Early Development of 1000 Block Georgia Street

A Very Modest Undertaking (Telfords)

A building permit was issued to the Telford brothers in 1912 to build an apartment block at 1018 Georgia Street (architect was W. M. Dodd & Co.). According to the permit, it would be a 10-storey structure made of concrete, brick and stone on Georgia near Burrard and would cost an estimated $600,000.

An article in The Province enthused about the proposed apartment block:

The building will have sixty three-room suites and fifty-eight two-room apartments. These will be fitted in the most modern manner. Interior telephones for communicating within the building and also city telephones will be installed in every suite….Wall beds will be installed in every apartment….Although it has not been definitely decided it is thought that a roof garden will form an attractive feature of the building. (Emphasis mineThe Province. October 19, 1912, p.48)

I don’t know whether there were internal and external telephones, wall-beds, or a roof garden in the finished building, but the scope of the completed structure appears to have been much more modest than planned. The 1920 Vancouver Directory in 1920 showed a total of 18 suites, versus the planned number of 118. It seems very doubtful to me that Georgia Court reached 10 stories; 2 or 3 stories seems more likely.

I believe that the Georgia Court apartments were, in fact, the two former homes that constituted the Burrard Sanitarium – a private hospital owned and operated by one of the Telford brothers, Robert, from 1902-14. Beginning in about 1915, the Sanitarium was closed and doesn’t appear in the city directory of that year. But Georgia Court is listed, beginning that year. This fact, when added to the image below which shows at least one of the buildings that made up the Sanitarium still standing in 1929, leads me to this conclusion. Georgia Court, in fact, seems to have been a remodelling of the former Sanitarium, not a multi-storey, concrete structure.

Georgia Court appeared in Vancouver city directories through 1934. I suspect that it was demolished around that time. The lot on which it sat seems to have become part of the property on which the Palomar Supper Club sat for a few years. The Burrard Building would, by 1957, occupy the properties on which the Wesley Methodist Church (later, the Palomar Supper Club), the Burrard Sanitarium, and Georgia Court once stood.

Their Eyes Were Bigger Than… (YMCA)

At about the same time as the Telford Brothers’ Georgia Court was being ‘built’, the YMCA was building a new headquarters for itself just west of there (1040 Georgia). The building permit for the Y indicates that it was to be a 7-storey, reinforced  concrete structure, to be constructed at an estimated cost of $375,000.

The Y’s build began in 1913. However a number of factors (not least being the start of the Great War shortly after construction began and the depressive effect of that on local investment) meant that, by 1919, the structure was incomplete and it was decided by the Y board that the property should be put up for sale.

In 1924 the building was completed as the St. Julien Apartments and in 1929 was turned into the Ritz Hotel. The Ritz was demolished in 1983 to make way for the Grosvenor Building.

vpl4759 St Julien Apts Jan 1929 Frank Leonard photo.

VPL 4759 St Julien Apts Jan 1929 Frank Leonard photo. (Note the former Burrard Santiarium building to the left of the St. Julien Apts – later the Ritz Hotel. I’m convinced that the Burrard Sanitarium was converted to apartments after the Sanitarium closed and became, in fact, Georgia Court Apts).

The Beggs Anchor Georgia & Thurlow Intersection

The building to the west of YMCA/St. Julien/Ritz Hotel building was Begg Motors (1062-70 Georgia). On this property, since 1976, has sat the glass tower known (unimaginatively) as 1090 West Georgia.

CVA 99-3748 - Georgia Street West %22Automobile Row%22  1929 Stuart Thomson photo

CVA 99-3748 – Georgia Street West “Automobile Row” 1929 Stuart Thomson photo. The camera is facing west and the Begg Block referred to in the post (within the 1000 block of Georgia) is on the far left of the image. There is another, slightly taller auto retail structure just across Thurlow Street which is also a Begg Bros. motor shop (where one could buy a used vehicle). The Begg Block marks the start of what once was known as Auto Row.

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