Archive for the ‘Peter Tardiff’ Tag

900 Granville Street – east side (2)

Off in the distance, behind the tram in this 1948 image, is the Vogue Theatre. To the south is Parr and Fee’s design for T McWhinnie’s Harvard Rooms which we looked at in an earlier post. (That’s the Siesta Rooms and The Roxy today). Hidden by the tram is 944 Granville Street, probably designed by Thomas Fee as in investment around 1905, with four apartments upstairs numbered as 946 Granville. There were three nondescript single storey retail stores to the south, then another two storey building at 972 Granville, almost identical in design to 944 up the street, and therefore very likely also designed by Thomas Fee. Like that building it had four apartments upstairs, and retail below; in 1948 the Kiddies Arcade and Lynn’s Ladies Apparel. In 1916 it was owned by G D Scott, a real estate broker, who may have been the developer.

There’s a narrow two storey shopfront hidden by the tram, but visible in this c1915 image of the same block. It was yet another Parr and Fee design developed by builder Peter Tardiff, whose history we looked at in connection to the Broughton Apartments he developed in 1912. He was probably born in Quebec as Pierre Tardif. The building at 968 Granville started life as The Family Theatre in 1910, and continued to be listed as such through to 1915. There’s an odd situation in that Irwin Carver & Co made $1,500 alterations to the building 2 months after the initial $25,000 construction permit. Peter Tardiff is still listed as the owner, but Irwin, Carver were the designers and builders – even though Tardiff was a builder himself, and had built the structure. It’s possible that they were hired by the operators of the theatre to carry out fit-out alterations.

The Family Theatre itself is an oddity; there seem to be few records of its existence or operation. It opened in June 1910, and lasted less than 7 years. (The building is behind the octagonal sign advertising Cambie Ice Cream, which is attached to the store to the south). In the year it opened Mrs. Clara B Colby, an American who had lectured in Seattle a week earlier, spoke on “The Spiritual Significance of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in England”. As with a few other theatres on Granville Street, it was also used on a few Sundays to attract larger crowds to religious services, adding an orchestra to the hymn singing. In 1911 it was announced that “The feature for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Is Pathe’s Animated Gazette. These weekly pictures of the world’s doings, is proving a great attraction at the popular theatre, and deservedly so, for this theatre is the only one in the city that imports the Gazette direct from London, Eng., thus ensuring their patrons the news of the world first hand.” In 1914 we know the theatre was showing movies, because the Manager, Peter Carter, was fined “$10 and costs with the option of ten days in gaol for allowing young boys in moving picture theatres after the curfew hour.”

In January 1917 an advertisement appeared: “BICYCLES AND SUPPLIES GET A MOVE ON. YES. THAT’S WHAT we are doing. We remove Into the old Family Theatre, Granville Street, on Jan. 15. After that date Fred Deeley, The Cycle Man, will occupy the largest and best equipped cycle store In Western Canada.” Fred was born in 1881 in Bromsgrove, England. After 10 years in business in England, he first visited B.C. in 1913, representing Birmingham Small Arms, manufacturer of BSA motorcycles. He moved and in 1914 opened Fred Deeley Ltd. in a 12-foot-wide store at 1075 Granville. In 1916 he acquired a Harley-Davidson franchise, moving to 1126 Granville. He moved to the theatre location a year later, but by 1923 had moved again to Hastings Street, selling BSA, Paragon and Red Bird bicycles as well as Harley Davidson motorcycles. By 1925 he owned a motorcycle shop, bicycle shop, and one of Canada’s larger car dealerships.

The last building on the block dates from 1914, designed by Braunton & Leibert for G B Harris costing $17,000 and built by J Nelson Copp. When it opened Pill Box Drugs were on the corner here; later it was home to Kripps Drugs, who expanded and remodeled the property before moving to Kerrisdale a few years ago. At 990 Jack Stearman had his lock & keys business in the location that in 1915 was a Pool and Cigars store. Two clothing stores took the remainder of the space: Darlings’s Style Shop and Vogue Menswear. G B Harris owned property in the city over many years; he carried out repairs to the Boulder Hotel on Cordova Street in 1901, and had N S Hoffar design a block of stores on Carrall Steet ‘adjoining the old Burrard House’, in 1889. George Berteaux Harris was from Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, although after leaving home he worked in Boston in the US and then on the railway in Panama. He collected and classified birds in Trinidad for three years, working for a Boston ornithologist. He was back in Annopolis in 1881, shipping apples to England and first visited Granville in 1884, returning to his family in Nova Scotia every two years, eventually bringing his wife and children to live in 1895. When he built these stores he was Chairman of the Vancouver Rowing Club. He died in 1936.

Today there are a series of recently developed single storey but double height retail buildings.

Image sources: City of Vancouver Archines CVA 229-15 and SGN 1602 (extract)


Broughton Apartments – 1091 Broughton Street

Broughton Apartments 1091 Broughton

Not all the buildings in the West End are in as quite as good shape as they once were. The Broughton Apartments have unfortunately lost their cornice, although the street is in much better condition than in this supposed c1910 picture. The earliest the picture can really date from is 1912, when the building was completed. The building permit for the $100,000 building was approved in December 1910, with Parr and Fee responsible for the design for owner, and builder Peter Tardiff. Although his name appears as contractor on many projects in the city, including a number on Granville Street that we’ve featured elsewhere, this seems to be the most valuable building that he constructed. His other significant investment was the Family Theatre on the 900 block of Granville Street that he built in 1910 as a cost of $25,000, with Parr and Fee also designing that for him.

The building started life as the Broughton Apartments, although today it’s known as Gainsborough Place. The site was initially occupied by a house owned by George Stevens. Peter Tardif, as he was recorded by the census, was living at 1121 Bidwell Street in 1911, age 43 with his wife Marie Louise and their eight children (six of them girls) aged between 15 and one, with his 24-year-old cousin, Yvonne Lafrance. His wife was a few years younger, and although both parents had been born in Quebec, all the children had been born in British Columbia. In the 1901 census he was also shown as Tardif, which suggests that the more commonly recorded Tardiff was probably wrong. He was listed as a house builder in 1901, and a contractor in 1911. He appears as the architect of some of the buildings he worked on, but as with many of the city’s contractors these were generally smaller jobs. He worked a lot with Parr and Fee on larger contracting jobs, which may be why he chose them to design his investment. In earlier census records, from 1871 to 1891 he was recorded as Pierre Tardif, one of 19 Pierre Tardif’s in Canada – all of them in Quebec. He was married in 1893, in British Columbia, to his wife Marie-Louise Labrecque.

When it was newly built this was clearly a smart building. Unlike many of the West End buildings the tenants all seem to have been couples, (or possibly men living alone). The apartments were big; there were only 37 altogether. Among the residents were the architect of the building, J Edmeston Parr, Samuel H Henderson who was manager of the Vancouver Table Supply Co, Charles Boldrick, who was secretary to William Holden, Robert Creech who worked for Geo A Campbell & Co, a real estate broker, E Crockett and George Kidd who was comptroller of the BCE Railway. Like so many of the city’s rental buildings, turnover was considerable; a year later half of these six tenants had moved on.

In 1913 Mr Tardif sold the building to a consortium of businessmen, Morden, Thorton, Kilroy and Morgan for $140,000 – which was a pretty successful return in a very short period – especially in an economic slowdown. Mr. Tardiff continued to build projects through to the 1920s, and we know he was still around because he was at the wedding of his son Raoul to Ivy Flack in 1929, and his daughter Jeanne Louise in the same year. We think Peter died, or possibly retired and moved away in 1933: that’s the last year he appears in the street directory: still listed as a building contractor, living on Blenheim. It appears that neither of his sons worked with their father; there’s no sign of the company name after this, although several of the children were still in the city.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-98


Posted 7 May 2015 by ChangingCity in Still Standing, West End

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