There are indications that Downtown Vancouver will soon lose its last gas station, located at Davie and Burrard. There were once dozens of places where you could buy gas on the peninsula – we once counted 99 different locations. Here’s one of those that disappeared (in this case decades ago). We looked at this corner when it was occupied by the Townley family home. It was located here in 1889 but by 1925 it was gone, and soon after a service station appeared on the site, initially run by Thompson and Graham, then in the 1930s by Frith & Lawrey.
In 1949, when this image was shot by Walter E Frost, Tom Hurrell was running the Quadra Service Station. The gas pumps offered Home Gasoline, and there were dozens of Home gas bars across the Lower Mainland, some of them featured in company movies viewable on the City Archives website. In 1949, the company’s advertisement announced it as a BC owned business, (the headquarters were just up Burrard Street), with over 300 locations to buy gas. Founded in 1928, the company lasted until 1978, although the gas stations were run by Imperial Oil after 1976.
Tom Hurrell apparently arrived in the city, and took over the gas bar in 1939. This picture was taken in the final year of its existence. A year later a two storey branch of the Bank of Toronto was here, later home to a branch of the Bank of British Columbia. In 1984 the Waisman Dewar Grout Carter designed building was completed that’s there today, an unusually silver reflective office called Commerce Place (home to the CIBC Bank in town) that reflects a view of the Marine Building that’s across the street. Tom Hurrell went on to run a gas station on Granville Street, and moved to live in West Vancouver.
Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-389