Archive for the ‘William Templeton’ Tag

1213 Barclay Street

William Templeton was a successful grocer with his Ontario Grocers store at the corner of Hastings and Carrall. He was in Vancouver when it was still called the town of Granville, and lost his earlier premises in the 1886 fire. Initially William and his family lived in the East End, but as early as 1890 he had moved to a new house on the corner of Barclay and Bute, and the street directory also listed stables here. (That’s probably the building in the background behind the house, that would have been on Haro Street, and which was gone only a few years after this picture was taken). He was one of only 10 residents on the entire length of Barclay Street, and assuming this image dates to 1897, it was several years before the road was made up.

William Templeton was born in Belleville, in Ontario, in 1853 to Irish parents from County Donegal. His father, also William, was a grocer. His wife, Clementina Hawley was born in Boston, Massachusetts is 1860 to Scottish parents, and married William in Boston in October 1879. Their son, yet another William, was born in Ontario in 1880, and Maud 14 months later, in the same year that William’s father died. In 1886 the family moved across the country. Kathleen was born in 1888 while they were still living on East Hastings and Edwin in 1892, about two years after the family moved into their new house, and a year after the Templeton Block had been built on East Hastings, designed by C O Wickenden. (He may have also designed the house, but there are no records to confirm that).

Not long after he arrived in the city, William became involved in local politics. He ran for mayor, unsuccessfully, in 1890 against David Oppenheimer, representing himself as serving the “working and middle class”, (and representing himself as a member of the working class), with Oppenheimer a “higher class businessman”. He is also said to have mocked Oppenheimer’s German accent and to have lost supporters as a result.

A year later he set his sights lower and was elected as an alderman. He was a School Board trustee from 1892 to 1897, when he ran for mayor again, this time successfully. This picture of the mayor was taken that year and our main image was taken in the same year and almost certainly shows some of his family; Maud would be 15, Kathleen 9, and their mother is possibly the figure on the veranda. As a politician, even the City’s records note he was ‘a bad political strategist with an aggressive personality’. In 1898 his rival candidate for mayor was an engineer, James Garden, who won election by a comfortable margin. One of the issues in the election was the granting of licenses to music halls in the city, which Templeton opposed and Garden supported.

The campaign for the 2,210 votes was bitterly fought, and often nasty. The Rossland Times recorded that “he told of the shameful lies that had been circulated about him and remarked “These slanders cut into my heart like a knife.” The Victoria Daily Times, on reporting his death on 16th January, four days after the election reported “inquiry elicited the fact that Mayor Templeton had been unable to sleep for five nights, and on Saturday sank into a deep slumber that became a trance. He passed away on Sunday afternoon at three o’clock.” At the time the death was described as due to apoplexy – a stroke – although newspapers in other parts of the province said heart disease, or a cerebral hemorrhage. Later reports suggested an overdose of sleeping potion, with the suggestion that it might have been suicide, although no contemporary reports suggested that.

The entire city closed its doors for three hours for his funeral. Mayor Garden made a statement stating that he would rather have lost the election than have Mayor Templeton’s death occur. In July Mrs. Templeton sold the grocery business to J S Foran, who had been running it in the interim. She continued to live here, and was recorded in the 1901 census as Clem Templeton, aged 40, with her son, William, who was working in the customs office, and Maud, Kathleen, and ‘Edward’ who were all still in school. Ida Bliss, a lodger was also in the house.

On the last day of 1906 Clementina married Charles Parsons, who was from Quebec, and three years older. The 1921 census finds the family living on Pine Crescent, with William and Edwin Templeton still living with their mother and her husband. Mah Sang, their domestic was also living with them. Charles was vice-president of Wallace, Parsons, Farmer Co, a wholesale dry-goods business. In 1925 a new house was commissioned on W 32nd Avenue, designed by Townley, Matheson and Partners. Mrs. Parsons was photographed in 1940 for the Archives, looking much younger than her 80 years. Clementina was 83 when she passed away in February 1943, and her husband died in May of the same year.

In 1907 a banker, Alexander Fraser Sutherland was living in this house, carrying out alterations, and he was still here in 1921. He was originally from Garden of Eden in Nova Scotia, and had five children. He had spent time in California, for his health, in the 1890s, and was then in Seattle for five years from 1898. While he was a financier, he also had logging interests, with an operation on Vancouver Island in 1907. He also acquired land in the Chilcotin in 1910, when he was described a ‘Alexander Fraser Sutherland, capitalist’ In 1917 he was made Inspector of Investment and loan societies in Vancouver. He was aged 83 when he died in 1931, although he had already moved out of the house.

In 1926 J Stenhouse built a new apartment building on the garden area on the side of the house, and this became the Selkirk Apartments Annex. In 1964 a 12-storey concrete rental building replaced the house, named ‘Baron’s Court’, and addressed to Bute Street. The landscaping has grown to the point that in summer the building is almost invisible from this view.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives SGN 1080.2



Posted 4 July 2022 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

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Templeton Block – East Hastings and Carrall (3)

Templeton Block 1940s 2

By 1941 the Templeton Block was over 50 years old, but was still in a busy part of town, across from the BC Electric headquarters of the streetcar system. When we last saw it in 1926 it had a huge hoarding on the roof. By 1941 it was almost back to how it looked over forty years earlier. Dr Harry Dier had his offices here from the early 1930s – in 1935 his nurse was a relative (perhaps his daughter), Enid. That year there were five other doctors still here (as in the 1920s) but Dr Dier, a dentist, was the only one to advertise his presence.

The Seven Little Tailors and the Baltimore Cafe were in the building to the end of the 1930s, and the tailors were still there in 1941 right on the left edge of this picture. The cafe has become D Handel’s barber shop, and just as in 1926 the United Cigar Stores is still on the corner. Along East Hastings G A Govier is selling hats and the Howard Jewelry store had closed in 1940, replaced by H Frome’s OK Exchange Jewelry store. As well as doctor Dier there were two doctors and the ship’s chandler’s office of H T Nelson.

In 2001, much of the building was renovated by the Portland Hotel Society to provide a gallery space called The Interurban.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu P297


Templeton Block – East Hastings and Carrall (2)

Hastings & Carrall

In 1926 this corner was buzzing. In the 25 years since 1901 (when our previous blog image was taken) the city’s population had risen from 29,000 to 200,000. The Seven Little Tailors had competition from the 3 Big Tailors in the next door building two doors down, while William Dick had paid for a huge billboard to try to get customers to his East Hastings store just to the east along the street where he claimed to have 4,000 suits ready-to-wear. The pressure to move from this earlier business district to the CPR’s Granville Street hub was apparent – by the end of the year Dick’s clothing store had moved five blocks westwards.

The building on the corner was already 35 years old when this picture was taken. We last saw it when McTaggart and Moscrop’s hardware store and the Mint Saloon had moved in around 1901, Both operations were still there in 1906, and William D Wood was still running the Mint. By 1911 Knowlton’s Drugs had moved into the building, and on Carrall there was a branch of the Bank of Toronto.  In 1916 it was the Olympic Confectionery store with a taxi office for the Big Five Auto and Taxi Service to the north, and Knowlton’s Drugs  were at No 9 E Hastings – a location the we think the same company still occupy today, although the numbering has changed a little). Upstairs were doctor’s offices as well as the Shipmasters Association. By 1920 Albert Doane’s clothing store was next to the Blue Funnel Motor Line, the Confectionery store and Knowlton’s Drugs are still there, with six doctor’s offices on the upper floors. Beyond Knowlton’s was a shoe store and the Hastings Lunch.

Our 1926 image shows that between the Seven Little Tailors (who also offered cleaning and pressing) and the United Cigar Store (who had replaced the confectionery store) the Baltimore Oyster Saloon had opened. The Dairy Maid was next door on East Hastings, the Howard Jewelry Company were next door and then Knowlton’s Drugs. The doctor”s offices were still upstairs, although one was vacant. Beyond Knowlton’s was the Acme Clothing Co. While the Seven Little Tailors appear to be owned by Philip Pearlman, his height (or his six partners) was not disclosed in the Directory.

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-2257


Templeton Block – East Hastings and Carrall (1)

Templeton Block 1900s 1

In 1886 33-year old William Templeton (possibly with his friend Joseph Northcott) built a grocery store on the north-east corner of Hastings and Carrall. It was lost in the fire when it burned with the rest of the city. Templeton and Northcott were then reported in the 1886 Vancouver Herald to be erecting a two-storey brick building to replace it. Templeton was born in Belleville, Ontario; Northcott was Joseph Northcott from Bristol in England whose family had also settled in Belleville. Northcott had fought in the US Civil War in the New York Heavy Artillery Volunteers, married, had seven children and then moved to Granville in 1885. He and William Templeton paid $1,800 for the corner lot, and theirs was said to be the second brick-built structure completed after the fire.

Quite soon the former partners went separate ways, although we can’t tell for certain who was in this building – William Templeton and Northcote and Palmer were both shown as operating a grocery stores on Carroll Street (sic) in 1887. However, it’s likely to be Templeton as he had the Ontario Grocery at the corner in 1888, another relative (presumably) J Templeton ran his bookmaking operation from the Ontario Grocery and Northcott had returned to Belleville. A year later just William was in town at the same address. In 1891 he commissioned C O Wickenden to design a new building on the same site – presumably the one still standing – (somewhat earlier than its Heritage Designation suggests). That same year he failed to unseat David Oppenheimer as mayor after a particularly unfortunate episode where he mocked the mayor’s accent.

Six years later Templeton successfully stood as mayor. He was in favour of building a smelter in the city, extending voting hours so more working men could make it to the polls, and removing the provision that candidates for civic office had to own property in Vancouver. As Mayor, he presided over the meetings of the anti-Chinese league and pushed for higher head taxes.

Vancouver’s sixth mayor died a year after his election victory. It was suggested that he committing suicide by drinking too much sleeping potion after losing his bid for re-election. This is partly based on a somewhat ambiguous statement by Dr. Robert Matheson to archivist Major Matthews “Mayor Templeton’s death was due to the excitement and disappointment of his defeat, in the election, and an overdose of sleeping potion” The successful candidate for mayor, Mayor Garden certainly seemed to think he was in some way responsible for Templeton’s death, issuing a statement suggesting if he had known this was the outcome of the election he wouldn’t have opposed Mayor Templeton. Templeton was aged 45 and left a widow and four children. At this point he had become a pork packer, with premises on Carrall and Water Street as well as a house on Barclay Street in the West End.

Following Templeton’s death a fruit and confectionery business was run by Sinclair Harcus in the corner building.  In 1901 Mrs Templeton (who was still living on Barclay Street) hired G W Grant to enlarge the building at a cost of $3,000. Following completion McTaggart and Moscrop’s hardware store moved in, and the Mint Saloon (which you can see in the picture) was established, run by W D Wood.

Image Source; City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-640