This is a very different view from the comparable one you would see today from atop Vancouver’s Harbour Centre. This image appears to have been made a few months after the building opened in June, 1977. The sprawling downtown Woodward’s department store complex has, of course, been replaced by the Woodward’s condo development. And the industrial buildings located just east of the Sun Tower is where International Village is today.
The clump of trees on the top border of the photo is one constant. It is Burnaby’s Central Park (with the iconic Telus structure – what is now known as Telus’ Brian Canfield Centre at 3337 Kingsway – silhouetted in front of the trees).
This stack of brooding cages full of young chicks was apparently in the basement of Woodward’s Department Store in East Vancouver. My suspicion is that these chicks were sold to the only-partially-urbanized residents of Vancouver, some of whom kept a couple of chickens in their backyards. I have a friend who was born (in the early 1940s) and raised in Vancouver who has said he remembers a neighbour keeping live chickens in her back-20, so this is not far-fetched (although, I admit, it seems so).
The “Lord Mayor” of Yokohama in 1969 is pictured here riding in what appears to be a North American car travelling on Burrard Street just north of Georgia Street. Vancouver and Yokohama seem to have been honouring the twinning of the Canadian and Japanese cities a couple of years earlier (in 1965). The 50th anniversary of this relationship is celebrated here.
*The title of this post is borrowed from the Irving Berlin song, “Sisters”, performed in the movie, White Christmas.
I find the photograph above to be a very charming early Vancouver vignette. It was made, according to City of Vancouver archivists, in 1897 at Greer’s Beach – which today is known as Kitsilano Beach – and shows (among others) Mr. and Mrs. Robert Marrion and their kids.
Robert Marrion was appointed as the City’s health inspector a couple of years prior to this image being made. He was, before that time, a master plumber. His reputation among the staff that grew around him over the years evidently was positive, witness the corporately self-congratulatory 1912 photographic assembly of the lot of them which appears below. (Salus Generis Humani, by the way, translates as “Salvation of the Human Race”!) Mr. Marrion’s reputation was not as great among the Chinese population of Vancouver, where he was known for enforcing health laws in a manner that today would be considered racially discriminatory. John McLaren and others have correctly pointed out, however, that Marrion was a product of his time (as are you and I in ways we cannot begin to imagine).
This is a northward view along Burrard Street from near Melville Street (the street that today is adjacent to the Burrard St. Skytrain Station). The most striking aspect of this image to me is that the only building I recognize is the Marine Building.
These gents (I don’t see any women, do you?) were evidently having a mid-tourney smoke break at the time Jack Lindsay captured this moment. I imagine that the location was at the club headquarters of the Vancouver Chess Club at the former Scottish baronial-style building that was the flagship of the Bank of Montreal (but by this time, had become the Imperial Bank). The club HQ was at 675 Dunsmuir, which would put it just up the street from Granville (and from the bank, proper), but likely still within the bank building. Today, this is neither a bank property nor a chess club; it is a Shopper’s Drug Mart.
The undergraduate pictured third from the left in the UBC photo above would become an Ottawa ‘mandarin’ within a few years of the date this exposure was made. In 1929, he joined the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa, and by 1941 he was appointed to the highest post within that department: Undersecretary of State for External Affairs. In the intervening years, Robertson was a student at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, and later at the Brookings Institue in Washington, D.C.
Robertson was the recipient, in absentia, of an honorary doctorate from UBC on October 31, 1945. The UBC Senate regretted that “duty in England” prevented him from being present in person to receive the degree. I’m not sure what were the specifics of this duty, but we know that Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King was in England for much of October and that Robertson accompanied him. This visit included, no doubt, post-war meetings; another subject of the visit, likely, was the then-secret Igor Gouzenko defection, which happened around this time (although it wasn’t made public until February 1946).
Judging from the caption on a duplicate of the image above in a profile of Robertson (in a 1956 issue of Alumni Chronicle), Robertson was greeting Governor-General Vincent Massey (1952-59) upon his arrival for a visit to London, England, presumably during Robertson’s second appointment as Canada’s High Commissioner there (first appointment, 1946-49; second, 1952-57).
A couple of excellent sources of information on Norman Robertson and his Ottawa mandarin colleagues are:
• The Ottawa Men: The Civil Service Mandarins 1935-1957 by J. L. Granatstein.
• A Man of Influence: Norman A. Robertson and Canadian Statecraft 1929-68 by J. L. Granatstein.
Note: Robertson’s father, Lemuel Robertson, was Professor and the first Chair of the Classics department at UBC.
I have been a big fan of the ‘big band’ music genre for many years (when friends were wild about KISS in the 1970s, I was nuts for Benny Goodman), but Wayne King was not a band leader with whose work I was familiar. In fact, he was so unknown to me that when I first saw this image, I assumed that King was a local broadcaster on Vancouver’s CKWX radio. Nope. He was an American bandleader who recorded his broadcasts in the U.S. by electrical transcription. King’s musical stylings (he became popularly known as “the waltz king” were a little too tame for me; his sound was similar to that of Guy Lombardo’s. If you are curious, there are several tunes of King’s available for listening or free download at archive.org.
The first and second image in this post were apparently commissioned by Nelson’s Laundry to local pro photographer Jack Lindsay to demonstrate the secure fur coat storage service offered by the launderer. It is difficult to recall/conceive in this day when fur coats have experienced a real ‘crash’ in public esteem (for good reasons) that at one time they were greatly valued and cared for, in some cases at very significant cost. Nelson’s Laundry was located on Cambie Street at 7th Avenue, where today there is a Save-On-Foods grocery store.
This cycling oval was originally built for the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in 1954. After the Games were over, it became known as China Creek Cycle Oval. The oval seems to have been located just east of where Vancouver Community College (Broadway Campus) has been since 1980.
Ah, these were good days; when architects and automotive dealers/mechanics cared enough to make even a garage appear as though it were a work of art! This was one of two Fred Cheeseman garages in Vancouver at this time. This one was located roughly where the Cinamateque is today.
This is an exterior shot of IBM’s Vancouver presence on Georgia Street in 1936. Their monosyllabic motto of the time, evidently, was ‘Think’ – which also was the name of an employee/customer magazine that published its first issue the previous year. Also in 1935, the company marketed the first commercially successful electric typewriter (and it would continue to sell them until 1990). One of the portraits on the wall (flanking THINK) is undoubtedly of Thomas J. Watson (CEO, 1914-1956); the other may be of Charles Ranlett Flint, who consolidated four other smaller companies into Computing-Tabulating-Recording company (CTR), which was renamed International Business Machines in 1924. IBM’s Vancouver presence was apparently that of a branch office; the site of the Canadian factory and head office was Toronto.