300 Alexander.

Originally this was the location of R H Alexander’s ‘mansion’ – the first building in the city to obtain a hook-up to the public water system. Richard Alexander, a Scot, managed the Hastings Sawmill from 1882, having been the accountant there from 1870.

Later in the 1950s this building was home to Universal Sales & Service, a refrigeration company. In the 1975 image by W E Graham, Hall Les Filter Service was operating here along with United Gear & Machine Works, and later Lawrence & Redpath Architects.

Today, the back section is used as a warehouse/shipping portion for the adjacent China Cereals & Oils Corporation on Gore Street, while the front appears to be boarded up. It isn’t currently included on the list of heritage buildings.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1135-33

459 East Pender Street

When this picture was taken, around 1900, this was addressed as 427 Princess Avenue, (it only became Pender in 1907) and the picture shows Mrs. Delia Gore and some of her family at the front entrance of their house. Mrs. Gore was head of the household, and aged 43 when the picture was taken. She was American, and in 1891 was living with her five US-born children aged 22 to 15, and two much younger; four-year old Georgie and tw0-year-old Jessie, both born in BC. The four oldest children had jobs; one was a marine engineer, her daughter was a seamstress and the youngest was an apprentice.

The street directory tells us Mrs. Gore was the widow of J M Gore, who shows up for the first time at this address in 1898 when he was listed as a hostler; a stablehand who looks after the horses at an inn. A year earlier there was a James M Gore living on 9th Avenue (Broadway today) who was a druggist. The 1901 census tells us that Mrs. Gore had arrived in Canada in 1894. The house appears to date back to around 1889,

By 1899 Mr. Gore had died; only Mrs. Gore was listed. The ‘Daily World’ of May 3rd reported the death “At noon to-day, James Gore, a well-known resident of the East End died at the City hospital. The deceased was injured at the time of General Booth’s visit to Vancouver and was walking in the Salvation Army parade when he was kicked in the stomach by a horse. He has been in the hospital ever since.” This turned out to be an inaccurate report. Perhaps ‘death by horse’ was as common an occurance as fatal car accidents. The May 4th newspaper corrected the news. “James Gore, who died at the City hospital yesterday, was not the gentleman injured in the General Booth parade, as stated in last evening’s World. Prior to removing to the East End, Mr. Gore was manager of the Great West Stock Yards, and, with his family, resided for some time at Central Park, and was kicked by a horse on Lulu Island on Saturday April 23rd, which resulted in his death at noon yesterday”.

On May 5th they reported “The funeral of the late James Gore was held to-day. The cortege left the family residence on Princess street at 5 o’clock this morning and the remains were interred this afternoon at Blaine, Wash., under the auspices of the Knights of Pythias. Rev. J. Irvine was the officiating minister and he accompanied the remains to Blaine”.

Mrs. Gore stayed in the city for a few years, but moved to Keefer Street. It’s likely that she returned to the United States, settling in Washington state, where she was apparently living with her son in 1930, and in 1940, aged 83, with her daughter Ruby. Ruby died, having returned to Vancouver, in 1949. Her death certificate tells us that her mother had been Delia Taylor before she married James Gore. They had married in Oregon in 1876, when James was 20 and Delia was 18.

Today the house is the home of the Hoy Ying Association, a Chinese benevolent association active in the city for at least 100 years. Their early records were rescued by historian Paul Yee when their earlier building was demolished, and are now in the City Archives. The biggest difference between 1900 and 2017 is the street level. The areas’s streets were regarded in the early 1900s, leaving some homes as much as 15 feet below the new street level, and others, like this one, a full storey above the street. The former basement was at some time turned into a basement suite.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 371-891

Posted October 2, 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

800 block Beatty Street – north side

We’re looking up Beatty Street from Smithe Street. These warehouse buildings date back over a century, and this 1926 image shows them already looking well used. On the corner is the $25,000 1910 warehouse designed by Thomas Hooper for J McMillan – although the insurance map and the street directory identify the company as W J McMillan and Co Ltd. Next door, in the same year, Thomas Hooper also designed the warehouse for E G Prior and Co, costing $21,000. The third warehouse in the row was another Hooper design, also in 1910 costing $22,000 for J B Campbell. That was shown (inaccurately) as being used by the McCampbell Storage Co on the insurance map. Baynes and Horie had the contracts to build all three buildings.

The McMillan warehouse was associated with the Saskatchewan Flour Mills Co. but was developed by a firm of wholesale grocers. W J McMillan was born in Restigouche, in New Brunswick, in 1858 and came west, initially to Sacramento, then Oregon before Victoria in 1883. He arrived in Vancouver in 1888 as a produce merchant, although he had already acquired land in the city. As he moved from selling produce to wholesaling his brother, Robert McMillan became a partner, and the business incorporated in 1907 adding E J Deacon as Vice-President. The business prospered, and they shipped as far as Yukon and Alaska. Before they moved to this new building they occupied one on Alexander Street.

We have also seen the earlier building occupied by E G Prior’s hardware company. Prior was a Yorkshireman who originally trained as a mining engineer, and worked in the Nanaimo coal mines from 1873. He was appointed Inspector of Mines in 1877, living in Victoria, representing that city in parliament from 1886 (and establishing his company a few years earlier on Yates Street). Prior was elected an MP in 1886 but lost his seat in 1901 because of violations of the Electoral Act. In 1902 he became Premier of BC, only to be dismissed in 1903 following a charge of conflict of interest by ensuring his hardware company received Government business. He remained an MLA until his defeat in 1904, the same year he failed to be elected to a federal seat. He was appointed lieutenant-governor of BC in 1919, only to die in office in 1920.

John Bell Campbell was born in Woodville, Ontario, and his father moved from there to Vancouver in 1891, having sold his carriage building business and retiring, eventually joined by all five sons. J B was the eldest, initially training as a blacksmith and then working for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. He later moved to Atchison and worked for the Missouri Pacific Railway. In 1898 he moved to Vancouver, with the initial intention of heading to the Klondike. Instead he opened a storage business, growing to the point of building his own warehouse. In 1910 he organized The Campbell Storage Company, Limited, which was incorporated with him as the president; his brother, Gregor L Campbell, as the vice president and his son, Charles E Campbell, as the secretary and manager; while his son, John G, and brother Charles were directors. In 1921 they sold out to Mainland Terminals, part of C P Railways operations, who had another warehouse on Beatty Street. The Campbell family were very active in the city’s life. J B Campbell was elected alderman for four years between 1907 and 1911. He stood for a provincial seat in 1909, but wasn’t elected. In 1910 he was made shipping master for the port of Vancouver. His extraordinarily comprehensive 1913 biography revealed that “Mr. Campbell is five feet eleven inches in height and weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds.”

His son, Charles went on to own the Vancouver Daily World for three years having worked for the family business from 1910 until it was sold. Previously he had been part-owner of the Sun, and after selling the World in 1924 he founded another paper, the Star, only to sell that after 6 weeks to Victor Odlum. He moved to Alberta, bought the Edmonton Bulletin in 1925 and stayed for many years.

The McMillan warehouse today is home to a college offering courses in gaming, graphics, fashion and interior design. The Prior building was added to and converted to 21 artist live/work strata apartments in 1999, while the Campbell building was one of the earliest residential conversions of an industrial building, with 37 rental apartments built in 1989.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Bu N258