My, how this corner has changed! A bargain burger joint and a bank have today given way to a variety bargain shop (Winners) and an electronics vendor (Future Shop).
The slightly ramshackle-looking building down Robson from the Royal Bank is the Orillia Apartment block. There was a campaign to restore and preserve the Orillia, but sadly it was not successful (especially sad, given that it was replaced by an unimaginative commercial highrise building). During its heyday, the Orillia was home to such commercial ventures as the Orillia pool hall, Twiggy’s Discotheque, and Sid Beech’s Tamale Parlour (a Mexican joint with a Jewish proprietor, it still receives rave reviews today, decades after Sid and his Tamale Parlour have passed). There were residential suites above the main floor commercial space. The Orillia had its date with the wrecker in 1985.
The BC Tel building (today, Telus’s William Farrell building) – across Seymour from the Orillia – is still there, although it’s understandable if you don’t recognize it. The brick facing is no longer visible. The structure was covered in a glass ‘skin’ a few years ago.