Dr. Trevelyn Sleeth, Vancouver Vet

CVA 99-3465 - Dr. [Trevellyn] Sleeth's [Veterinary] Hospital [688 Seymour Street] - Operation on Dog 1923 S Thomson

CVA 99-3465 – Dr. [Trevellyn] Sleeth’s [Veterinary] Hospital [688 Seymour Street] – Operation on Dog. 1923. Stuart Thomson photo. (VAIW Notes:  There are at least two errors with the CVA record and two potential misdirections: “Trevelyn” is the correct spelling of Dr. Sleeth’s first name; the correct address of the hospital from 1914-1924 was 690 Seymour; the person treating the dog probably should be identified as one of Sleeth’s staff to prevent confusion; finally, it doesn’t look to me as though there is an “operation” underway – looks more like the dog’s paw is being disinfected or perhaps is having a dressing changed.)

Dr. Trevelyn Elston Sleeth (1890-1987) first showed up in Vancouver as the proprietor of B. C. Dog and Cat Clinic in 1914 (in his first year in the business, however, the hospital was called the “Canine and Feline Hospital”; perhaps too many potential clients didn’t know the meanings of those words). Sleeth had his first hospital near the NE corner of Seymour and Georgia, until just a few years before the Hudson’s Bay Co. would entirely re-do that side of the block to create their huge parking garage. He left Seymour in 1924 and seemed to have difficulty for a few years finding a new location for the hospital. Finally, though, he found a central location that stuck for awhile: the south end of Granville street just before crossing Granville Bridge.

vpl 5426A B.C. Veterinary Hospital 1928 1329 Granville St. Frank Leonard

VPL 5426A B.C. Veterinary Hospital (VAIW Note: Presumably, Dr. Sleeth is the middle figure). 1928. 1327/1329 Granville St. Leonard Frank photo.

The hospital remained on Granville at least until 1945. Shortly after, he seems to have concluded that the days at that site were numbered, as the Animal Hospital would need to give way to construction of the new (current) Granville Bridge. He moved his hospital out to Burnaby, the city in which he resided. He had a business already established there (from the 1920s) – Kingsway Boarding Kennels – to which he appears to have added the Vet Hospital around this time, moving it out of the City of Vancouver altogether. The Burnaby kennels/hospital site was located roughly in the Royal Oak area of Burnaby (with Burnaby’s renumbering along Kingsway, it would today be located at 5414 Kingsway). In the 1960’s, Sleeth apparently also had a clinic on Hastings and Willingdon and another one in the Whalley district of Surrey. He retired from veterinary practice in the late 1960s.

156-005Burnaby - Kingsway Boarding Kennels (1925)-2

156-005. Burnaby Historical Society Community Archives Collection. Kingsway Boarding Kennels. 1925. Today, the site of the kennels would be at 5414 Kingsway.

Sleeth was born in Toronto and did his veterinary training at Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), which later became a founding college of Guelph University. He married Isabelle Grace Petrie after arriving in Vancouver in 1914. They had six daughters together, Phyllis, Pauline, Barbara, and Dorothy (two died at or near birth). Isabelle and Trevelyn were later divorced and he later married again (Olive). Isabelle seems not to have remarried and kept Sleeth’s surname until her death in 1967.

Dr. Sleeth spent the 1970s raising thoroughbred horses at the Surrey end of the Port Mann Bridge. He lived until he was 97.

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2 Responses to Dr. Trevelyn Sleeth, Vancouver Vet

  1. Norman says:

    This was my grandfather. He actually had 6 daughters with his first wife. 2 died at childbirth or within the first month after birth. Oldest to youngest – Phyllis, Pauline, Barbara and Dorothy. Besides his Vancouver locations he also in the 1960’s had a clinic in Burnaby on Hastings St. and Willington Ave and one is Surrey in Whalley across from Surrey Place. He had retired by the late 1960’s but raised thorougbred horses at the Surrey end of the Port Mann Bridge into the 1970’s.

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