Archive for the ‘George E Munro’ Tag

163 East Hastings Street

This modest commercial building was built in 1903 for George Munro. Today it’s numbered as 163 E Hastings, but was 149 when it was built. We’re reasonably certain George was an absentee landlord, as we think he was in Victoria when this was developed, although he moved here a few years later. We looked as his history in connection to a tenement dwelling he developed in Strathcona also built by a George Munro. There were at least two other people called George Munro living in Vancouver when this building was developed; one was a miner, and the other a gardener, but George E Munro seems the more likely. He continues to be associated with the property over many years, carrying our repairs in 1917, and hiring the same architects who designed this to design a house some years later.

When it was first built in 1903 the building cost $7,000 and the architects were Parr and Fee. When it was first occupied, A J Periard, a merchant tailor occupied the premises. A few years later, Vancouver Millinery were located here; Adolphus Periard had moved a couple of doors to the west. In 1911 George E Munro was living in Graveley Street, and had a $10,000 house designed by Parr and Fee for 14th Avenue. In 1912 there was a permit to add a two-storey brick addition at a cost of $8,000, also designed by Parr and Fee, but there was an economic crisis in the city around that time, and clearly two more floors were never actually built. In 1913 George applied to make some alterations to a dwelling house at this address for the Greek Canadian Club, an organization incorporated in 1912, but who either never moved here, or never came to the attention of the city’s Directory compilers.

After the war, this was numbered as 161 E Hastings, and Roderick Macleod sold cigars and Owen Griffiths ‘notions’. Over the decades businesses have come and gone regularly; among them in the 1920s the BC Jewelry & Loan Co., in the late 1930s the Business Mens Club, which after the war was upstairs and renamed as the East End Business Men’s Club. Our 1979 image suggests there was still a club upstairs, or at least access to one, with a retail store on the main floor. In recent years there were artists studios on the upper floor, and various fast food take-out cafes have occupied the retail space at different times. Today the whole building is boarded up, in a block that is seeing some restoration of older buildings, while others deteriorate badly. (We subsequently added a post on its neighbour, 169 E Hastings, after a fire in July 2022 severely damaged both buildings).

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 810-164


Posted 30 October 2017 by ChangingCity in East End

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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 26 October 2017 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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