Heraldic Postcard: Vancouver CPR Depot #2. Published by W G MacFarlane. Postage frank 1905 (sent from Portland, OR). Author’s file.
This is the second of three CPR depots that have stood in Vancouver over the years. This depot was located on Cordova at the north foot of Granville. The third station — now known as Waterfront Station, Skytrain’s downtown terminus — is at the foot of Seymour. The first CPR depot in Vancouver was a small, wooden structure built in the 1880s closer to sea level and nearer to the foot of Howe.
The postage frank indicates the card was mailed in 1905 (from Portland, oddly). The image may well have been made earlier than that year, however, as it appears that the depot was still under construction at the time the photograph was taken.
This is what is known as a “heraldic postcard.” The coat of arms is the Royal Coat of Arms of the English Crown. The words surrounding the garter, ‘Honi soit mal y pense’ is, according to Wikipedia, an anglo-norman phrase which loosely translated means ‘shamed be he who thinks evil of it’ (the crown, one assumes). The motto near the base of the arms, ‘Dieu et mon droit’, again, according to Wikipedia, refers to the Divine right of the monarch to govern; it is French and translated literally is ‘God and my right’.