Ellesmere Rooms

Bu P141 - [Group portrait on porch of the Ellesmere Rooms at 439 Homer Street (Man in derby hat identified as Frank M. Yorke)] ca 1890 Charles S Bailey photo.

CVA – Bu P141 – [Group portrait on porch of the Ellesmere Rooms at 439 Homer Street (Man in derby hat identified as Frank M. Yorke)] ca 1890 Charles S Bailey photo. (Note: One can see how high the boardwalk level has been raised in this early image by comparing where the crowd is standing above with the comparable location in the 1939 photo below. If one  stumbled coming home to Ellesmere in the night after having a little too much ale, it looks as though it was a fall of a number of feet to street level! In 1890, this boarding house was known by its earlier name: Douglas House with Mrs. J. M. Douglas as the proprietress.)

Bu N125 - [Ellesmere Rooms boarding house, northwest corner of Homer Street and Pender Street] 1939 WJ Moore photo.

CVA – Bu N125 – [Ellesmere Rooms boarding house, northwest corner of Homer Street and Pender Street] 1939 WJ Moore photo. (Ellesmere Rooms was described in J. S. Matthews Early Vancouver (Vol. I), 1932 as ” a tall wooden building…which is now used for cheap stores and offices. It was the first large ‘boarding house.'”)

CVA 778-193 - 400 Homer Street west side 1974.

CVA 778-193 – 400 Homer Street west side (Pender to the left; Hastings to the right). 1974.  (By this point, the boarding house had given way, in typical mid-century Vancouver fashion, to a modest-sized parking garage.)

Central City Lodge, NW corner Pender at Homer. 2015. Author's photo.

Central City Lodge, NW corner Pender at Homer. 2015. Author’s photo. (This downtown residential care home was opened at the former Douglas House/Ellesmere Rooms location in 1993).

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One Response to Ellesmere Rooms

  1. jmv says:

    Further to this, apparently a city inspector condemned the building as a boarding house, according to this Sept 2, 1943 News-Herald article: https://twitter.com/jmv/status/716306616023326725/ But maybe it was still fine for office use; in 1948 the whole building still looks occupied! http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/ellesmere-rooms-formerly-douglas-house-on-northwest-corner-of-pender-street-and-homer-street;rad Some 20 years prior, (early 1920s?) the building had been elevated approx 12 feet, and the shops on the ground floor were added. It’s amazing they were able to do that at all, but perhaps the quality of the ‘renovation’ may have had something to do with the building’s eventual fate? The shops were still occupying the building in 1950, though you can see a for sale sign on the building here: http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/pender-and-homer-sts I don’t know for certain when it was built, or when it was demolished though. Probably somewhere 1890s-1950s?

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