Archive for the ‘Grant and Henderson’ Tag

West Pender Street – 500 block, north side

These four buildings were all replaced by a building called Conference Plaza, completed in 1996. They had stood for over 90 years, and are seen here in 1968. The first building, on the corner of Seymour, on the 1912 insurance map was the Mahon, McFarland & Proctor Building. The investor partners built several projects in the city, and we looked in detail at their background in an earlier post. When it was first completed in 1908 it was known as the Imperial Block, designed by Parr and Fee, and it was developed by ‘Martin, Nichols & Gavin’, and built at a cost of $54,000 by Mills & Williams.

There’s no reference to any business or partnership named Martin, Nichols & Gavin, so our best guess is that it was a consortium including Robert Martin (of Martin and Robertson), and perhaps Duncan Gavin who ran a candy business, and whose son worked for Martin and Robertson. The ‘Nichols’ was most likely to have been John P Nicolls; of Macaulay and Nicolls; his real estate business carried out repairs to the building, designed by T E Parr, in 1921.

Next door was the Ackroyd Building, and then the Temple Building. We looked at the history behind those buildings in an earlier post. The Ackroyd Building started out being called the R V Winch Building, until Mr. Winch built a much larger and more magnificent building to the west of here. It was completed in 1905 and designed by Grant and Henderson. The Temple Building was developed by the Temple Realty Company, and also designed by Grant & Henderson. The Temple family were in Santa Rosa, California, but they relied on a relative, W Bennett Hood to manage their Vancouver investment, after 1906 joined by his brother Robert, partners in Hood Brothers real estate, based in the building.

The last building on the block was also built in 1905, although the foundations had been started in 1895. Dr Israel Wood Powell ‘of Victoria’ was originally the developer, in partnership with R G Spinks and R G McKay, with a building designed by Fripp and Wills in 1892. The foundations were started a couple of years later, but the 1903 insurance map showed that that was all that had been constructed eight years after that. In 1905 a new permit was taken out by Powell and Hood – They were William Bennett Hood (who developed the Temple building)and Bertram W Powell, the son of Israel Wood Powell. Also designed by Grant & Henderson, the $15,000 building had iron columns and beams. In 1922 it was known as the Roaf Block; owned by J. H. Roaf, who hired Dalton & Eveleigh to design $9,000 of work to repair the building after a fire. Major Roaf was the managing director of the Clayburn Co, manufacturers of bricks and sewer pipes from a clay deposit at Sumas Mountain. A keen motorist, in 1912 he was owner of vehicle licence 1587. In 1923 another $20,000 of alterations (designed by William Dodd & Sons) were carried out when the World Publishing Co moved in (rather a drop in status from the World Tower down the street).

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 2010-006.008; Ernie Reksten

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Posted September 24, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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519 Hamilton Street

Here’s the Hamilton Hotel seen in our 1978 image. If you believe the internet, it appears to still have a phone number and a Facebook page, despite being demolished for the construction of BC Hydro’s support building which was completed in 1992. The new building was leased to the Customs Office when we shot the ‘after’ image a while ago, although they have now moved. The older building was actually vacant even earlier – the Vancouver Archives have a picture from 1974 captioned “Image shows the now vacant premises of the Hamilton Hotel (515-517 Hamilton Street, City of Vancouver Social Services Department single men’s housing)”.

The building dated back to 1907 when the upper floor was first operated as Roccabella furnished rooms, operated by Esther Carmichael, the widow of John. Downstairs was the wholesale confectionery business of the Gavin Brothers, (F J Gavin, G D Gavin and L H Leigh) who seemed to have been the developers as it was known as the Gavin Building, and was identified as ‘new’ in 1908. Grant and Henderson were the designers. In 1911 the rooms became the Edina Rooms, with half a dozen tenants but no identified proprietor or manager. The Gavin business wasn’t just a wholesaling operation; there were several employees, at least one of whom was identified as a candymaker.

The family had moved from Scotland around 1888; Duncan Gavin was accompanied by three sons, Francis and George, who ran the candy company in Vancouver, and Alexander who was a bookkeeper at the Hastings Mill. In the 1891 Canada census the family were in Broadview, a town east of Regina, then part of the Northwest Territories and today in Saskatchewan. When they first arrived in Vancouver in 1894 Duncan Gavin was already retired, and he died in 1901. Francis Gavin married in 1904, worked until 1935 and died in 1955. George married in 1903 and later lived in Burnaby and became a bookkeeper with Martin & Robertson Ltd. He died in 1928 when he was hit by a BC Electric streetcar at Hastings Street at Lillooet Street, and is buried in New Westminster.

By 1919 the name of the rooms had changed again, this time to the Rubell Rooms. Gavin’s were now F Gavin and H Leigh, and had moved to East Pender, and Gibbs & Jackson, who were contractors, Hygiene Products Ltd and the Vancouver Jewel Case Co operated on the main floor of this building. By 1930 these were known as the Garland Rooms, with an engraver and a dye works among the main floor tenants. Hygiene Products Ltd were still here, occupying the rear of the premises and wholesaling toothbrushes and toothpaste in the space where the candymaking had once taken place. From before 1940 these were the Beechmont Rooms, with the Dye Works still operating alongside McLean magazine and Macfadden Publications and the Vancouver News Agency.

Posted July 19, 2018 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Silver and Avalon Hotels – West Pender Street

These two hotels are now joined together, but started life as rivals. The Silver, on the left gets its name from the developer, W S Silver. Designed by Grant & Henderson, it was completed in 1914, and was built by J J Disette for $30,000. The Avalon is five years older, and was designed by Parr and Fee for McLennan and Campbell. You can still see the Parr and Fee central pivot windows, in the $35,000 building constructed by Purdy & Lonergan. (Contract Record published the price as $45,000). When it started life it was known as the Savoy Rooms, run by Mrs Lillie Schadt, with a number of commercial tenants: the Mail Publishing Co, the Vancouver & Provincial Brokerage Co, Modern Office Supply Co, Upton & Heighton, real estate agents and Newmarch Cooper & Co, manufacturers agents.

William F Silver was from England, born in 1861, listed as a broker in the 1911 census. He had arrived in Canada in 1903 with wife Isabelle, who was shown as a year younger than her husband and born in Ontario. The Silvers had spent some time in the US, as the 1911 census shows sons William, a 24-year-old plumber, Kenneth, 23, a farmer, Neil, 21, and Hugh, aged only 8, had all been born there. Edith Brand, their 13-year-old niece also lived with them in Burnaby, on the corner of Kingsway and Silver Avenue. In 1900 they had been living in King County, Washington, where William was a life insurance agent.

The US Census for 1900 tells us that Isabelle’s mother was from New York and her father from Scotland. The three oldest sons had been born in Wisconsin, but there was a 1-year old son called Hugh born in Washington. (Either he died, and the family had a subsequent son also called Hugh, or the 1911 Canadian census recorded his age inaccurately). The birth certificate of one of the older sons tells us the family were living in West Superior, Douglas, Wisconsin, and that Isabelle’s maiden name was Isabelle McKinnen. Their marriage certificate from their wedding in 1863 shows that Isabelle was Jane Isabella McKinnon, born in 1860, her father was Laughlin McKinnon, and that she was a year older than her husband. Isabel Silver’s death was recorded in 1937, when her birth was shown as 1858 and her father’s name as Lachlan.  William F Silver died in December 1943, also in Burnaby.

McLennan and Campbell appear to be a development partnership of convenience, rather than an established business. Although there were many McLennans in the city, our guess would be that it was R P McLennan, the hardware mogul originally from Nova Scotia. In partnership with Edward McFeely of Ontario he built a huge warehouse on Cordova Street, and another on Water Street. Another company building was also designed by Parr and Fee and built by Purdy and Lonergan a few years earlier. There were hundred of Campbells in the city, so establishing which one developed the building is impossible without a clearer indication of a connection to an individual.

Over the years the upper floors have retained their residential use as the Silver Rooms and Avalon Apartments, (the Savoy name having been dropped by 1920). Retail uses have come and gone on the main floor; in the 1950s Haskins and Elliott sold bicycles and A E Marwell sold artist’s supplies. The cycle shop had been there over a decade.

Today the two buildings operate as a single privately owned SRO Hotel. The Avalon Hotel was purchased by Mario & Mina Angelicola in the late 1970’s. Our image dates from 1981. It was turned into an SRO (single room occupancy) in the late 1990’s and houses approximately 85 low-income tenants today.  Jenny & Josh Konkin, grandchildren of Mario and Mina have managed the hotel since 2010, also establishing Whole Way House in 2013 to provide support to the residents.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 779-E16.13

Temple Building – 515 West Pender Street

Because the building permit records for the early 1900s are missing, we’ve had difficulty in making sure attributions here are correct; we’ve already revisited this post twice as a result of further research.

The Temple Building in the centre was built in 1906. When completed it was numbered as 505-519 West Pender. In 1906 the main floor tenants included BC Assay and Chemical Supply Co at 513, while W S Holland of Holland and Davidson Real Estate was at 517. In 519 W Pender, Guilding & Folley, auctioneers occupied the space in 1906, but in 1908 it was Morrison and Morrison, builders supplies, E G Blackwell, manufacturer’s agent, and Hood Brothers, real estate. That’s a clue to who developed the building. The building was designed by Grant & Henderson, and developed by the Temple Realty Company, based in California. The Hood brothers were related to the Temple family of Santa Rosa, California, where a number of other members of the Hood family also lived, and where the brothers lived for a few years.

Robert Hood, one of the Hood brothers, arrived around 1906. He was originally from Cupar, in Fife, Scotland, and once in Vancouver successfully ran a real estate business for over 50 years. (He was also a writer, having attended the University of California in 1905 where he obtained a B Lit. His first novel was published in 1918, and he published seven books; fiction, non-fiction and poetry over a thirty year writing career).

William Bennett Hood, his brother, had been in the city longer. In 1902 he was running a fruit and vegetable business with Minnie Aldridge. They were forced into receivership, and the business was wound up. He married Della Archibald of Santa Rosa in 1909, but died in 1917.

The company was more ambitious than some rivals, advertising in an Oregon newspaper in 1920 for example “FIVE-STORY and basement modem brick hotel, on Granville street, Vancouver. B. C, 75-ft. frontage, most of furniture goes with building, tenant’s lease expiring, for sale at a sacrifice. HOOD BROS., 626 Pender street west, Vancouver.”

Upstairs, at 515 was the Monte Carlo Rooming House. This arrangement remained for several years, although the real estate offices by 1909 were occupied by “the International Brokerage Co. A Sinclair, timber broker, the B C Ink Co and A Erskine Smith, mines” (he was a mining broker, living up the street in the St Francis Hotel). When this 1946 Vancouver Public Library image was taken, Vick’s Radio Service was in one main floor retail unit, Harvey & Riach’s furniture store occupied the other space, and upstairs were the Temple Rooms.

To the west is a 2-storey building that was developed in 1905 and designed by Grant and Henderson for trader and broker R V Winch. Mr. Winch was amazingly successful, amassing a fortune from starting in grocery and game retailing,  canning salmon, and then also became a broker, supplier, and insurance and shipping agent. He invested his profits from these businesses into real estate, building one of the city’s most prestigious office buildings, and trading in real estate across the city. He owned a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost in 1910, and had three servants at home in 1911.

We identified the development by an early image in the BC Archives that shows the cornice in 1912, identifying the building as “R V Winch Building” although it was shown by then on the insurance map as the Ackroyd Building. We assume the name change is because Mr. Winch had already built the much larger and fancier Winch Building on West Hastings. There was a 1910 Building Permit issued to Akroyd & Gall for $6,000 ‘alterations to office’.

Today the Conference Plaza development is here, completed in 1996 and designed by Aitken Wreglesworth Associates. The Pender Street facades recreate a low podium similar in scale to what was there before, with a 30 storey 252 unit condo tower on the corner with Seymour.

Posted May 25, 2017 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Granville Street – 700 block east side (2)

700 Block Granville v3

We saw the southern end of this block in a previous post, and looked at the history of the Vancouver Block, a city landmark for over a century in that post. Off in the foggy distance, across West Georgia Street in this 1922 image was the 1897 Hudson’s Bay Company store (their second location on the city) which would be replaced a few years later. Across Georgia, the large office building was the Birks Building, built in 1912 and tragically demolished in the 1970s.

In between there’s a lower structure that illustrates the saw-tooth pattern of buildings so often found in Vancouver (sometimes to allow light into the flank windows of adjacent taller buildings). Like the Birks Building it was built in 1912. (The Vancouver Block was given a building permit in 1911). It was designed by Grant and Henderson for J West at a cost of only $15,000 by Smith & Sherborne. (The Vancouver Block cost $400,000 and Birks $550,000). Luckily, there was only one J West likely to have built this investment, John West. (Jack West was a cook at the Gus Goodes restaurant, so not really in the running).

As far as we can tell he arrived in the city 1912, but he was obviously arriving with wealth as he had Grant, Henderson & Cook design a mansion for him at Granville and 17th. He was still in the city in 1922, when he was the proprietor of the Rainier Hotel.  (There were five people called John West in the city by then; fortunately for us, he was still living in his mansion). His death record from 1936 tells us he was born in Cooke County, Illinois, and that his Danish-born wife Margaret was still alive. The 1921 census shows that they had a son, Cecil, and curiously describes him as a farmer, which, if true, suggests he had property and farming as an income source. The death record describes him as a hotel keeper, and that he had been in Canada for 45 years, but only 40 years in BC. This suggests that he was elsewhere in the province before he arrived in 1912 – but we haven’t found where that was.

missionThe building became home to the Mission Confectionery, who carried out repairs in 1915 and added a bakery costing $1,000 in 1919. There’s another $1,000 repair in 1916 for Thomas H Laslett, who had both a real estate business and was owner of Mission Confectionery in the building. We don’t know if he bought the building, or was a tenant who paid for his own improvements (although that seems less likely). Mr. Laslett ran the business until the mission 21920s – here’s another 1922 image of the store, shared with Brown Brothers florists, Dr Peele and Doctor Thomas, a physician and a dentist, and Mr. Laslett’s real estate office as well.

He had been a witness to a murder in 1921, reported by the Daily World. “Mr. William F. Salsbury. Jr., aged 43 years, chief accountant of Balfour, Guthrie & Co., was done to death at 8:50 o’clock last night, when he was presumably set upon by two holdup men near the intersection of Georgia and Burrard streets. The victim of the shooting died within a few minutes, the bullet passing close to the heart. At police headquarters this afternoon 14 suspects connected with the murder were lined up, but although thirteen people who had been in the vicinity at the time of the tragedy were asked to identify the men, none of them could do so. They explained that it was so dark at the time that no accurate description of them could be obtained. One of the thirteen witnesses stated that he had seen two men shortly before the shooting, one short and the other tall, the latter with long black hair, and each showing evidence of having taken cocaine. The inquest on the body will be held on Thursday, according to present arrangements. At 4 o’clock this afternoon the jury is being empanelled by Coroner T. W. Jeffs, MD.. and the body viewed. The jury will then adjourn to meet on Thursday. This step is being taken on request of relatives. The condition of Mr. William F. Salsbury, Sr., who In 75 years of age, is causing some anxiety and it is for this reason that arrangements will be made to hold the funeral an soon as possible. During the night a posse consisting of practically every detective and patrolman on the police force, was combing the city in an endeavor to effect the arrest of the murderers, but so far none of the wore of suspects brought in have been connected with the crime. Working on a poor description of the murderers furnished by Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Laslett of the Mission Confectionery, who were passing on the opposite side of the street when the shooting took place, the police have made many arrests at random, but it is highly improbable that the case will be cleared up for some time”.

The newspaper was correct, but through some impressive detective work, matching a scrap of cloth found near the scene to a pair of pants retrieved in an entirely different case some weeks later, Alexander ‘Frenchie’ Paulson was arrested and confessed. He identified his accomplice (who was tracked down in Oakalla prison serving a four-month sentence for Vagrancy), as Allan ‘Slim’ Robinson. Paulson explained how they had rejected a number of possible victims to hold up before Salsbury had been picked at random and was ordered, at gun point, to turn over his wallet. Extraordinarily, L D Taylor (newspaperman and sometime mayor) had been stopped and asked for money by the same pair minutes earlier, but had said he had none, and walked off. Salsbury resisted, attacking Robinson with his umbrella, and Robinson then shot him before the two would-be robbers ran off empty handed. Following their trial, both men were hung in 1922.

Image Source, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 371-824 and CVA 371-885

Posted January 4, 2016 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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The Yale and Cecil Hotels – Granville Street

Yale & Rolston

We looked at the Yale Hotel, one of the earliest buildings on Granville Street, in an earlier post. It was designed by N S Hoffar in 1889 as the Colonial hotel for J W Horne. As part of the development that saw the Cecil replaced with the Rolston condo tower, the Yale was seismically upgraded and the SRO rooms refurbished and handed over to the City of Vancouver for long-term retention.

It’s neighbour, the Cecil, managed to limp past its 100th birthday. Obviously the news of the redevelopment hasn’t reached Wego.com, who will still try to book you in to what they claim is a three star hotel. “The Cecil Hotel is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests to Vancouver (BC). All hotel’s guestrooms have all the conveniences expected in a hotel in its class to suit guests’ utmost comforts. Room amenities include shower. This hotel is characterized by a combination of modern comfort and traditional element of Vancouver (BC), making it a distinct accommodation. To make your reservation at the The Cecil Hotel quick and easy, please select your preferred dates of stay and proceed with our secure online booking form.” As an increasingly tired SRO, any guests who had succeeded in booking into the hotel would have been surprised at the hotel and it’s surroundings. Another website identifies what the booking site overlooked – and still promises more than they’ve been able to deliver for over four years “The Cecil Hotel is Vancouver’s premier exotic show lounge, featuring a prime selection of Western Canada’s hottest nude dancers. At The Cecil, showing you a great time, is our great time, so we hand pick the wildest, sexiest, most fun lov’n girls on the planet to go crazy on stage every single night for you (we don’t mind so much either!). So if you’re in the Vancouver area, and you’re looking for the hottest strippers, the best wings, burgers and ribs, and the wildest time allowed by law, come on down to The Cecil Hotel. You’ll be blown away!”

Cecil Hotel 1912 Vancouver HeritageSince the construction of the ‘new’ Granville Bridge in the early 1950s the hotel had lost its front door; (you can see how it looked before the bridge was built on this 1912 Heritage Vancouver picture) – the entrance was moved around the corner from the street, with the bar entrance a storey below, accessed from a parking lot. The hotel was built in 1909, and although looking remarkably like one of the many hotels designed by Parr and Fee along Granville Street in a very few years, this one was designed by Grant & Henderson for Mrs. O B Grant and S Burris at a cost of $30,000. A 1910 $500 permit was taken out for an additional steel and glass canopy. It’s possible it was the same location where in 1908 a three storey building was planned, designed for S Burris by Grant and Henderson.

The Hotel Cecil was being run in 1910 by Charles M Hartney, who had taken over from John McDade who ran it in 1909 (the first year it appears in a directory). Then a chance reference to a new building permit listed in the 1908 Contract Journal clarified: “Mrs. O. B. Grant, brick store and rooming house, Granville street, $30,000.” Olive Grant was G W Grant’s wife. George Grant was half of Grant & Henderson: they were both originally from Nova Scotia.

The Grant’s were early arrivals in British Columbia. George was born in 1852 or 1854, and Olive Burris in 1852. They were married at her father’s house in 1876 at Upper Musquodoboit. After their marriage they made their home at Maitland, N. S. where they lived for three or four years. Mr. Grant was a contractor and builder and while in Maitland he was engaged in building houses. They sold up in 1880, and while his wife, in poor health, returned to Nova Scotia, George went west to Winnipeg which was experiencing a building boom. There he became a successful architect, designing several buildings including a branch of the Bank of Montreal. In 1886 they moved further west – apparently looking at, but initially rejecting the fledgling Vancouver for Victoria, where as an architect he secured several important commissions, before moving again to New Westminster. In 1892 their niece, Janie Arthur moved in with them, and in 1896 they moved to Vancouver.

G W Grant designed dozens of buildings in the fast-growing city, including the Carnegie library, and added a partner to his business, Alexander Henderson, in 1903. They continued to design buildings across the city, including the Hotel Cecil (presumably purely an investment, in the ownership of Mr. Grant’s wife, and her relative, Samuel Burris). In 1912, when they were both aged 60 and the city’s economy was stalling, the family moved to Pasadena in 1912, and on to Bellflower, California in 1916. Janie Arthur moved with them, but had her own home. George died in 1925 and Olive in 1928, and they are both buried in Riverside, California, where other members of the family had been interred.

Samuel Burris was (according to the census of 1911) from Nova Scotia. According to the street directory, he arrived in Vancouver around 1908. We don’t know if he was any relation to an architect of the same name who was from Ontario, practicing in Victoria, and moving to Vancouver in the early 1900s. When Samuel first arrived in Vancouver was shown as retired, as he was in the 1911 census when he was aged 67. In Nova Scotia he was a merchant blacksmith, operating a successful forge noted for building sledges. In 1909 he was the developer of a $15,000 rooming house at Davie and Hornby, also designed by Grant and Henderson. His last directory entry was in 1914. He was undoubtedly related to George Grant’s wife, Olive, and they jointly developed the Cecil hotel. In 1915, Mary Burris, widow of Samuel was living at the same W 8th Avenue address, as was Edith, their daughter. Mary returned to Nova Scotia, where she died in 1917.

The Cecil switched from the Hotel Cecil to the Cecil Hotel by the mid 1930s. It continued as a hotel, but by 1935 there were a number of permanent residents. While the hotel became old, and tired, despite (or perhaps because of) the run-down nature of the bar, (dark, smokey and windowless according to Rex Wyler), in the 1960s it became a gathering place for journalists, environmentalists, and UBC students. In 1967 the founders of the Georgia Straight came up with the name for their new publication while drinking there, hoping to attract free publicity because radio newscasts of the era regularly issued gale warnings for the nearby body of water called the Georgia Strait. Many of the founders of Greenpeace also drank in the bar in those days.

As the Georgia Straight noted when the building was about to be demolished, as with many other bars in the city, “in the mid-1970s, the Cecil started bringing in exotic dancers, which continued up until closing night. One former dancer contacted by the Straight said that in the 1980s, the Cecil was more like Playboy magazine and the movie Flashdance, whereas the Drake and the Marr were more hard-core, like Penthouse magazine and, on a bad day, like Hustler magazine.”

Posted October 12, 2015 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Hampton Court – 1243 Thurlow Street

Hampton Court 1243 Thurlow

For a building that’s over 100 years old, Hampton Court is looking pretty good these days. It’s actually looking even better now than in our 1975 image (and the additional planting helps). The building permit says it was built for Western Securities in 1911. None of the Vancouver Directories around that time have a company called Western Securities, so the developer remained a mystery.

There’s a bit more information in the Contract Record, which reported that “an attractive apartment house building has been erected at the corner of Thurlow and Burnaby streets, Vancouver, for Dr. E N Driver”. That didn’t get us much further forward as there was no E N Driver – whether a doctor or not, in the 1911 Canada census. There was a Dr E N Driver who was a doctor in Alabama, so he seemed unlikely. We know the clerk recorded the right name for the developer – the Times Colonist recorded the creation of the new company in August 1911. Then we traced the right name. Dr Newton Drier was recorded in the 1901 census living with his wife, Hope, both from New Brunswick. As with so many Vancouver residents we look for, if he was recorded in the 1911 census it was under a wrongly spelled name.

The building was designed by Grant and Henderson and cost $100,000 for J J Dissette to build it, and was finished in 1912. In the city these days, when new policy allows higher density housing to be built, there is often an outcry when recent houses are demolished to make way for apartments. Dr. Drier had previously built a new house on this lot (addressed as 1101 Barclay) in 1902, designed by W T Whiteway and costing $2,300 – a substantial sum for the day.

In 1909 Dr. Drier moved to 434 West Pender – where his practice was also based – into a much smaller building also designed for him by Grant and Henderson a few years earlier. In 1916 he moved to New Zealand, continuing his successful medical practice. He returned to Vancouver in retirement, with a second wife, Jessie, and a daughter Francelle. He had a house on West 3rd Avenue, and died in 1941.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-421

Posted May 4, 2015 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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