Bow-Mac Supermarket

99-29-15 - [Bowmac sign at 1154 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C.] Barbara Elizabeth Wilson 1982-82

CVA 99-29-15 – [Bowmac sign at 1154 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C.]. Sketch by Barbara Elizabeth Wilson 1982-83.

The 80-foot Bow-Mac sign at 1154 West Broadway, has been a landmark in the neighbourhood since it was erected in 1958.

There were a couple of aspects about Bow-Mac’s history of which I wasn’t aware until today: (1) the lot was originally called the ‘Bow-Mac (Used Car) Supermarket’; and (2) that it was the used automobile lot associated with Bowell-McDonald (later, Bowell-McLean) Pontiac, Cadillac, and Buick (and, later, Vauxhall) new auto lot located at 615 Burrard Street (roughly where the Burrard Skytrain Station is located today).

For more info pertaining to the sign, this page is pretty detailed.

Crop of CVA 586-2130 - Victory Loan parade [on Burrard Street] 1942

Crop of CVA 586-2130 – Victory Loan parade [on Burrard Street], 1942. Bowell-McDonald new car lot on Burrard Street appears on the left of the image.

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6 Responses to Bow-Mac Supermarket

  1. Ken says:

    Will the Molson’s Time-Temperature sign become the new BowMac heritage item when the brewery leaves?

  2. jmv says:

    We were just having a detailed conversation on Facebook about the Bowell-McLean weather bird sign on Burrard! One of my all time favourite signs! ca 1946-1966? I’m not sure about the years. I speculate that the blue bird sign was one of the motivating factors for Jimmy to create an even BIGGER and BETTER sign on Broadway. Well, it certainly was more visible, but it didn’t come with a weather report!

  3. In the final stages of the Bow Mac signs life when it still had electrical power, at night you could reach into the electrical fuse box and turn the sign on and off and practically flash morse code signals that they could see in the North Shore. Until the police on patrol noticed it anywhere along broadway and drove over to see what the heck was going on. Then they fenced off the lot and you couldn’t get in there to flick it on and off, but it was fun while it lasted.

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