Archive for the ‘Philip Timms’ Tag

944 Granville Street

944-950 Granville St

It’s just possible that this is one of the buildings that Thomas Fee designed and built for himself. In 1915 he certainly owned it, and submitted a permit for $75 of repairs he had designed. Often the design of the windows in Parr and Fee buildings shows the same unusual central pivot on the main pane – there’s an example on the building to the north (on the left of the picture). However, this isn’t a definitive design feature – the Fee Block in the 500 block of Granville that Thomas designed for himself in 1902 had sash windows. The bay windows aren’t common on Parr and Fee buildings, but we’ve seen them use them on other buildings like the Alexandra Hotel. With no permit we can’t be certain one way or another. The building probably got built around 1906; it wasn’t there in 1903 (the block was almost completely empty then), but had been completed by 1912.

Timms 944 Granville 1908 VPLGalloway-Dorbils Books occupied the first store. The 1920 edition of the Ubyssey had an advertisement for “Edwin J. Galloway, The Old Book Shop, established 1890. High School and University Books, a specialty. New and Second-Hand Books of every description carried in stock, or procured at short notice. Libraries or single books purchased for cash at a fair valuation,” By 1943 when this Vancouver Public Library image was taken the name was slightly changed; Mr. Galloway died in 1931 but the business continued as Galloway – Dorbils.

The first storeowner here was Charles W Hills who sold ladies millinery. Charles was born in Toronto, but he arrived in Vancouver via Victoria with his wife, Jane, and young son, William. He moved to California around 1911, but Jane stayed in Vancouver and ran the business for a few more years. By 1943 the hats could be obtained from the Aristocrat Cleaners, but the first store here was occupied by one of Vancouver’s finest photographers, Philip Timms.

0378\ncouver Public Library picture of his store shows the edge of the Hills window as well as the store on the other side, Kyle and Sons Goodcheer Market, a butcher and grocer. Timms didn’t purely concentrate on photography; his store sold books, sheet music, and photographic supplies. He didn’t last very long here – by 1901 he had already moved and it looks as if the Hills store took the opportunity to expand.

In 1908 there were four suites upstairs: Mr Hills lived literally ‘over the shop’, next door was Daniel Kirkpatrick and the third was occupied by Charles W Armstrong and Hugh M Dunn in the remaining unit. In the 1943 picture the Elite Café were tenants; the Museum of Vancouver have the cafe’s A La Carte Menu from 1948.

We’re not sure how long this building lasted. The next image we’ve found for the building is from 1981. There’s a store on this site, but not this store; it’s only a single storey building. By the late 1990s the site was vacant, and it was only in 2012 that a replacement was built, an office and retail building designed by Studio One Architects for Bonnis Properties.


Posted September 18, 2014 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Gone

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501 West Georgia Street (1)

501 W Georgia

We don’t know who built this structure, although we know it dates from around 1908. The 1901 Insurance map of the city shows there was a house on a lot located 25 feet north of Georgia (just on the right edge of this picture). The lot had been owned by A K Stuart since 1886.

Mrs A K Stuart obtained a permit for a house on Richards Street in 1902, and A K Stuart obtained another for a house on Georgia Street in 1906. In 1903 James L Duff, a dentist lived here, and next door, to the west, was William Lonergan, a contractor, who stayed for a number of years. In 1905 the dentist had been replaced by Oswald Trowse, a dyer, and in 1907 A K Stuart, recorded as being a civil engineer, was shown living in the house.

Mrs A K Stuart would have been Margaret, who Allan Stuart had married in 1892. Stuart was a former CPR draftsman who helped bring the railway through the Rockies, and then settled in Vancouver in 1885 working for Thomas Sorby, helping design the first CPR buildings including the first Hotel Vancouver. From 1893 to 1901 he worked as Assistant City Engineer, before joining an engineering company supervising mines in Canada and Mexico.

By 1908 we’re reasonably certain this structure had been completed, as the building here housed the Cabello Cigar Manufacturing Company. (The Archives image is dated 1906, but we think it was probably shot a year or two later). A K Stuart had obtained two further permits in 1907 for alterations and remodelling on both Richards and Georgia, and it seems likely that this building was the outcome. The building lot was turned through 90 degrees and subdivided north-south rather than the original east-west alignment.

In 1909 Philip Timms, one of Vancouver’s leading photographers of the day was based here, to be replaced by Stuart Thompson, another photographer, in 1912. Timms had been born in Toronto in 1874, but had arrived in Vancouver with his new wife Lizzie in 1898. His first employment was working for S J Thompson, (no relation to Stuart Thompson), who was already established in New Westminster, taking high-quality platinum photographs of the scenery of the Rockies.

Timms was initially a picture framer, but by 1903 he was a photographer, deliberately trying to create a record of the rapidly growing city of Vancouver (a legacy we rely on for this blog). He produced at least 3,000 images, many of them printed as postcards by his brother, Art.

Stuart Thompson was born in Hampstead, England in 1881. He came to Vancouver via Australia in 1910, where he became a well-known professional photographer, noted for his aerial photography. Timms moved his business to his home address on Commercial Drive, but maintained his studio at 501 W Georgia until 1922 when Aras Pantages became the tenant.

Over the years the occupant of the building changed many times, including the National Cash Register Co who operated from here in the late 1930s, until today when a car leasing company operates from the building.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-592


Posted March 4, 2013 by ChangingCity in Altered, Downtown

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