Category Archives: books/reading

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

Posted in books/reading, businesses, cafes/restaurants/eateries, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , | 2 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

Posted in books/reading, UBC | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in books/reading, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

“What Food These Morsels Be”

This sign was painted on the side of a building on Prior Street many years ago. A friend, who is in his 70s, claims not to remember a time when the advertisement wasn’t there. W. T. Money established W. T. … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, books/reading, food | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Block of Libraries

 In 1925, Mrs. A. J. Davidson would start a little bookstore business across the street from the home shown above (later she would move the business next door to the home, later down the block a few doors; it would never … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, businesses, street scenes, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bob’s Market

This was once the downtown site of Chapters bookstore. Rumour has it that a sportswear arm of Canadian Tire will be the next retail resident of the SE corner of Robson and Howe. At the location where Anne Muirhead Florist was … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, businesses, street scenes, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Long, and Prosper

  Leonard Nimoy died yesterday, and so I’m re-posting this — one of my earliest Vancouver As it Was posts from almost a year ago — in honour of Nimoy. As I argue at the end of this post, I still think it … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, parks, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vancouver Opera Association

These photos of  the 100 block of Dunsmuir Street  (between Cambie and Beatty) reveal quite different structures within a relatively brief period. In 1941, the YMCA (Edward E. Blackmore, 1905) was located here (although it faced onto Cambie, its longest wall was … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, street scenes, W J Moore, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aimee Semple McPherson in Vancouver

The image above shows Aimee Semple McPherson with a welcoming crowd shortly after arriving in 1930 at Vancouver’s Great Northern Railway Depot (demolished in 1965, the GNR Depot was just north of the CN Rail Depot which still stands and today serves as the long-distance bus … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books/reading, churches, people, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From Books to Burgers

This image is a sign of the times (both of the 1960s and the 2000s). The 1969 image of The Book Barrel was taken at 891 Theatre Row (aka Granville Street), just north of Smithe Street. Who could have predicted … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rheumatic Olympian (1928)

 In 1928, at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, 20-year-old Vancouver native, Percy Williams, won the 100-metre race on July 30th and the 200-metre on August 1. As Ivan Ackery recounts in his memoirs of a life in Vancouver theatres, Fifty … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books/reading, sport, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Hudson Street Boomed

Those familiar with the Vancouver neighbourhood of Marpole may be surprised that this is a view of neither Granville nor Oak Streets (the principal north/south thoroughfares, today), but rather what currently is the relatively sleepy Hudson Street (near Marine Dr). The image … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, hotels/motels/inns, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hastings Street Scene (1904)

This is one of my favourite images by Philip Timms. The two ladies (sisters?) in the centre foreground may have been just leaving Paterson Shoe Co. (according to the BC Directory of 1904, that was the shoemaker’s establishment just behind them … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, Howard King, P. T. Timms, Photographers, postcards, street scenes, Wadds Bros. | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Dominion (er. . . Canada) Day!

This is a view from 1220 Homer (Yaletown) made by Ernie Reksten on a ‘holiday Monday’, July 3, 1967. The holiday was Dominion Day (known as Canada Day since 1982), and most Canadians should be able to deduce from the year … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Courthouse Fountain ‘Switcheroo’

These images are of roughly the same view of the north side of the Vancouver Courthouse (as it then was; now, although not for much longer, the Vancouver Art Gallery). The top image is of a drinking fountain on the … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, Jack Lindsay, parks, postcards, street scenes, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

YMCA Reading Room

The image above is of the Y’s Reading Room in its earliest Vancouver building (139 W Hastings), built 1887. I’m not certain why the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) dated this photo as “189-“; it seems pretty clearly to have been … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, interiors, research, sport | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Date! (Research Notes)

This post is about a few standard methods I often use for narrowing down the date that an undated photograph was taken. I’ll be using real-world examples: online image records of the City of Vancouver Archives which (as of the … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, research, street scenes, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Tweedsmuirs in Lotusland: A Few Notes

John Buchan (b. 1875) was raised in Scotland. He was a writer of many novels — including, most famously, The 39 Steps — biographies, histories, articles, and poems. He was invited by King George V to become his representative in Canada (on the advice of then Canadian Prime … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books/reading, churches, interiors, Leonard J. Frank, schools/colleges/universities, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harding, His Memorial, and the Vulcan Invocation

I have been reading a well-written book by Robert A. Hood entitled By Shore and Trail in Stanley Park. This volume, published in 1929, is a charming and helpful collection of Hood’s poems and vignettes pertaining to the Park. (1) … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books/reading, parks, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment