Author Archives: mdm

Pierre Elliot Trudeau in Vancouver: 1976

Update (First Published July 2014): I’ve been remembering, recently, the dominant national political personality during my formative years, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. I found this rather good photo in UBC Library’s Digital Collection of his June 1976 visit to UBC. Here, he is visiting UBC shortly … Continue reading

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The Musical Occupations of Horace W. Harpur

Horace William Harpur was a prominent Vancouver organist, pianist, and band leader in the 1890s and beyond. Family H. W. Harpur was born in England in 1869 to Rev. George Harpur and and Miriam Browne. Rev. Harpur was initially a Congregational minister … Continue reading

Posted in churches, music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

First Baptist’s “Living Room” to be Demolished

  “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit … Continue reading

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Park Lane

Park Lane was one of the early residential districts in Vancouver; it later was a proposed ‘red light’ district; the homes of the Lane were destroyed to help make way for the Union railway depot; the depot ultimately also succumbed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Turn On Your Headlights for Car Service

Update (First Published October 2017): This is an unusual photo. I’ve seen other photos taken from Smithe or thereabouts on Burrard Street (such as the one that appears below) with the White Spot neon signage displayed. But this is the … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Werner Lenggenhager | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Professor Alan C. Cairns

The fact that Professor Alan Cairns was on the faculty of UBC’s Political Science Department was one of the principal reasons that I came to Vancouver and UBC to do my M.A. And so it is with sadness that I … Continue reading

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Alfred Lafond

Alfred Lafond was born in Quebec to Joseph and Genevieve on March 1, 1849. Alfred married Azilda (b. 1863). In 1883, a daughter was born to the couple. They named her Lodivine. A son, Albert, was born in 1896. Alfred … Continue reading

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1930s View Down Richards Street

Images 2592/3 present unusual northward views of Richards Street. They show a commercial strip in the early 1930s that was ignored by many photographers. Who do we have to thank for these atypical views? Photographer, Stuart Thomson? Well, not really. … Continue reading

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500th Post: A Case of Mistaken Identity

I purchased the framed image above (complete with functioning thermometer!) at an antique shop when I was in Lethbridge, AB, recently. The label of “Stanley Park” on the photo bothered me from the outset. But I bought it anyway (for … Continue reading

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How Victory Square and Its Cenotaph Came to Be

From the vantage of 2018, it is all too easy to look at Victory Square and assume that one or two sentences can amply sum up the history of the place. One might say, for instance, that Victory Square was … Continue reading

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Speculations on a Black ‘House of Ill Fame’

When I was browsing through a fascinating, very early fire insurance map book of Vancouver in UBC’s rare book room, recently, I noticed a label that took me aback: “Negro Ill Fame”.  I knew what “ill fame” denoted (a ‘house … Continue reading

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Bully Off!* Very Early Ladies’ Grass Hockey

The photo shown above is of the Vancouver Ladies Grass Hockey team as it was in December 1900. The photo is from the album of William A. Bauer, a brother of one of the players, Maud Bauer.¹ This is among … Continue reading

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Three Early Seafood Nosheries

Once upon a time in the City of Vancouver there were three major seafood restaurants in the vicinity of Hastings and Carrall Streets. Yes, I said three not only the Only – which was one of the three and certainly … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, stuart thomson, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charles Schooley: City Paymaster and Prominent Baptist

Update (Originally posted August 2014): Charles Abraham Schooley (1850-1931) was born in Port Colborne, Ontario. He studied law for a couple of years but ultimately withdrew from that course of study due to illness. He then was one of the … Continue reading

Posted in biography, city, First Baptist Church, Vancouver | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Victorian Picnic Images of the 1890s

For a summer project, I’ve been systematically viewing all photos available online from the City of Vancouver Archives – starting with the earliest images and gradually working my way forward in time. (This is no small project; the total CVA … Continue reading

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The Mysterious Mr. Langer

“Information on [J. F.] Langer is . . . difficult to find. There’s nothing on him in the City of Vancouver Archives, nothing in the Special Collections Division of the Vancouver Public Library, precious little elsewhere.” (Chuck Davis, “A Palace … Continue reading

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Arcadians’ One-Hit Wonder?

The ‘Arcadians’ mentioned in the headline do not refer to a 1920s family of cooking ranges, nor to residents of a region of Greece, nor indeed to an obscure race created from the imaginations of the writers of Star Trek.¹ Our … Continue reading

Posted in stuart thomson, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vancouver Bible Training School

The Vancouver Bible Training School (VBTS) was a child of the Vancouver Evangelistic Movement (VEM). Among the goals of VEM was the establishment of a Bible training school. The school was, accordingly, started in 1918. The first principal of the … Continue reading

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Spencer’s Details

This post is about David Spencer, Ltd.  This is a now-long-gone but once much-beloved B.C. department store chain with a store located in downtown Vancouver (which most residents of the city today know as the locations of Harbour Centre tower and … Continue reading

Posted in department stores, Dominion Photo, Don Coltman, Harry Bullen, street scenes, stuart thomson, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Zion’s Friend and Rebel

John Alexander Dowie’s divine healing movement had a connection with Vancouver’s Baptists, briefly, in the person of Rev. George Armour  Fair, the pastor of Jackson Avenue Baptist Church (aka “Zion Baptist”) in 1898. George Fair was born in March, 1866 … Continue reading

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No Bull! The Conversion of Black Motors to Black’s Restaurant

Update Originally posted April, 2017 VPL 80449. Black Motors gas station, NE corner at Georgia & Richards Streets. Service station and parts dept components of Black Motors. Looking north. 1948 Tom Christopherson photo. The NE corner of Georgia and Richards … Continue reading

Posted in Art Jones, automobiles, cafes/restaurants/eateries, churches, Dick Phillips, Tom Christopherson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Flirtation by Postcard?

  I purchased this postcard from a dealer, recently. It was not an expensive card, but the view of the (then-new) World Building, the long-gone water tank on the extant warehouse structure behind the World, the view along West Pender … Continue reading

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“Old Books” Seller

I am a sucker for antiquarian and used book stores. And so, when I stumbled upon this, to me, hitherto unknown bookshop, I naturally investigated to learn as much as I could about the seller. There wasn’t much to learn, … Continue reading

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Transition

I ran across this photo amid the holdings of New Westminster’s Archives when I was researching another subject. The image struck me as worth paying attention to for a couple of reasons: First, it was unlike any photo I’d seen … Continue reading

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The Age of Aquaria

You may have been under the impression (as was I) that the only location of Vancouver’s Aquarium has been where it is today: at Stanley Park. This misapprehension is abetted by the current aquarium’s lack of acknowledgement of its forbears on … Continue reading

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Not ‘Cricket’ (Nor True to the Story)!

The Vancouver firm best known for producing neon signs in the city is Neon Products. But when I was flipping through a 1948 Sun business directory yesterday, I came across  another firm that was active in the city: David Neon … Continue reading

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Menacing Mollusks Munch Maritime Piles

The beastie shown above has been known as a “teredo,” sometimes with an additional descriptor — “worm” — tacked on at the end. They aren’t worms, although they do bear a striking resemblance; they are mollusks. Technically, they are called Teredo … Continue reading

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Re-Inventing CPR/Waterfront Station

Fastening a ‘historic site’ plaque to a building doesn’t ensure that everything about the site will be preserved as it was. It is vanity to assume that we, with our contemporary sophistication, are able to still the hands of time … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), railways, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Early ‘Brief Lives’ of Richmond Apts

This post offers brief glimpses into the lives of a few early tenants who lived in Richmond Apartments at the NW corner of Robson and Hornby streets.∞ The Richmond block was built in 1910 (ready for occupation in 1911), just … Continue reading

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A Look Back to a Look Ahead to the 1960s

North Vancouver: ‘1963’ In 1913, B.C. Hilliam was working for the North Shore News and trying to launch a future career as a professional musician/composer and (ultimately) as a notable comedian. Hilliam was still a relative unknown in North Van and, … Continue reading

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Bridge Tender’s Nightmare Made Worse?

Bridge Tenders There were, once upon a time in early Vancouver, many bridge tenders. Who was a bridge tender? He (I’ve never heard of a female bridge tender in Greater Vancouver) was the person responsible for swinging the span on … Continue reading

Posted in bridges/viaducts, railways, W J Moore, water scene | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

One of the Largest Organs West of Winnipeg

I purchased this photo at The History Store a couple weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to know which church it is/was that housed the amazing-looking pipe organ that appears in it. What I Knew (or Thought … Continue reading

Posted in churches, new westminster, Russell Photo Studio, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘The Smallest Building’ in Vancouver

As I spent a recent evening paging through the various editions of Exploring Vancouver (1st ed, 1974, 2nd ed., 1978, and 3rd ed., 2012) by Harold Kalman, I noticed an entry that I must have read at some point in the … Continue reading

Posted in Bailey Bros., Charles Wishart, hotels/motels/inns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Remarkable Images of the Springer Album

The image shown above is a fine example of what seem to me to be the quite ‘modern’ images that comprise the Springer family album that is part of UBC’s Uno Langmann Collection. The photograph above, which probably was taken … Continue reading

Posted in Eric A. Hegg, Gidley Studio, Harry E. Bullen, J. A. Brock, Photographers, UBC, Uno Langmann Collection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Poodle Dog

This image caught my attention when I was browsing through CVA’s photos recently. The Rustic was located at 318 Cordova St., just a couple of doors west of the extant Arlington Hotel (at the corner where Cordova meets Cambie), today … Continue reading

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Views of CPR Right of Way: Before and After 1932

Re-Posted February 2018 (First Posted Jan. 2016) I was recently struck (again) by what excellent images these two are of 1930s Vancouver. How exemplary of how I often have thought of the ’30s in this city, and how great an … Continue reading

Posted in Al Ingram, Photographers, public transit, street scenes, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NOT a K-Tel Record(*)!

  I recently picked up this recording made by Social Credit, Vancouver Centre MLAs, Herb Capozzi (1925-2011) and Evan Wolfe (1922-2009) as part of their joint campaign¹ for the 1969 General Election. The recording was cleverly called The Record of [fill-in-the-blank]. The candidates … Continue reading

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Grace & Claire Corbould

I recently came across the cabinet card of Grace Milwood Corbould (1886-1969) at Vancouver’s History Store. A week later, upon returning to the shop, I found the smaller card of her elder sister, (Marion) Claire Corbould (1884-1966).¹ These girls were two … Continue reading

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Historical Corner: Terminal & Main

I encountered this image in CVA’s online holdings a couple of months ago. I was initially puzzled as to where this service station was located; but it didn’t take too long for me to realize that this was the SE … Continue reading

Posted in Jack Lindsay, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

B. C. Hilliam, Music Man

B. C. Hilliam immigrated to Canada in 1911 from England, with his mother, when he was 21. Although they initially stopped in Calgary, they moved quickly from there, briefly to Fernie, and finally settled in North Vancouver. Hilliam had some … Continue reading

Posted in vaudeville | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HNY from BC Electric (and VAIW)!

This 1937 night shot of the BCER Interurban terminal on Hastings at Carrall is, as usual, well done by James Crookall. He was an ‘amateur’ photographer in the sense that he wasn’t a ‘professional’ (i.e., not typically paid to shoot … Continue reading

Posted in James Crookall, public transit | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A. E. Beck, Pioneer Lawyer

I recently added these two portrait photos to my collection. When I saw them at the vendor’s shop, I thought that the handwriting on the backs of each looked the same; and I was pretty sure that the surnames scrawled … Continue reading

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Boys at the World

This photograph by an unidentified photographer is, without a doubt, taken in front of the Vancouver World building (aka the Bekins building and still later the Sun Tower). The date of the photo is unknown, but I’m willing to bet … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Alan Beech’s Final Illusion

Update: December 13, 2017 Alan Beech was a photographer and photo finisher for Spencer’s and (after Spencer’s sold up) for T. Eaton’s Co. department stores in Vancouver. He was also an amateur magician. Alan was in Eaton’s Advertising and Sales … Continue reading

Posted in department stores, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

B.C. Maternity Hospital

I’ve recently made the acquaintance of Gordon Poppy. He is 89 years old and he shared with me that he was born at the B.C. Maternity Hospital in the community of Cedar Cottage (in what was then within the Municipality … Continue reading

Posted in hospitals/health care | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fuel-Based Buses

The buses shown above and below¹ are some very early examples of transit that was powered by fuel (rather than electricity, as with the electric railway or trolleys). According to Kelly & Francis in Transit in British Columbia: The First … Continue reading

Posted in Don Coltman, public transit, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Empire Building

The Empire Building (C. O. Wickenden, architect) was located at the NW corner of Hastings at Seymour from 1889 until the late 1970s. It was initially known as the LeFevre Block, as the structure was built for CPR physician, Dr. James … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Cenotaph Before Victory Square

Update: This was initially posted October 27, 2017 This makeshift-looking, wooden cenotaph was located at the South Vancouver Municipal Hall – formerly SW corner of Fraser St. at 41st Ave.; across from Mountain View Cemetery; today, it is the site … Continue reading

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1972 BC Progressive Conservative TV Ads

Update: October 19, 2017 (First Posted October 4th) There are a series of television ads on CVA located here¹ (to find the first of the PC ads, go to the 7.08 minute mark in the clip) that represented another in a … Continue reading

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Chinatown & Strathcona, 1890s

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Kids’ Hospital on Haro Street

Update (First Posted: August 2017) The children’s hospital shown above was the Infants’ Department of Vancouver General Hospital. It was at this location from about 1917 until about 1950. (For a couple of years prior to 1917, there was something … Continue reading

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Annotated Georgia at Hornby (and Environs)

Posted in churches, hotels/motels/inns, timms | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Maple Leaf Flying in Vancouver Nearly 40 Years Before Becoming National Flag!

The screen grabs that appear above are taken from this film. CVA describes part of the film as showing “the Georgia Hotel, the Court House (now Vancouver Art Gallery), a parade in downtown Vancouver, [and] various scenes with automobiles…”¹ The … Continue reading

Posted in Illustrations, politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wreck Beach’s Opposite

This scene is most likely the beach on English Bay, ca 1895. The ladies and gents who appear here are dressed to the nines! The image, from the Royal BC Archives, seems to suffer from double exposure, but remains a good … Continue reading

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J. H. Carlisle: A Man of Firsts

Update First Posted July 2015 J. H. Carlisle (1857-1941) accomplished several “firsts”. He was the first Sunday School Superintendent of First Baptist Church (FBC), before it was formally organized; his name was the first listed among the charter members of FBC when the … Continue reading

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, people, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cowan & Brookhouse Printers

Update The photos above were made by a photographer with Canadian Photo Co.; the photographer isn’t identified on the prints (nor by CVA), but they seem likely to have been made by gifted photographer, W. J. Moore.¹ The first image looks … Continue reading

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The First First

A couple of posts ago, I presented an artist’s sketch by Reginald Blunden of the first permanent structure of First Baptist Church. But I didn’t say very much about that structure, how it came to be, where it was located, nor … Continue reading

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Jean Fuller & Don Flynn, Entertainers

UPDATE First Posted: February 2016 There was a nightclub on Seymour Street in the 1930s popularly known by those who went there as “Nigger Jean’s”. The proprietress (a black lady, originally from Texas) was known locally as Jean or Jeannie … Continue reading

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The Cowboy Evangelist

Rev. James B. Kennedy, the minister at First Baptist Church, invited self-styled Cowboy Evangelist, George W. Rasure, to preach at the evening service on Sunday, November 18, 1888.¹ He preached at FBC every evening for at least two weeks; perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in churches, Cowboys, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

W. J. Cavanagh: Acquitted of Bigamy

Early Years William James Cavanagh (c1862-1915) was a complex man with a complicated life. He was born in Leeds County, ON (near Brockville). He left there for Western Canada by about 1887. He stayed in Manitoba for a number of … Continue reading

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kim Campbell on Brentwood Float?

Could the blonde young woman on this float advertising Brentwood Towne Centre shortly after its opening in the early 1960s be Canada’s 19th Prime Minister, Kim Campbell? I think her age would be roughly right (she was born in 1947), … Continue reading

Posted in L. F. Sheraton, parades | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Forgotten Maestro: George P. Hicks

A Funny Thing Happened . . . A funny thing happened at a pizza party I held recently for some of my friends (whom I’ve taken to referring to, collectively, as the History Five). Neil brought with him a gift … Continue reading

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hammond Furniture

Update (Originally Posted November 2015): The buildings that today house at least three businesses on the NW and NE corners of Clark at Venables were ones that I’ve wondered about each time I’ve gone past. This morning, as I was browsing through … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, businesses, Jack Lindsay, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Oops! NOT Vancouver’s Greyhound Depot

I ran across this photo at a flea market about 6 months ago. I bought it because it looked to me to be an image of the Vancouver downtown Greyhound Bus depot when it was located at the current parking … Continue reading

Posted in Buses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sheila Buchanan’s Little Known Career

Sheila Buchanan (1917-2009) was known to the congregation at First Baptist Church as an 18-year veteran missionary to Bolivia; as the Church librarian for a number of years; and as a regular volunteer in the church office. But what wasn’t … Continue reading

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J. W. Freeston and a California Shoe Company Outing?

Update: First Posted April 2014 The panorama image shown above was made by B.C. professional photographer, John W. Freeston, sometime in the 1920s or perhaps earlier. I’m not certain where it was made, but there is some evidence to conclude … Continue reading

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Fourth/Final)

This is the conclusion of my multi-part post about my purchase of The Book of Roberts, which came with a much-signed pamphlet advertising a lecture by a member of the Roberts family. The author of the book was William Harris … Continue reading

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Third)

In this post and the next, I’ll reveal some of the characters associated with The Book of Roberts and, especially, those whose signatures appear on the little pamphlet that was tucked into my copy. Alfred M. Pound: An Important Character … Continue reading

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Second)

In Which I Read the Book of Roberts It has been a couple of days since I updated this blog on the volume picked up at The Paper Hound bookshop, recently. It seemed fitting that I ought to attempt to … Continue reading

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Oddball in Buckram

This post will be a little different. My standard procedure with VAIW has been to become enchanted with a photo of earlier Vancouver, see if there is anything new to say about the image and/or the image-maker, do as much … Continue reading

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Magnifying BC Hotelmen

I bought the snapshot shown above at a flea market a few months ago. It isn’t a great photo; it was taken at a rakish angle that is suggestive that the photographer had been sampling a bit too liberally from … Continue reading

Posted in hotels/motels/inns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Zip Line’ to Wreck Beach for Construction of Early UBC Buildings?

When I first saw this image, my initial thought was “Gee, did they build a ‘zip line’ at the Point Grey campus as early as 1923?”. Then common sense kicked in. There was precious little development at Point Grey, then. … Continue reading

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Sir John and The Russian Prince

Sir John Martin Harvey had a reputation as a Shakespearean actor on the stage and (later) as a silent film star in the U.K. and in the wider world, not least in Canada. The Russian Prince pictured above with Sir … Continue reading

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Ernst’s Cello (NOT Piano) Fingers

Any piano student who has ‘short finger syndrome’ can spot a fellow-sufferer in an instant. So one look at the photo above was all it took for me to realize that this chap with stubby fingers could not have earned … Continue reading

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Southern View (Pender at Seymour), 1892

This view of Vancouver as it appeared to early Vancouver photographer, Charles S. Bailey just six years after incorporation as a city has appealed to me since I first clapped eyes on it a couple of years ago. Vancouver may … Continue reading

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Frank L. Beebe’s Vancouver Aliens

The charming illustrations shown here prompted me to ‘splurge’ on Alien Animals in British Columbia which was sitting on the $2 cart outside The Paper Hound Bookshop last week. This volume is an introduction to the non-native animals (“aliens”) that have been introduced … Continue reading

Posted in nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The New Democracy of William Herridge

William Duncan Herridge (1886-1961) neither lived in Vancouver nor worked here. In fact, he admits in the speech he delivered here on May 3, 1939 that it had “not been my good fortune often to visit British Columbia.”¹ But, for … Continue reading

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The Yoshio Hinatsu Mystery

I purchased the little pamphlet history shown above at a recent paper ephemera fair. I was taken with the art deco illustrations on the cover and on interior pages and wondered who was Yoshio Hinatsu, the illustrator, and what became of … Continue reading

Posted in art, schools/colleges/universities | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Up Granville from Hastings, 1909

This is another outstanding scene by early Vancouver photographer, P. T. Timms. Timms would have been standing with his back to the second C.P.R. station (1898-1914; Edward Maxwell, architect) at Granville and Cordova. His camera was pointing up Granville from the … Continue reading

Posted in P. T. Timms, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Happy Wanderers: Findlater’s Elgar Choir

Charles E. Findlater (1893-1975) founded and led the Elgar Junior Choir from 1924 until shortly before his death.¹ Until Findlater received permission from English composer Sir Edward Elgar’s daughter in 1932 (there is some disagreement as to the year; in some places, … Continue reading

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W Marks the Spot

This was originally posted July 2015. Updated on April 28, 2017.

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Orange Meat?!

I came upon this advertisement when looking for something else in a 1904 edition of the Vancouver Daily World. The very peculiar product name compelled me to drop what I was looking for and read the rest of the ad. The ad … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Church Membership Transfers

Membership transfers (or “letters of dismissal/admission”) were an important aspect of early 20th century protestant churches. This post will explore some of the features of membership transfers, using First Baptist Church, Vancouver as a case study. I will present scans of actual membership … Continue reading

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Behind This Wall at Hotel Vancouver…

Update: March 24, 2017 This post has been revised since it was first published about 10 days ago. The most significant change has been to its scope. It was originally a very lengthy discussion that wandered into topics well beyond Beatrice … Continue reading

Posted in art, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, hotels/motels/inns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Another Hotel Vancouver ‘Lost’ Artwork

Update: March 24, 2017 This post was originally part of the one about Beatrice Lennie’s lost art at the Hotel Vancouver. I have created this new post for two reasons: (1) the Lennie post was too lengthy and the principal connection with … Continue reading

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Bolivia Bound: The Story of Howard & Mary Plummer

Howard’s Early Years Arthur Howard Plummer (1900-1970) had his first taste of a mission career when he was 8 years old. In 1908, he accompanied his parents from their home in England to Wenchow, China, where his father, Dr. William … Continue reading

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A Peculiar Notion: Foot Bridge Across First Narrows, 1909

The plan above appears to have been one of the first proposals for a crossing of the Burrard Inlet at First Narrows (preceding the very different Lion’s Gate Bridge by about 30 years). It was the brain child of William Thomas … Continue reading

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Nina Raginsky’s ‘LIP Grant’ Images

I have recently been introduced to British Columbia photographer, Nina Raginsky. How I have managed to live this long without being aware of her amazing photographic skill and talent, I don’t know! Raginsky makes her home on Salt Spring Island … Continue reading

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Corrected Image by Horizontal Flip

It can be disorienting when a historical image’s negative is printed from the wrong side. By viewing the image to the right, you can see the way the image appears on CVA as of mid-February, 2017. (That the image was … Continue reading

Posted in businesses, cafes/restaurants/eateries, churches, Ernie Reksten, hotels/motels/inns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Norris Sculpture a Viaduct Memory

George Norris (1928-2013) was a Vancouver artist whose sculptures adorn many city spaces. Doubtless the best known is his award-winning Crab at the entry to the Museum of Vancouver. Another one is Mother and Child at UBC near the Irving K. … Continue reading

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First Baptist Church in Disguise?

Update: February 10, 2017 This postcard of mis-identification was presented to me about a year ago as a gift by JMV of Illustrated Vancouver. The image appears to have been made between 1911 (when construction of FBC at Nelson & Burrard was completed) … Continue reading

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Cafes and Bookshops – Two of My Favourite Things

Paper Hound (344 W Pender) books is located on the site of what was for several decades a cafe in Vancouver’s ‘book row’. Most recently (ca 1989-2002), it was White Rose Cafe (evocatively shown in the drawing above by Keith McKellar). Before that, it was … Continue reading

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UBC’s Main Library (aka Barber Learning Centre) as it Was

If this view of the UBC Main Library (today known as the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre) seems strange, it shouldn’t be surprising. It has been awhile since the library building and environs have appeared this way. The main entrance of … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, libraries, schools/colleges/universities, street scenes, war | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Miss Jefferd’s Epithets

Miss Jefferd was never at a loss for an apt epithet, often with a touch of malice. Even yet, I hesitate to quote those applied to various professors which were hilariously funny and with enough truth to sting. But I … Continue reading

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Early Submariner Dies in Hospital

What an odd assortment of people to see with a work party in Burrard Inlet’s First Narrows! I would expect to see most of the men here pictured, but not the four young women and three kids. We are able to … Continue reading

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Ackers’ Shoeshine Shop

I like this photo. It has a strong human element but enough contextual content that it isn’t exclusively about the two men who are its subjects. If I’d had my ‘druthers’, I would like to have seen the image in proper exposure … Continue reading

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Lionel Haweis: Artist

Lionel T. J. Haweis (1870-1942) was born in England to Rev. Hugh Reginald Haweis (1838-1901) and Mary Eliza Haweis (nee Joy) (1848-1898). Hugh preached at St James Church, Marylebone in London, but was known widely as a lecturer and author … Continue reading

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The Drifting Mizonys

The original photo from which the above crop was made is the one featured at this recent post. I was zooming into the original shot, during the time that I was writing that post, when I noticed the sign atop … Continue reading

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The Hastings MEATS Puzzle

The first time I laid eyes on this photo, I saw the prominently displayed “MEATS” sign and immediately assumed I was looking at an early version of the Save On Meats sign – where it is today on the north side … Continue reading

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Rev. Arthur J. Hadley: “Let’s Go!”

My very good friend, Art Hadley, died on Christmas Day, 2016. He had a special connection with Vancouver, although he and his wife, Edna, spent relatively little time in the Greater Vancouver area, recently. In their retirement, they settled in Mississauga … Continue reading

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The Vancouver Vagabonds

The Vancouver Vagabonds was a men’s club. It didn’t last long (1914-1928), but it was fondly remembered by former members long after it had ceased to exist.(1) The Vagabonds are generally believed to have been the creation of J. Francis Bursill (1848-1928). Bursill, … Continue reading

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Freeze, Varmint! (Or ‘Vacant Lot as Window to the Past’)

This very early Vancouver image by pioneer photographic professional, Charles Bailey, makes me chuckle. Not only is it a clear and sharp photograph of a time in Vancouver which would be nearly inconceivable today, without such images, but it shows … Continue reading

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Polar Pan?

Here are Royal Lifesaving Society members, Peter Pantages and Miss E. Robinson. (Sadly, we don’t know Miss Robinson’s first name; she looks like she was quite a character. Although Peter and Miss Robinson appear in the photo to be friendly, … Continue reading

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Pet/Person Fountain . . . Gone.

On October 1, 1986 – in Vancouver’s centennial year – this fountain was established on the north side of Robson street, a half-block east of Burrard (in front of the retail space that at that time housed the main store of … Continue reading

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Fate’s Temptress

Mary Warburton (ca1871-1931) was a Vancouver nurse with a penchant for walking where she needed to go, regardless of distance or season. Two of her trips were reported in the news – one from Hope to Princeton in 1926; the … Continue reading

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Unsung Local Artist: Hans Lankau

Updated: November 22, 2016 The image from 1972 was added. Hans Gottfried Edita Lankau (1897-1971) was born and raised in Germany. He immigrated to post-war Canada in 1951 when he was in his mid-50s, settling in West Vancouver. His principal work in … Continue reading

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Lads and Strays BENEATH the Platform, Please!

The photo above was made in 1943 on the occasion of (among other things, perhaps) the crowning of the Air Raid Precautions (A.R.P.), District 16 “Queen” Viola Balzer from among other contenders for the crown (some of whom, I assume, … Continue reading

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Pacific Centre Rotunda to be Demolished for Denser Commercial Space? REALLY?

In the nearly 450 posts I’ve produced for VanAsItWas over the past two years, I’ve typically focussed on Vancouver’s past. I will continue that practice. But today I will pause to reflect and comment on a news item which I … Continue reading

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John Goss: Baritone, Art Advocate, Politician, and Marxist

John Goss (1894-1953) was an Englishman by birth, but for most of his later years, he made Vancouver his home. In the 1920s and ’30s, Goss toured in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada as a recital singer, gradually building a … Continue reading

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Franklin Hall

I was recently browsing through a Vancouver newspaper which was new to me: The Greater Vancouver Chinook. The Chinook seems to have run from 1912-15, then briefly (1915-16) as the Saturday Chinook, and still later as The Standard (1916 and … Continue reading

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Guide to Secondhand Bookstores in 1987-88 (3rd Edition)

The Guide This is the first in a series of a posts I plan to write that will make public my collected editions of this Guide to the Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookstores & Antique Map Print Shops of Vancouver. My reason … Continue reading

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English Bay Theatre

Players When I happened upon the photo shown above in CVA’s collection I said to myself, “That looks like a theatrical company in costume for Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado!” I could find no mention in local newspapers in 1912 for any … Continue reading

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1912

1912 was a significant year in the development of Vancouver’s skyline. Among the structures under construction that year were: Birk’s Building (destroyed 1974); Sun Tower (visible at extreme left of “Vancouver Today” image above); Third CPR Railway Depot (now Waterfront Station). This isn’t visible … Continue reading

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Where W.E.C. Shopped?

Updated October, 2016 This image appears to have been made sometime in the 1970s; right around the same period when the hapless Wile E. Coyote was entertaining fantasies of terrorizing the nameless Roadrunner using machines built from products made by Acme. The company portrayed in the image, … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, automobiles, street scenes, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Empire Cruise Comes to Town

What was the Special Service Squadron of 1923-24? Here is how the official site of HMS Hood (1915-41) sums it up: This epic journey, known to the public as the ‘Empire Cruise’ or ‘World Cruise’ (but called the ‘World Booze’ by the … Continue reading

Posted in Bottomley, Navy, stuart thomson, water scene | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Bunch of Characters

These newsboys are a charming lot. The very few adults in the frame are in the background and in most cases, largely obscured by the boys. I spot only one boy who is a visible minority – the black boy apparently resting one … Continue reading

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Use Your Head (With IBM)

Updated September, 2016 This is an exterior shot of IBM’s Vancouver presence on Georgia Street (on north side, between Seymour and Richards Street) in 1936 (there is another image showing the building and NCR’s office in context with St. Andrew’s … Continue reading

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Department Store Dining

Updated September, 2016 Woodward’s This is an early Vancouver interior shot of the Woodward’s dining room in what is today East Vancouver, but at the time was considered by most residents to be ‘downtown’. The Bay (Hudson’s Bay Company) This … Continue reading

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Elva Selman Drowns at 2nd Beach

Elva Selman, a 24-year-old member of First Baptist Church, died in the waters off Second Beach on Friday, August 21, 1908 at around 11am. She was the daughter of Samuel and Clara Selman. Samuel was a realtor in the City … Continue reading

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T. T. Shields ‘Second Fiddle’ to A. E. Greenlaw… Who?

This article appeared in the Vancouver Daily World on August 17, 1908. An intriguing aspect of the piece, to me, was that Shields, who was near the beginning of his career as an Ontario Baptist preacher of note (later, pastor at Jarvis Street Baptist … Continue reading

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“What the…?”

I think this is a terrific shot made by some (today unknown) soul with enough spunk to see the potential of the shot and to just shoot it (in a day when camera technology didn’t often reward such spontaneity)! A … Continue reading

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Peter Thomas, Pender & Homer Portrait, 1972

Peter Thomas is not a photographer with whom I’m familiar. But upon stumbling upon some of his work at VPL’s online historical photos site, recently, I have to say I like his style. The image above was apparently made at … Continue reading

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Langara School for Boys

The Langara School for Boys was one of two private schools (the second was a school for girls known as Braemar) that were under the authority of Western Residential Schools. Principal McKay (of Westminster Hall) was president of Western Residential Schools … Continue reading

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‘That Old [Herzogian] Feeling’

This image is a powerful reminder, to me at any rate, of a Fred Herzog image. I make no claim at all that this is a Herzog photo (it isn’t; it is one taken for the Vancouver Planning Department by a photographer … Continue reading

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The Gasoline ‘Strike’ of April ’40

The week-long, so-called ‘gasoline strike’ of April 1940 should probably more accurately be called an embargo or boycott. This wasn’t a withdrawal of labour, thus inconveniencing management and pressuring the latter to negotiate with labour’s trade union representatives (the common meaning … Continue reading

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An Audi Baritone: Update

Originally published October 2014. Who is the apparent rock star above? A fellow who, in his day, was a household word: American opera baritone, John Charles Thomas.  Today, his vocal stylings are not quite forgotten (although his name is all … Continue reading

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Classic Images: Update

These two images are, in my judgement, outstanding examples of pictorial photography (or camera work as art). Both were made by Vancouver photographers: Harold Mortimer-Lamb was an amateur; John Vanderpant a professional. But when looking at these two lovely images, such labels … Continue reading

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Charles van Sandwyk

Today’s post is a bit of a detour from the usual for VAIW. I was reminded today, by a couple of events, of these wonderful illustrations. I was engaged this morning in the happy task of re-arranging the volumes in our bookcases … Continue reading

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The ‘Heebie Jeebies’

When I first ran across this image in the City of Vancouver Archive online images, I was inclined to be scornful. Until I remembered some of the ads I’ve seen in recent years for so-called ‘body sculpting solutions’ and a wide … Continue reading

Posted in Artray, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, people | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unsolved Photo Mystery

I recently purchased the print from which the above scan was produced. It was made by one of my favourite early Vancouver professional photographers, Stuart Thomson. The photo seems to have been taken in a commercial food/drink establishment, somewhere in Vancouver … Continue reading

Posted in stuart thomson | 10 Comments

Frank Hart’s Harangue

The photo was made to commemorate the Maple Tree Monument at the corner of Carrall and Water streets. The monument was created by prolific Vancouver sculptor, Charles Marega, originally as part of a drinking fountain in 1925. In 1986, with … Continue reading

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When a Rake Was a Component of Pole Vaulting?

This is something I don’t recall seeing in recent track and field days: a dude standing next to a pole vaulter with a rake at the ready! Gotta love those stripy jackets with short pants! (Presumably, the rake was to smooth … Continue reading

Posted in Dominion Photo, sport | 2 Comments

Bow-Mac Supermarket

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 … Continue reading

Posted in automobiles | 6 Comments

Mr. Rockefeller Regrets

This letter was written by John D. Rockefeller’s attorney, Starr J. Murphy (1860-1921), in response to a now-lost letter sent by Dr. L. N. MacKechnie (1864-1926) of First Baptist Church (Vancouver). It seems reasonable to conclude from the context that the … Continue reading

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Baptist Missionaries in Shaughnessy

In 1953, a member of First Baptist Church, Mrs. Francis Stewart, moved out of her home in Shaughnessy district at 1492 West 33rd Avenue (at Granville) and donated it to the Baptist overseas mission board. The home was used as the Vancouver … Continue reading

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Local Shutterbugs: ‘The Bees’ Wings?’

Camera Craft was a long-running monthly periodical published by the Photographers’ Association of California which (thanks to Internet Archive) is easily accessed today. There are interesting articles of enduring interest to a camera-savvy readership. But our attention here will focus on  a … Continue reading

Posted in Photographers, W J Moore, W. H. Calder, Wadds Bros. | 1 Comment

A Five-Hour Tour

87 years ago this month, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester,** came to Vancouver for a few days of R & R (or, rather, G & P . . . Golf and Polo) before a planned itinerary that was to include a stop … Continue reading

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Designated Alien Landing Zones?

Real estate in Vancouver is at a premium. That is a truism. It has nearly always been the case in this city. Sure, there have been periodic and relatively short-lived dips. But only rarely has the real estate market here been … Continue reading

Posted in Opinion, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Lumberman and His Boy

This is one of my favourite early photographs of Vancouver, the condition of the negative, notwithstanding. I love it for the usual reason for love . . . just because! But also for compositional and historical reasons. It seems to … Continue reading

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Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe Go for a Climb

Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe were in their 20s when they made these images to remember their adventures in and around the Lion’s Gate Bridge ca 1939. No mention is made as to whether their climb up the bridge tower (of … Continue reading

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Dr. Trevelyn Sleeth, Vancouver Vet

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Leonard J. Frank, stuart thomson | 2 Comments

Not-So-Terrifically Respectful

Vancouver’s 31st mayor (1967-72), Tom Campbell, was a pro-development, shoot-from-the-lip civic leader. Campbell is best known to Vancouver heritage advocates and to the communities of Chinatown and Strathcona, as one of the most vocal proponents of the proposed downtown freeway system. … Continue reading

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Charles S. Price: Healing in Vancouver?

  For three weeks in May 1923, Rev. Charles S. Price (1887-1947) held daily (and often twice daily) evangelistic meetings and faith healing services in Vancouver. Price had been in Victoria for several days in April 1923 before coming to … Continue reading

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Yucho Chow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Answers to “Find The Errors”

1. CVA 99-3791 The image is not the Marine Building (which is decorated with terra cotta marine features such as seahorses); it is the Georgia Medical-Dental Building (decorated with healthcare-related features (such as the nurse figure at the very top of the … Continue reading

Posted in street scenes | 2 Comments

Find the Errors

If you’ve been following VanAsItWas for awhile, you’ll recall that a few months ago, we played Name Those Streets. This consisted of me showing three images which were misidentified by the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) as to their street locations.* … Continue reading

Posted in street scenes | 3 Comments

Fine Work by Unknown Artist

I find lithographs such as this one (from a volume in the Uno Langmann Collection entitled Views of British Columbia and Akaska) to be very appealing. Vancouver Art historian, Gary Sim, has pointed out that that the first image (from the source hard copy of the book; the … Continue reading

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West Cordova Unit Block*

It is a pity that we don’t know who made this photograph. To me, it is one of gems in the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) collection. Why do I say that? The muted colour tones, for one thing, speak … Continue reading

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Canada’s First Drive-In Theatre

The Cascade Drive-In in Burnaby was B.C.’s and Canada’s first¹ drive-in theatre. It was started by George and William Steel and Joe and Art Johnson (Steel-Johnson Amusements, Ltd.) in 1946, opening in August of that year. The theatre was built along Grandview … Continue reading

Posted in Artray, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vancouver Arts & Crafts Association

The Arts & Crafts Association came into being in April, 1900 and lasted little more than a couple of years.* It had as its “chief aim . . . to encourage artistic feeling and knowledge and to bring the designer … Continue reading

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