Archive for the ‘Sam Bass’ Tag

800 Main Street

Our 1968 picture shows the first London Drugs store on the corner of Main and Union Street. The company was established by a ‘flamboyant pharmacist’, Sam Bass who started in a 1,000 sq ft space and soon expanded his chain to become market leader in the Lower Mainland by 1970. Bass sold out to a US corporation in 1968, who in turn sold to local grocery chain H Y Louie in 1976.  Soon after this picture was taken the City of Vancouver moved to replace the ageing Georgia Viaduct with a new structure, completed in 1972, which required the demolition of the entire 800 block. (seen below when construction had already started).

The drugstore building, originally designed by W F Gardiner for the National Finance Co, Ltd and built by Adkinson and Dill for $30,000 in 1909 was part of the clearance, along with the Pioneer Junk Co whose building replaced a blacksmith’s shop. If a decision is taken to replace the viaducts, no doubt this picture will change again.

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