International Harvester BC/Yukon HQ

Party place demo1

Demolishing The Party Bazaar (formerly IH’s HQ) on June 29, 2019. MDM photo.

The demolition of The Party Bazaar building this week, after 7 years at its Station Street location, made me wonder what other businesses had been in that building over the years.

In fact, few.

In 1950, the heavy truck manufacturing and retailing multinational, International Harvester of Canada, decided to establish its BC/Yukon headquarters at 1296 Station Street (adjacent to the CN Rail Depot; today, the long-distance bus/rail facility called Pacific Central Station). An artist’s conception of what IH’s new building would look like on completion appears below.

IH remained on the site from 1951 until the mid-1980s. After they moved out, the building didn’t have any occupants for a couple of years. Then, beginning in the early ’90s, BC Transit Security Services took at least some of the space. It isn’t clear to me how long they remained at Station Street, but sometime around 2012, The Party Bazaar moved in from their previous location near Olympic Village.

IH Station Street HQ Proposed Bldg

Artist’s Conception of the Completed IH Facility. Province, 15 April 1950.

The original International Harvester complex was a vast structure and it seems that in recent years, after IH’s exit from Station Street, it was thought prudent to slice the huge building into three smaller ones (see Google Street View image below). The Party Bazaar had the leftmost building, until recently. The other two buildings that are behind it are part of what was, in IH’s day, a single building.

Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 2.49.59 PM

Google Street View.

CVA 447-253 - CNR [Canadian National Railway] Station 1973 W E Frost-2

Crop of CVA 447-253. 1973. W E Frost. Showing part of International Harvester’s HQ just south of the CN Depot.

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2 Responses to International Harvester BC/Yukon HQ

  1. ...Vello says:

    My father worked there as a heavy-duty mechanic during the 1950’s and -60’s. As a kid, I would bicycle down to the shop to meet him for lunch. I’d get to wash up with all the other mechanics at the big round hand-wash station with the foot-operated water sprayer. Then we’d share a sandwich and some coffee out of his battered lunch-box and Thermos while sitting in the cab of one the big trucks or, on particularly nice days, under the trees in Thornton Park across the street.

    Great memories.

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