Archive for the ‘West End’ Category

1915 and 1925 Pendrell Street

These two houses were replaced by Gilmore Court in 1981 – a condo building with a decorative eastern front, and a distinctly plainer western end. When this image was photographed in 1968, an earlier rental building with the same name took up the lot to the east. The houses, and the apartment building were demolished to make way for the larger 44 unit condo.

By 1910 there were three houses on the lot; (the two in the picture and one that was built on the lane). The first to be built was 1923 Pendrell, the house on the left, (numbered as 1925 when this photo was taken). We know it was the first, because it was the only house standing shown on the 1903 version of the insurance map. Development in this part of the West End wasn’t fast – there was only one other house on the entire city block that year. A second home was also given a permit in 1903, but the first was issued to ‘O Mitchell’ – who owned, designed and built it. It cost $1,400, while the second, owned and built by Robert Kerr only cost $200. On that basis we think Mr. Kerr’s home was the second, laneway house, while the Mitchell house was the first. Although nobody called Mitchell had the initial ‘O’ in the city in 1903, the street directory shows carpenter Robert Kerr lived at 619 Hamilton Street, and so did another carpenter, Andrew Mitchell. That’s why we surmise he was a friend of Mr. Kerr, and built the house on the left of the picture, in spring 1903. Robert Kerr built the second house on the back of the lot, later that year. In 1907 a second house appeared on the street, 1915 Pendrell, and as it’s was in the ‘lost permit’ period, we don’t know who built it, although Mr. Mitchell was still in the city, and still building houses (but so was Robert Kerr, although he had moved to Point Grey).

Andrew Mitchell was aged 35 in 1903, and like his wife Mary was from Ontario. They had two children, and Andrew was listed as a builder in the city in the 1911 census. His brother James, a plasterer, and sister-in-law lived with the family on West 10th Avenue, on the corner with Birch. Robert Kerr also came from Ontario, so he may have known Andrew Mitchell before they came to Vancouver.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1348-15

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Posted May 23, 2019 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Gilford Court – 1125 Gilford Street

These two buildings look quite similar, but one is an early rental building, and the other a more recent condo. Cyril Tweedale was the developer: an investment broker and realtor who hired architects Sharp & Thompson to design the $33,000 investment property. It was completed in 1912, and it was the first structure built on the site as this end of the West End took some years to build out. It was developed by the London and Western Canada Investment Co, where Cyril Tweedale was managing director. We looked at Cyril’s history in connection with the Tweedale Block he built on East Hastings. The Investment Company were involved in both finance and insurance, specializing in handling transactions for English investors. Rents were advertised from $37.50 for a 5-room suite.

The building was demolished in 1981, (in the days when rental properties weren’t protected) and in 1984 a new Gilford Court appeared. This is a 44 unit condo building. In 1984 they cost from $72,900 – although financing that year cost over 10%. Today 2-bed units sell at over $900,000.

Image source: Jan Gates, on flickr.

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Posted May 20, 2019 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Pacific Palisades – Alberni Street

The major redevelopment of this block took place in 1969. Bing Marr Architects designed two residential rental towers (off the picture, to the right), and this office building that had an entrance on Bute Street. (We’re looking along Bute Street from Alberni). The North American Life Assurance Co were the developer, and the two 23 storey residential towers were a significant change in scale from earlier residential buildings – houses in this stretch of Robson and Alberni.

The office building lasted a relatively short time. It was still standing in this 1981 image, with the 1967 Blue Horizon Hotel that’s on the same block showing behind. By 1996 it had been replaced with James Cheng’s circular 32 storey condo buildings. The two original rental residential towers were converted in 1984 to the Pacific Palisades Hotel, only to be converted once again in 2009 back to rental apartments.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-W10.10

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Posted April 25, 2019 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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834 to 846 Thurlow Street

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

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

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

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

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

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 778-443

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

1128 and 1132 Robson Street

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

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

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

Image source City of Vancouver Archives Bu P508.63

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

1201 Pendrell Street

Here’s a house in 1956, the year before it was redeveloped. The building that replaced it is an 80 unit rental building designed by Peter Kaffka, called Barracca Court when it was built in 1957. The house it replaced dated back to 1903, although it had a significant rebuild in 1912. The owner then was cannery owner A J Buttimer, who spent $3,000 on repairs and alterations, (more than many houses cost to build in that era).

Initially it was owned by Duncan Rowan, also a salmon canner, who hired Parr and Fee to build the house, which cost $9,000 to construct. Duncan owned the Terra Nova Canning Company with his brother, Jack. They had both previously worked for J H Todd and Son’s Richmond and Beaver canneries. Duncan Rowan became district manager when the British Columbia Packers Association was formed. In 1901 the Rowan family were still living in Richmond (nearer the cannery interests). Duncan was 41, and his wife, Mary, five years younger. They were both born on Ontario. There were no children at home, but they did have a domestic, Sarah Rowan, and a lodger, Thomas Robinson.

Alfred Buttimer, who moved into the house around 1911, was a partner with George Dawson in Brunswick Canneries. (There was initially a third partner as well; George Wilson). All three men came originally from New Brunswick. George Dawson was Alfred’s brother-in-law, and another of Alfred’s sisters, Annie, also joined him in Vancouver.

Alfred Buttimer arrived in Vancouver around 1890, and was married in 1904 in San Francisco to an Ontario-born divorcee called Margaret Cunningham. They had a son two years later, who died as a baby, and they seem to have had no more children. He continued to be involved in the fishing industry until he sold his interest to B C Packers in 1925, concentrating on his real estate interests until his death in 1934. Alfred and Margaret continued to live in the house until then, when William and Alice Francis moved in. They stayed in the house, but by 1940 it was listed under their name as ‘rooms’, a role it retained until it was demolished. In 1950 John Bota, a labourer for the city was running the rooms, and in 1956 it was known as The Pillars, split into 7 apartments.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu P508.82

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Posted January 18, 2018 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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The Buchan – 1906 Haro Street

This has to be one of the city’s lesser known hotels. We took the picture when there were no leaves on the trees – taken now the building is almost impossible to see. Built in 1935, and designed by H S Griffith, it still has the name it was given when it was opened. For some reason the current hotel website believe it dates back to 1926, but through to the early 1930s there were three families living in a property owned by the Royal Trust Company. Previously the house had been owned by Major Barwis, who added a garage in 1911. Our Vancouver Public Library image dates back to 1943.

William Bailey Barwis was the manager of the Vancouver office of the Manufacturers’ Life Insurance Company, born in Magantic in Quebec and resident in a house here from 1908 to 1918. In 1936 this address appears for the first time in the street directory as the Buchan Hotel, shown as being managed by Mrs L L McCallum, (although Charles B McCallum is listed as the manager elsewhere in the same directory).

It’s claimed that the hotel was named after novelist and politician, John Buchan. As Baron Tweedsmuir he visited Vancouver twice, in 1936 and 1939, having been appointed Governor General of Canada in 1935, the year the hotel was being built. On his second visit Lord and Lady Tweedsmuir visited the City of Vancouver Archives and met Major Matthews – an event appropriately recorded in a photograph in the Archives today. This is one of the later designs of H S Griffith, who designed dozens of Victoria and Vancouver commercial and residential projects over a period of over 30 years.

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Posted August 10, 2017 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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