B. C. Equipment Company

CVA 99-4677 - Basement of B.C. Equipment [at 551 Howe Street] 1934 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-4677 – Basement of B.C. Equipment [at 551 Howe Street] 1934 Stuart Thomson photo

The image above was the site in 1934 of BC Equipment Company, a heavy equipment/machinery dealer from as early as the 19-teens (although they came into their own, it seems, in the 1930s) until 1985, when its remaining assets were sold. The basement (pictured above) appears to have been the parts department. I’m assuming that the head offices for the white collar types were upstairs. The warehouse, shops and tractor division were on Granville Island after the 1915 reclamation of the Island was finished.

BC Equipment, by the 1960s, had become one of the major dealers in industrial equipment in the province, and it seems that by the mid-1960s, their workers had become organized. The company offered a wide range of products: from pneumatic picks to bulldozers, from cranes to lathes. The 551 Howe property, today, is occupied by a restaurant at street level and the basement appears to have been leased out for storage.

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August 12, 2015 Addendum:

I have today noticed, in a history of Granville Island, this interesting quote pertaining to the post-1915 reclamation of the Island: “B.C. Equipment Ltd. built a wood-framed machine shop, clad in corrugated tin, at the Island’s west end. (Today the same structure houses part of the Granville Island Public Market.)” Below is a 1919 photo of the BC Equipment structure on the Island (along with a couple of other early tenants).

CVA - PAN N97 - [View of Granville Island from atop the north end of the Granville Bridge] 1919 W. J. Moore photo.

CVA – PAN N97 – [View of Granville Island from atop the north end of the Granville Bridge] 1919 W. J. Moore photo. (Note: This is a crop of the original WJ Moore panorama. The bridge at the right of this image is the now-gone rail viaduct crossing of False Creek, situated just east of where the Burrard Bridge would eventually be built).

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