Archive for the ‘C O Wickenden’ Tag

Templeton Block – East Hastings and Carrall (1)

Templeton Block 1900s 1

In 1886 33-year old William Templeton (possibly with his friend Joseph Northcott) built a grocery store on the north-east corner of Hastings and Carrall. It was lost in the fire when it burned with the rest of the city. Templeton and Northcott were then reported in the 1886 Vancouver Herald to be erecting a two-storey brick building to replace it. Templeton was born in Belleville, Ontario; Northcott was Joseph Northcott from Bristol in England whose family had also settled in Belleville. Northcott had fought in the US Civil War in the New York Heavy Artillery Volunteers, married, had seven children and then moved to Granville in 1885. He and William Templeton paid $1,800 for the corner lot, and theirs was said to be the second brick-built structure completed after the fire.

Quite soon the former partners went separate ways, although we can’t tell for certain who was in this building – William Templeton and Northcote and Palmer were both shown as operating a grocery stores on Carroll Street (sic) in 1887. However, it’s likely to be Templeton as he had the Ontario Grocery at the corner in 1888, another relative (presumably) J Templeton ran his bookmaking operation from the Ontario Grocery and Northcott had returned to Belleville. A year later just William was in town at the same address. In 1891 he commissioned C O Wickenden to design a new building on the same site – presumably the one still standing – (somewhat earlier than its Heritage Designation suggests). That same year he failed to unseat David Oppenheimer as mayor after a particularly unfortunate episode where he mocked the mayor’s accent.

Six years later Templeton successfully stood as mayor. He was in favour of building a smelter in the city, extending voting hours so  more working men could make it to the polls, and removing the provision that candidates for civic office own property in Vancouver. As Mayor, he presided over the meetings of the anti-Chinese league and pushed for higher head taxes.

Vancouver’s sixth mayor died a year after his election victory. It was suggested that he committing suicide by drinking too much sleeping potion after losing his bid for re-election. This is partly based on a somewhat ambiguous statement by Dr. Robert Matheson to archivist Major Matthews “Mayor Templeton’s death was due to the excitement and disappointment of his defeat, in the election, and an overdose of sleeping potion” The successful candidate for mayor, Mayor Garden certainly seemed to think he was in some way responsible for Templeton’s death, issuing a statement suggesting if he had known this was the outcome of the election he wouldn’t have opposed Mayor Templeton. Templeton was aged 45 and left a widow and four children. At this point he had become a pork packer, with premises on Carrall and Water Street as well as a house on Barclay Street in the West End.

Following Templeton’s death a fruit and confectionery business was run by Sinclair Harcus in the corner building.  In 1901 Mrs Templeton (who was still living on Barclay Street) hired G W Grant to enlarge the building at a cost of $3,000. Following completion McTaggart and Moscrop’s hardware store moved in, and the Mint Saloon (which you can see in the picture) was established, run by W D Wood.

Image Source; City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-640



Klondike Hotel – Carrall Street

Here’s the Blarney Stone (today’s name) as it was 99 years ago, by then called the Klondike Hotel and run by John Corrella (who seemed to be called Carralli in 1905, and while still in the building, was a tailor). In 1912 when the picture was taken it was already nearly 25 years old, having been built in 1889 as the Town and Robinson Block. We have featured a number of buildings designed by C O Wickenden – almost all of them now gone. This is one of the rare survivors, built by McGhie and McLuckie at two storeys, matching the other three buildings on the block (The AbramsGlory Hotel and Ferguson Blocks). (For some strange reason there’s a suggestion it was originally four storeys – there’s no evidence that it was ever bigger or any different from the building we see today).

Town and Robinson were almost certainly Henry Town and Isaac Robinson; both from England, and in Isaac’s case, as far as we can tell, never a Canadian resident. They developed several other properties including hotels on both Abbott and Water Street. The Daily World tells us Isaac Robinson was also a director of the Vancouver City Land Company, while Henry Town was of Arkley House, High Barnet. Both men were involved in a syndicate called the Vancouver Land Securities Corporation. Henry, who made his money in South Africa from diamonds, was married to the sister of prominent Vancouver realtors and developers the Rand Brothers, (from Nova Scotia) and towards the end of the 19th Century moved to the city.

In 1889 the insurance map identifies it as having a vacant unit in the north half, and a crockery store to the south. Later it clearly incorporated the Klondike Hotel (visible in the 1913 picture) although in 1901 the Klondike is shown (both on maps and in the directory) as being in the Abrams Block to the south. In 1901 the Town and Robinson building was called the King’s Hotel – by 1978 that name had moved back to the Abrams Block to the south. So basically the Klondike and Kings Hotel names appear to switch between the two adjacent buildings over the years. We don’t know if that actually happened, or the directory staff used the hotel bars to refresh themselves at the expense of accuracy.

Over the years the tenants changed many times. In 1895 Mrs Sarah Gorman, a nurse, lived in the building and Creamer and Langley operated a plumbing supply business. Once it became the Klondike (almost always listed in the directory as the Klondyke), it stayed under that name for many years. By 1925 Angelo Pallazzo had a tobacco store in the ground floor, and by 1930 it was the New Cafe. By 1935 it had become the Government Liquor Store – said to be the first in the city. More recently it has been an Irish pub, and has been established a lot longer than many of the other bars and restaurants that have joined it in more recent years.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 359-36


Innes-Thompson Block – West Hastings Street

Across the street from the Thompson Ogle Building (as it was known in 1901, although it appears to have been developed by Innes and Richards), C O Wickenden designed a commercial building in 1889. It was a three bay building, mixing stone and red brick with a complex pattern under the cornice. The building stood for over a century before being demolished – here it is in 1981, dwarfed by the Standard Building next door. (And hasn’t that tree grown well in 30 years?)

The ‘Vancouver World’ published a supplement in 1890 which managed to illustrate it as the Innes-Thompson Block, and confusingly then refer to it in print as the Innes-Townley Block. F C Innes was undoubtedly one half of the development team. Like other important Vancouver developers R V Winch, G E Bower and Walter Gravely, Innes was a native of Cobourg in Ontario. He arrived in Vancouver in 1884 and teamed up in 1887 with Stephen O Richards (of Toronto) to operate one of the most dynamic real estate, insurance and brokerage firms in the city. Innes was third in line when the sale of Canadian Pacific lots was first offered. An 1890 profile said “They own and control some of the most desirable property in the city”. In 1888 he hired N S Hoffar to design a house on Hastings at Burrard.

We are no further forward in positively identifying the Thompson – if there was a Thompson associated with this building – than we were with the block across the street. However, circumstantially Philip Nairn Thompson looks a likely contender here too; In 1896 Captain P Thompson occupied an office at 512 West Hastings (part of the Innes-Thompson Block) with prominent architect W T Dalton. If Innes partnered with a Townley, J W Townley, superintendent of the CPR in Vancouver is perhaps the more likely candidate.

The building was not demolished until 1993, making way for the Delta Suites hotel in a massive project designed by Aitken Wriglesworth that included Conference Plaza and the retention of the Bank of Toronto next door, later to become the Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 772-1311


West Hastings and Richards – nw corner

Here’s the north west corner of Hastings and Richards, up the hill from Cordova. Today it’s the library of the SFU Harbour Centre at main floor level, and offices and meeting spaces above, behind the facade of McCarter and Nairne’s 1926 building for David Spencer’s department store.

Back in 1907 when this Vancouver Public Library image was taken it was one of C O Wickenden’s rustic stone faced buildings from the first boom in city-building – in this case the Bank of British North America, an established Canadian institution from 1835. The Bank, having confirmed that Vancouver really was a serious opportunity for business and not just an overnight railway town, built their new building in 1892 between the CPR station and the more established Gastown. In 1908 Wickenden designed an extension to the building.

In 1918 the Bank of Montreal took over operations, and continued in the building until 1925 when David Spencer’s new store was built. A Welshman, who had operated a store in Victoria from 1873 (and before that a private library), Spencer expanded his operations in Victoria and later Nanaimo. Spencer himself give up control of the company to his five sons, who quickly moved to establish a store in Vancouver in 1905 and a significant expansion in 1907.

The company continued to grow, taking over the Standard Furniture Company and their premises in 1911 to create a store that equalled or exceeded Woodwards.  David Spencer died in 1920, but his name lived on in the even grander new 1926 store. Eaton’s took over Spencers in 1948, and then moved on to Granville Street in 1972, leaving the building to be incorporated into the Harbour Centre redevelopment by Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden including a Simpsons-Sears store which closed in 1987 and the arrival of SFU’s Downtown campus in 1989.


West Pender and Granville – sw corner (2)

Here’s another shot a few years later of the Granville and Pender junction in a 1906 Phillip Timms image at the Vancouver Public Library. The Post Office and Customs House is still there on Pender, and there’s a new building on the corner with Granville. It was home to F W Welsh, grocers, and P Burns, butchers. Just out of shot was a building shared by a dressmaker and tailor where Emil Guenther, an architect, had his office.

The building went up in 1899, and it could be by C O Wickenden who designed a building on Pender for a Mr Tompkins that year – although nobody called Tompkins appear living on Pender in the street directory that year or in the following years. It didn’t last very long as Somervell and Putnam’s Merchants Bank (later a Bank of Montreal branch) was built in 1915, and later converted to the Segal School of Business by Simon Fraser University. Underwood, McKinley, Wilson & Smith’s Pender Place now occupy the Post Office spot. After the Post Office operations moved out, the building became the Dominion of Canada Assay Office.


Granville north from Georgia

Here’s a shot of the 600 block of Granville Street from the corner with West Georgia seen in a 1906 Vancouver Public Library image. The traffic is still driving on the left, and way down at the end of the street you can see the Canadian Pacific station buildings. The 500 block had a variety of businesses, including some apartments just up the hill from Pender Street, the First Church of Christ Christian Science Hall and the Bank of Montreal.

The 600 block had offices occupied by several physicians, the Grotto Billiard Hall, the Simpson Block with a baker and confectioner, the Seattle Rooms and the New York Block (a very early office building developed by CP Director Sir George Stephen, and designed by New York architect Bruce Price). There were offices of tea and liquor merchants and Frances Carter-Cotton of the News-Advertiser, and closest to us the Hudson’s Bay Company store. The store was built in 1892 and designed by C O Wickenden, but it only lasted to 1925 when it was demolished and replaced by the terra-cotta covered design still there today, designed by Burke, Horwood and White. The first phase of the current building had been built in 1912 on the Seymour and Georgia corner.

The rest of the block today contains The Hudson, a massive condo building with over 400 suites and some retail space below, designed by Stantec Architecture. It incorporates the facades of the 1892 Hunter Brothers block and the BC Electric Showroom by Hodgson and Simmonds from 1928.


West Pender and Granville – sw corner (1)

Here’s the corner of Granville and Pender Streets around 1895. That’s the new Post Office and Custom House building, and Jonathan Miller was the postmaster. C O Wickenden was the architect – he was busy around that time as he was also designing the new Christ Church in Downtown.

The building was replaced once the new larger Post Office was completed on Hastings Street in 1910, and now the corner features the 1973 Underwood, McKinley, Wilson & Smith designed Pender Place office towers. The building on the left just edging into the picture is the 1916 Bank of Montreal, these days SFU’s Segal School of Business. There’s another post that shows the same corner a few years later.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA SGN 920