Canterbury Coffee Shop

Crop of CVA 294-63 - [The Kitsilano Boys Band in a parade on Burrard Street] 1946-48 Bertram Emery photo.

Crop of CVA 294-63 – [The Kitsilano Boys Band in a parade on Burrard Street] 1946-48 Bertram Emery photo.

This photo makes me smile. It shows one of my favourite things (a coffee shop) on one of my most frequented walking streets (Burrard) and features a marching band, to boot! The band appears to be on one of the breaks that’s necessary for marching bands (I presume) — if for no other reason than to catch their collective breath before beginning the next tune. (Strangely, this sound of relative silence is one I can readily conjure from my memory of bands I’ve seen at the Calgary Stampede and elsewhere over the years: the sounds of people marching more or less in unison with perhaps an errant cymbal tinkle or other percussive ‘oops’ as they march past). If I’m not greatly mistaken, a number of eyes of this ‘boy’s band’ are turned toward the marching minority: the young girl banner holder and the majorette just behind her!

What had been on this northwest corner of Burrard and Pender before the coffee shop? The corner had housed, among other things, a dairy (indeed an ad for Empress Dairies can still be made out in this image on the wall of the building closer to the Marine Building).

By 1953, this block was changing dramatically; the home of Canterbury Cafe was demolished (see first image below) and was replaced by a federal Customs House (which endured from 1955 until, in turn, it was demolished in 1993). The mid-century modern Customs House (CBK Norman, architect) was replaced with the current structure (at 401 Burrard St), the federal government building named in honour of Douglas Jung (1924-2002), Canada’s first Member of Parliament of Chinese origin (MP Vancouver Centre, 1957-62).

Crop of CVA 180-7871 - Soldiers in P.N.E. parade heading north on Burrard Street, near Pender Street 1953.

Crop of CVA 180-7871 – Soldiers in P.N.E. parade heading north on Burrard Street, near Pender Street 1953. (Note the “Please Excuse the Noise” notice from the developer!)

Crop of CVA 447-72 - New Customs Bldg. [1001 West Pender St.] 1955 WE Frost photo.

Crop of CVA 447-72 – New Customs Bldg. [1001 West Pender St.] 1955 WE Frost photo. (Note: This photograph appears to have been made from the corner of Hastings and Burrard, rather from the Pender corner).

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This entry was posted in Bertram Emery, cafes/restaurants/eateries, music, people, W. E. Frost and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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