Archive for the ‘Honeyman and Curtis’ Tag

2490 Main Street

Here’s another Bank of Montreal developed on Main Street. This one only cost $25,000 and like our previous post, was built in 1929, and was also designed by Honeyman and Curtis. And, like the other Main Street branch of the Bank of Montreal to the north, it wasn’t until the 1960s when it made the news.

In 1963, under the headline ‘I Gave Bandit What He Asked For Says Teller’ the Sun reported how an 18-year-old bank teller had a customer approach the counter, with the apparent shape of a gun in his pocket, and hand over a note saying it was a holdup. “I just gave him what he asked for the $10’s and $20’s and a $5 bill,” she said. “He didn’t ask for any more. He just left.” Police didn’t find the robber until he held up two banks in the same day, two months later, in early 1964.

Donald Roy Sandhoff, who lived in the Marble Arch Hotel on Richards, was arrested after police said he walked into the Royal Bank of Canada at 796 Granville and thrust a note at teller Mary Kardynal. She crushed it up in a ball and threw it at him. He fled and a few minutes later used the same note to hold up teller Grace Wilson of the Royal Bank of Canada at Hastings and Homer. He escaped with $1,394. Police traced Sandhoff to the hotel by comparing the handwriting on the holdup note with signatures on hotel registers In the neighborhood. An oddly-shaped “d” found in the note was repeated in his name in the hotel book. When they asked for his gun Sandhoff replied that he had used his finger.” He admitted to the Main Street holdup, and robbing a Hudson’s Bay clerk, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

On April 4th 1972 the gun was apparently real. The Sun carried the story: “Bandit dressed to kill grabs $1,487 in bank. At 3 p.m. a colorfully dressed, bearded bandit who walked with a limp entered the Bank of Montreal at 2490 Main, approached a teller, pointed a small black revolver and demanded money. After he was given $1,487, the man fled on foot. The gunman was wearing purple flared pants and a mauve shirt, and was described as about 24 years old, five feet, 10 inches tall, 170 pounds, with long sandy hair and full beard.”

Just ten days later the Province reported  “Teller’s grab foils bank hold-up man”

“Police Thursday arrested a suspected bank robber as he leaped from a car in the 2200 block Glen. The arrest was made by Const. Al Brown minutes after a man fled empty-handed from a holdup attempt at the Bank of Montreal, 2490 Main. Police said a starting pistol was found in the car that answered the description of the car used by the gunman. The bandit didn’t get his loot. Police said the teller handed him a bag filled with money, then jerked it from him at the last second. As the bag dropped to the floor the bandit fled and drove off in a yellow car.”

In 1975, the year our picture was taken, The Sun reported in March: “Bomb in Bank was a dud. A “dynamite” bomb found inside a city bank Friday turned out to be a dud. Early reports said the bomb was active but had been defused by two members of the Chilliwack Canadian Forces base bomb squad. However, a bomb squad spokesman later said the bomb, found in a shopping bag near a desk in the Bank of Montreal, 2490 Main, contained about 35 sticks of phoney dynamite. Bank manager Dick Fulwell said the bomb was part of a plot to extort $30,000 from the bank. He said a caller who phoned at 10:30 a.m. asked for him by name and told him that there was a bomb in the bank. Fulwell said detailed instructions for payment were left on a note in the bag, but no money was paid. Police said the bag contained a box, which made a humming sound. Writing, scrawled on the box said the bomb was set to go off at noon. By 11:15 a.m., about 20 policemen had cordoned off the area and directed traffic down side streets. Two trailer trucks were driven in front of the bank to deflect any shards of glass or debris.

Just three months later they reported “Language barrier foils would-be bank robber. “This is a robbery, I have a gun,” said the thin bandit Monday in the Bank of Montreal branch at 2490 Main. “Pardon me?” replied the Chinese woman teller who did not speak English very well. “Don’t push any alarms,” the bandit stammered. “Sorry, I don’t understand English very well,” the teller answered patiently. Apparently frustrated in getting no where with his robbery attempt the thief turned and fled out the door empty-handed.

The Bank didn’t feature again before the branch was closed, and in 1993 Western Town Roots opened a boot and clothing store here. More recently they moved a little to the west, and a bath showroom opened in the building. For the past nine years the former bank has once again been handling money – these days as a branch of Cash Money, a Western Union transfer and payday loan business.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-235



906 Main Street

This modest bank building was designed in 1929 by Honeyman & Curtis for the Bank of Montreal who hired Moncrieff & Vistaunet Ltd to build their $34,000 branch in a Beaux Arts Classical style.

It seems to have had a quiet existence until July 1966 when the Sun reported “Get-Rich Scheme Backfired

A get-rich scheme that backfired has put John Francis Silver behind bars for five years. Silver, 48, of North Bay, Ont. received the five-year term Wednesday for a $2,673 armed holdup at the Bank of Montreal, 906 Main. Magistrate Les Bewley also sentenced Silver to a concurrent two-year term for possessing an offensive weapon, a 22-calibre pistol which was used in the June 6 robbery. Silver pleaded guilty to both charges the day after the holdup. He told detectives that he had $80 in his pocket when he jumped off a box-car in Vancouver about June 1, and planned to commit a robbery. Silver then went to Portland, Ore., where he bought a pistol at a pawnshop. Returning to Vancouver, he registered at a Main Street Hotel and wrote his holdup note. Two alert policemen shattered his plan by arresting him minutes after the bank robbery. The money taken in the holdup was recovered from a shopping bag carried by Silver. In passing sentence, magistrate Bewley told Silver that persons who commit armed robbery can expect to be dealt with severely by the courts. Silver admitted six convictions between 1940 and 1948 for breaking and entering, car theft and possessing housebreaking instruments.”

This image was taken around 1985, and the bank had closed by then. From 1982 it was the Triage Crisis Shelter, with Brother David running the social services centre for ‘multi problem individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues’. In 1990 the building itself faced a crisis: “A dilapidated emergency shelter that houses many of Vancouver’s mentally ill must undergo radical renovations or move out, city officials say. In a memo by North Health Unit director Norman Barr, the Triage Centre a 28-bed facility run by the St. James Social Services Society and located in a converted bank at 906 Main St. is described as crowded, depressing, poorly ventilated, poorly lit, lacking in privacy and generally physically inadequate.”

The operators of the shelter completely agreed: “People who come here get comradeship, understanding, sympathy and help. But it’s not a great place to live. Nobody should have to live with this kind of crap but there just isn’t any money. “We’ve been screaming, begging and banging on doors for a new building for years.” Nothing changed in the next few years. Triage were turning people away here when the temperatures dropped below freezing in 1993, but a year later had moved to a new centre on Powell Street.

After some years as a vacant building, it was restored as part of a residential condo scheme called ‘Left Bank’, designed by H R Hatch, with 59 units in a 9-storey building to the south. In 2003 when the project was approved it was described as being in ‘a seedier area of town’, citing the biker bar at the American Hotel to the south, and “advisory panel member Ed Mah, a developer himself, said, “Even in this market, it takes someone very brave to take on this project.” Today, with the new St Paul’s Hospital under construction to the east, and the American a popular burger retaurant, the area is quite different – and likely to change even more as the adjacent viaducts get removed.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 790-0670


Posted 13 April 2023 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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Firehall #6 – Nicola Street

Fire hall #6, in the West End, was commissioned in 1907 and opened in 1908. Even though it was developed in the period when the building permits have been lost, we know the architects of the project. Honeyman and Curtis designed the building, possibly the first in North America specifically designed for motorized firetrucks.

It was photographed in 1908 with its Seagrave Hose Wagon and Auto Chemical Engine – both state-of-the-art equipment for the time. After the 1886 fire the City was willing to fund the fire department generously. The Seagrave machines cost around $5,000 each – more than it cost to build most West End houses at the time. (Seagrave still make fire trucks today, but the entire Vancouver fleet are now built by Spartan).

There was a delay getting the building started; the architects reported to the City Council that it was such a busy time for contractors that it had been difficult to get any of them to bid. “The public advertisement had not drawn a single call for the specifications, but by personal effort several contractors had been Induced to figure.” In the end Peter Tardif won the contract to build the fire hall.

The building was expanded in 1929, with a design by A J Bird, and there was another picture taken by Stuart Thomson, with the latest engine proudly on display.

As far as we can tell, that’s an American La France ladder truck in the picture on the right. Not too many were built with the firemen sitting over the front wheels.

Our main image dates from 1975. The hall received a further makeover, and was seismically upgraded in 1988, designed by Henry Hawthorne Architect. The fire staff continue to fight fires and attend other emergency calls throughout the West End, equipped with a Spartan Gladiator Sirius LFD engine, and pump. Recently the city’s ladder trucks have changed from 75 foot units to 105 foot (to better service fires in 6-storey buildings) so the ladder trucks are now located in other West End and Downtown fire halls.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 780-395, CVA 99-3730 and FD P39.2


Posted 10 June 2021 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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701 Campbell Avenue

This corner, like many in older neighbourhoods, was once a retail store. Today it’s still offering reasonably priced apartments, but the corner store and butchers seen in our 1978 image have gone. Developed in 1913, it had classy architects for such a simple structure. Owners Smith and Keats hired Honeyman and Curtis to design their $7,000 investment.

There was only one Keats in Vancouver in 1913, and Albert Keats was an electrician. There were thousands of Smiths, and none who would obviously know Mr. Keats, so that didn’t really get us anywhere. The only ‘Smith and Keats’ we have found were grocers in North Vancouver after 1919, but we couldn’t be sure there’s any connection to this building. The street directory that year identified F J Keates as running the Model Grocery. The 1921 census shows Frederick Keats was from Staffordshire, England, aged 35 and arriving in 1906 with his younger wife Lillian. We found F J Keates running the Lonsdale Supply Stores in North Vancouver in 1912. In 1913 he was working with Richard Smith, a grocer. Richard was already aged 64 in 1911, and although the store was in North Vancouver, Richard lived on Alberni Street in Vancouver. He had also arrived in Canada in 1906, and in 1911 was living with his wife, Jane, who like Richard was Irish. They had five children at home aged 21 to 32, (one also called Richard).

During the war years Frederick Keates appears not to be in Vancouver, or North Vancouver, so we assume he fought in the war. It’s quite possible that this was an investment that both men intended to operate as a grocery, and then the war intervened. The North Shore Outlook recently reported Fred and Lillian’s wartime wedding. “On June 7, 1916, Lynn Valley’s wedding of the year at St. Clements joined not only Lieutenant Jimmy Hewitt and Gwen Neate but also Gwen’s younger sister Lillian and Fred Keates. The front-page story in The North Shore Press noted, “After the ceremony a reception which later resolved itself into a dance was held in the Institute Hall.” The Province’s lead social-page story reported the church “was crowded to its utmost capacity… while many were unable to obtain admission.” Jimmy Hewitt was killed at Passchendaele in 1917, and Gwen never remarried. Lilian Keates was only 44 when she died in 1938. The last time Fred Keates is shown in North Vancouver is 1945, and we think he may have moved, possibly to Haney.

When the building was completed in 1914 David Sutherland sold dry goods in the corner unit, and the second store was vacant. A year later it was occupied by the Modern Grocery, and the Modern Meat Market. James Shaw was the baker at the grocery, and George Skinner who lived in the store ran the butchers. In 1916 Mrs Annie Wheeldon ran the Modern Grocery which now had expanded to take in the former dry goods store and included Sub Post Office #2, and the meat market had closed.

After brief uses as a beauty store, and a gospel mission, the right-hand store (at 894) became a butcher’s shop during the war. Antonio Negrin opened the Handy Meat market in 1942, and ran it until 1973. Art Grice photographed the store in 1972. The Negrin’s retired to Sardis, and Tony Negrin died in 1977, aged 59. Our 1978 image shows the butcher’s shop continued for several more years, but today there are no retail uses here, but several additional residential rental apartments.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-920


Main and East Cordova Streets – north east corner

This was a 1910 bank developed by the Bank of Montreal, who hired local architects Honeyman and Curtis to design the $65,000 building, constructed by McDonald & Wilson.  The bank only occupied the premises for twenty years. In 1931 the building was being used by the Scandinavian United Church, but by 1933 the Army & Navy Veterans in Canada had moved here, and used the building through the war. In 1947 it was home to Steffens-Colmer Ltd, photographers, and in 1950 they were sharing with Trans-Canada Films. Don Coltman was manager of the Steffens-Colmer Studio in the early 1940s; the company was founded in 1920. In 1944 he took over the business and operated under the company name Steffens-Colmer Ltd. until 1951 when he renamed it to Don Coltman Photographic Company (Don Coltman photos), moving to new premises. The film company was run by Wally Hamilton, who was from Vernon, but learned movie making in the 1920s and 30s with Vancouver Motion Pictures.

The building was empty in 1952, and briefly used by Jordan Co, public weighers and J Kinney & Co Importers & Exporters. By 1955 it had become home to the Seafarers’ International Union of North America, (“serving unlicensed sailors since 1938”) sharing the space with the Pacific Fishermen and Allied Trades Union. The Seafarers Union were still here in 1971, when our image was shot, and still exist today in a different location.

The site was redeveloped in 1973 with a new Courthouse designed in the brutalist concrete style of the day by Harrison, Plavsic and Kiss

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-385


Posted 19 March 2020 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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Robson and Jervis Streets

This fine craftsman house at 1300 Robson Street was built in 1904 by Bedford Davidson, and cost a significant sum for the day – $6,000. It was designed by Honeyman and Curtis for Dr Boyle. He was a medical doctor, but also a property developer. In 1909 he built the Travelers Hotel, which is now called the Metropole Hotel, on Abbot Street. He also developed the Royal Hotel on Granville Street in 1911, and he had Bedford Davidson build four houses in 1903 on Thurlow, and another set of four on Broughton.

Dr Robert Clarke Boyle first moved to Vancouver in 1899 or in 1900 and appears in the 1901 census with his wife, Margaret, and daughter Mildred, who was six. They had an English nurse, and Robert’s sister, also called Margaret was living with them. A decade later, when they were in this house, the family had grown with 10 year old Bidwell, and Edward, who was three. They had both a nurse and a servant. Dr. Boyle and his wife were both shown as born in Ontario, but Mildred was born in Manitoba. If the 1935 obituary noting his sudden death is correct, his wife was in Winnipeg when they met, where Dr. Boyle studied. He initially practiced medicine in Morden, Manitoba before moving to Vancouver.

Unlike some of the city’s property developing physicians, Dr. Boyle had a widely regarded medical practice, based in his home, and became president of the Vancouver Medical Association. The family’s wealth meant that they could afford to educate their children in England. A 1914 newspaper report noted “Mrs. Robert C. Boyle returned to town on Monday from a lengthy stay in England. Her daughter. Miss Mildred Boyle, and her elder son, who have been attending school there, will follow later, arriving here in August. By 1920 Dr. Boyle moved to Richmond, to Sea Island, then back to Vancouver (on Beach Avenue) in the 1930s. His practice was based on Granville Street. In 1931 the newspaper reported “Dr. R. C. Boyle one of the best-known surgeons of Vancouver, was operated on at St. Paul’ Hospital yesterday for , appendicitis, following a hurried trip from Campbell River, where he was holidaying.” Bidwell Boyle married Zaida Dill in 1929, and later moved to the US. He and Zaida were living in Oregon when he died in 1966.

Over the years the house was occupied by several residents – we don’t know if Dr. Boyle sold it, or leased it out. It’s seen here in a 1930 Vancouver Public Library image when Frank J Lyons, a barrister, was living here. A few years later the BC Teacher’s Federation and publishers J C Dent had their offices located here. We’re assuming that the building was retained, rather than redeveloped for offices. A 1969 aerial appears to show little redevelopment of the houses in this location at that period. The Listel Hotel was developed here in 1986, designed by the Buttjes Group, and opening as O’Doul’s Best Western Motor Hotel.


Posted 12 March 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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Beatty Street – 500 block (2)

We looked at most of the older buildings in this image (but on the Beatty Street side) in one of our earliest posts. The front of the buildings are quite a bit shorter than they are on this side – the back of the warehouses are mostly three storeys taller. Today most of them are taller still, as residential conversion has also seen a couple of lightweight penthouse floors added on top.

This 1918 image by Frank Gowen shows that the rail tracks ran right up to the back of the buildings, and covered the area developed in the 1990s as International Village. Today’s SkyTrain tracks run at right angles to those original freight tracks: that’s the vault of Stadium station in the left foreground.

At the end of the block is the Sun Tower (as it’s still known today, although the Vancouver Sun has moved offices at least three times in the decades since they occupied this building). It was built for the Daily World newspaper, with offices above a printing works, and was briefly claimed as the tallest building in the British Empire (although tallest in Canada is more likely). W T Whiteway designed it in 1910, and it opened in 1912, just as the city hit a serious recession, leaving most of the additional office space intended to make the project pay, empty.

Alongside are the Storey and Campbell warehouse, also by W T Whiteway and built in 1911, and next door Richard Bowman’s warehouse that today has a Townley and Matheson designed façade after a 1944 fire. We looked at the histories of both of the buildings a couple of years ago. Next door, the Crane building had Somervell & Putnam as architects and cost over $120,000 in 1911. In 2008, like the Bowman and Storey warehouses it was converted to residential use, with two tall penthouse floors added (as this 1972 image comparison shows).

The shortest building in the 1918 image is now taller, after a comprehensive reconstruction in 1983 designed by Bruno Freschi of the 1906 Mainland Warehouse at 550 Beatty to create residential lofts. Originally designed (we think) by Honeyman and Curtis, a rebuilt back façade saw the face of the building moved back to create balconies in a grid of brick piers. The top two floors of the original building were added in 1928, but extra height was added again in the conversion. The 1928 permit to Vancouver Warehouses Ltd was for $45,000 of work, described as ‘Workshop/Factory/Warehouse; New’, so it’s possible the entire building was rebuilt by the George Snider Construction Co. Ltd.

Today, 560 Beatty is the least changed, and shortest building. It dates back to 1909, when it was built by J M McLuckie for Fred Buscombe, at a cost of $35,000. In 1899 he bought out James A Skinner and Co, china and glass importers, originally founded in Hamilton, and changed the name to Buscombe & Co. He was at different times President of the city’s Board of Trade, and Mayor of Vancouver in 1905. He was also president of the Pacific Coast Lumber & Sawmills Company, and director of the Pacific Marine Insurance Company.

Next door, 564 Beatty now has an extra four office floors, but it started life much shorter (with just a single floor on Beatty Street) developed by Jonathan Rogers – with an unknown architect. In 1912 J P Matheson designed an additional two storeys for Robert A Welsh, and the office floors (designed by IBI) were added in 2014. In 1918 there was a warehouse next door, but today it’s a set of stairs running down to International Village and the T&T Supermarket, and the SkyTrain station. It was first occupied by Robertson Godson Co who had hired Parr and Fee to design the $35,000 building in 1909.

Image source CVA 1135-4


1500 Main Street

The City has hundreds of locations that were once gas stations, although today the remaining service stations are becoming increasingly rare. Here’s one on the corner of Main Street and Terminal Avenue, seen in 1940s; it’s Al Deeming’s Union Oil gas and service station. The leasee was Albert W Deeming, who was, according to his marriage certificate, the son of Caleb James Deeming. Caleb was born in 1867 in Polesworth, in Warwickshire, England, and married Sarah Rose Hoggan from Cape Breton in Nanaimo in 1895. Their son James was born in 1897 (and died in 1938, aged 41), Myrtle was born in 1903 and Albert in 1905. Al Deeming was married aged 26 in 1931 to Elsie Waite, from Winnipeg. Caleb died in 1953 and his wife two years later. Albert was only 52 when he died in 1957, and his death certificate shows he was born in Ladysmith.

This gas station first appears in the street directory in 1924, as do the industrial buildings in the background which once housed Neon Products’, the BC Valve Company and Massey Harris’s agricultural implement showroom beyond the gas bar. The building further east dates from 1929. The buildings are still there today, although now they are wholesale and retail warehouse buildings for furniture and floors tiles. Built by Smellie & Gallaher for Neon Gas Products they were designed by Honeyman & Curtis and cost $13,500

In the 1950s the Terminal Service and gas station was run by L E and Mrs M S Love. There’s a 1980s image in the Archives showing that the gas station was still here when the Skytrain was under construction across the street. By then it was a Gulf gasoline station, with a new canopy. Today it’s the site of the city’s first Temporary Modular Housing, intended to help meet the current homelessness situation. Built in a matter of days, it has 40 modular apartment units that can be demounted and reassembled on another site when redevelopment plans come forward for this part of False Creek Flats, currently owned by the City of Vancouver.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 1184-1734


Posted 10 December 2018 by ChangingCity in False Creek, Gone

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1065 West Pender Street

When it was built, in 1909, this was the first structure completed on the lot. It was on Pender Street – East Pender had another name, so there was no need to reference ‘West’. In front (to the north) on top of the cliff above the beach were a row of fancy houses, initially occupied by the city’s CPR managers and other professionals like lawyers and doctors. Many of their original owners had already moved on to new locations, either in the West End or the new First Shaughnessy area across False Creek. This block had several other buildings completed around the same time, including another Honeyman & Curtis design.

The developer was the Canadian General Electric Company, and they hired Honeyman and Curtis to build an initial $30,000 warehouse, built by Murray and McMillan in 1909, followed by another $30,000 addition to the east in 1913, built by Purdy & Lonegan. The Company were the Canadian subsidiary of the US General Electric Company, created in 1892 and manufacturers of generators, transformers, motors, wire and cable, and lighting products for consumer and industrial products.

The company’s 1912 Annual R port explains the extent of the company operation and how the local offices operated: “In addition to the head office at Toronto, with its Sales and Engineering Departments, the Company has a number of branch offices throughout Canada – at Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Cobalt, Porcupine. Winnipeg, Nelson, Victoria. Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Calgary, Regina and Edmonton, each with its own complete organization, thus enabling the Company’s officers to study the local conditions and requirements, which differ considerably in the various provinces of the Dominion.” GE had been selling products to Vancouver for many years – their equipment was used by the Consolidated Railway Co as they expanded the streetcar network throughout the city.

The company were still operating their wholesale division in this building in 1934, when this Vancouver Public Library image was taken, and through to at least the mid 1950s. It was replaced in 1978 by the Oceanic Plaza, designed by Charles Paine (who also designed the earlier Guinness Tower nearby). The developers were British Pacific Building Ltd, the Guinness family company that owned much of West Vancouver where they developed the British Properties, and the purchasers of the adjacent Marine Building.


1000 block West Pender Street

There are two buildings here that were replaced in the 1960s, seen here in a 1931 Vancouver Public Library image. On the left is the Essex Rooms at 1033, while next door were the Duchess Rooms, at 1025. These were apparently developed by the A S French Auto Co in 1910, as a $55,000 ‘garage and rooms’, designed by ‘Blackmore’. The Essex Rooms were described as a warehouse when their building permit was issued in 1909 to Crickmay Bros. who hired Honeyman and Curtis to design the $14,000 investment. The main floor was occupied by the BC Anchor Fence Co when the building was completed. Baynes and Horie were the contractors, while Hemphill Brothers built Austin French’s building.

In 1911 the Daily World announced “The A. S. French Auto Co. are now occupying their new commodious quarters at 1027 Pender Street West, and have the largest fireproof and most up to date garage and sales rooms in British Columbia. They have a storage capacity for 600 cars, and carry besides a full line of accessories. The building is of reinforced concrete, absolutely fireproof, and with two floors, 66×132 feet In size. Each floor has a level driveway entrance, the lower being on Seaton street, and the upper on Pender. When the outside decorations are completed, the building will present an extremely attractive appearance. “Any one wanting a Napier car this season will have to hustle.” said Mr. A. S. French, “as the allotment for this year Is almost sold out. Nearly all the cars allotted us are in now, only five or six carloads remaining to be delivered. I have no idea how many Napiers have been sold in Vancouver without looking up the records, but as an instance of the way they are going I might mention that last week I sold over $42,000 worth, including the sales of Saturday night after dinner, which amounted to $19,500. We are open for business day and night. Besides the Napier we also handle the Stoddard – Dayton cars, which I consider the best car on the market for the money. The Napier is a British built car.”

Fred and Alf Crickmay were customs brokers, The had offices in the Pacific Securities Building, across from the customs building and overlooking the harbour. Fred had arrived from England in 1886, and by 1901 were already successful in the brokering business. Fred shared a house that year with his two older sisters. By 1912 he was also managing director of the BC Anchor Fence Co, and had moved to Shaughnessy Heights. Alfred had arrived in 1888, and was married with two children in 1901, with a 19 year old Japanese servant called Verna. By 1912 he had moved to North Vancouver.

A few years after construction in 1915 the Duchess Rooms had become the Driard Hotel, managed by J K Ramsay, while the Essex Rooms had Mrs E T Armstrong as proprietor. A S French continued in business, switching to selling the Overland cars in 1916 (at only $850), and in 1922 the Chandler, Cleveland and Liberty Six lines of vehicles. His father, Captain George French (whose warehouse we saw in an earlier post), Austin, and Austin’s son, (also George) were all associated with the company.

In 1978 the 26 storey Oceanic Plaza office building was completed here. A later cousin to the Guinness Tower across the street, it was developed by British Pacific Building Ltd and designed by Paine and Ching (evolved from Charles Paine and Associates who designed the Guinness Tower across the street). Where the building stood is now a plaza, with the 2002 Government office building (named the Douglas Jung Building) to the east, fronting Burrard Street.