Category Archives: businesses

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

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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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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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

Posted in Bailey & Neelands, businesses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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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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

Posted in businesses, Leonard J. Frank | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Use Your Head (With IBM)

Updated September, 2016 This is an exterior shot of IBM’s Vancouver presence on Georgia Street in 1936. Their monosyllabic motto of the time, evidently, was ‘Think’ – which also was the name of an employee/customer magazine that published its first … Continue reading

Posted in businesses, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Mudge the Poultry Man

William Mudge’s business was known in early Vancouver as Mudge & Son and (probably better) as Mudge the Poultry Man. As indicated in the latter name, he specialized in providing chicken products to hard-working, hungry Vancouverites. He hung his shingle … Continue reading

Posted in biography, businesses, P. T. Timms, street scenes, stuart thomson | 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

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The Lesters and their Dance Schools/Halls

It’s Hazy in Detroit There isn’t a lot known about the proprietress of M. Lester Dancing Academy. Maud was an Ontario girl (although exactly where in Ontario she was born and raised or what her maiden name was isn’t clear to … Continue reading

Posted in A. L. Yates, businesses, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A. A. McWhinnie Wine & Spirit Merchant (Briefly)

Judging from city directories, it seems that A. A. McWhinnie may have been a wine/spirit merchant for a year; perhaps less. By 1902, the space and the liquor business was in the name of the Urquhart Brothers – apparently the … Continue reading

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When a “Shooting Gallery” Was Where Guns Were Fired

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Hammond Furniture

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 online photos of the City … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, businesses, Jack Lindsay, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Nominee for Silliest Pioneer Surname…

While I was riding a city bus across Greater Vancouver this afternoon, I was looking for inspiration for this post from a PDF copy of the ca1908 Elite Directory of Vancouver. Among the items I spotted is my nominee for one of the … Continue reading

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Shack to ‘Monument’

The shack-like home of Hopps Sign (and everything else on this block – residential and commercial) is where, today, the International-style, monumental structure dedicated for many years to the sorting of mail is located. We are looking north on Homer Street up … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, businesses, hotels/motels/inns, Otto F. Landauer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Granville Bowling Before Commodore: LaSalle Recreations

These gents, who appear to be pretty pleased with themselves, were apparently in a bowling tournament held in 1929 at LaSalle Recreations at 945 Granville St. This was a year before Commodore Lanes came along (on the other side of … Continue reading

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Funland Amusement Arcade (The Orillia)

This is an inspired image by Otto F Landauer of part of The Orillia block (SW corner Robson and Seymour) in its full colour (in every way!) in contrast with the duotones of the new RBC building on Robson at Granville. For … Continue reading

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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

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Fur Vault

The first and second image in this post were apparently commissioned by Nelson’s Laundry to local pro photographer Jack Lindsay to demonstrate the secure fur coat storage service offered by the launderer. It is difficult to recall/conceive in this day when fur … Continue reading

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Handsome Garage

Ah, these were good days; when architects and automotive dealers/mechanics cared enough to make even a garage appear as though it were a work of art! This was one of two Fred Cheeseman garages in Vancouver at this time. This one was … Continue reading

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Neilson’s Chocolate – Almost Makes Being Ill Seem Like a Treat

The sweetest drug of all – chocolate – brought to you by Neilson’s at Burn’s Drugs Co. Burns Drugs was in a building adjacent to the Vancouver Block (sharing space in 1920 with West End Nurseries). Neilson’s is a Canadian dairy success story.

Posted in businesses, cafes/restaurants/eateries, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

1960s Camera Shop Interior

The images below show a couple of interior views of an unnamed camera shop taken (it is estimated by the City of Vancouver Archives) sometime in the 1960s. I wondered if these were early shots of Leo’s Camera Supply on Granville near … Continue reading

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27,000 Miles Through Space!

The programming available in 1978 from Jerold Cable Converters seems uninspiring, but perhaps that’s just me. Maybe there was more of an audience at that time for House of Commons TV, the CBC Northern Service (in both official languages, no … Continue reading

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Marine Chain Manufacturing

My friend, Wes, has knowledge on a wide range of topics – from cars to aircraft to, evidently, welding processes. I asked him today if he had any idea what the manufacturing steps were that were illustrated in these Vancouver … Continue reading

Posted in boats/ships, businesses, Don Coltman | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

B. C. Equipment Company

The image above was the site in 1934 of BC Equipment Company, a heavy equipment/machinery dealer from as early as the 19-teens (although they came into their own, it seems, in the 1930s) until 1985, when its remaining assets were … Continue reading

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Ajello Piano Co. (Canada)

Ajello Piano (ca 1910-28) is shown above in its final home (147 W Hastings) in the Astoria Hotel block (which  formerly was adjacent to the Ormidale Block). The Vancouver-based firm should not be confused with Giuliano Ajello & Sons, a piano manufacturing … Continue reading

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Where Was the ‘Overlook’ Subdivision?

This is a crop of a larger image to clearly show the rooftop sign advertising the subdivision being promoted as “Overlook” by Trites Real Estate. Where, I asked myself, was this ca1913 subdivision located? Trites Real Estate was owned and operated … Continue reading

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W Marks the Spot

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Top Shop – 1930s Style

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418 Georgia

We are looking above at the southwest corner of Homer at Georgia in 1933, where Stonehouse Motors was located for about 20 years (ca1926-45). Prior to that, another automobile dealer was at this site, Knight-Higman Motors (ca1920-25). Before that, for … Continue reading

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57 Varieties: H. J. Heinz in Vancouver

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Flux and Consistency on Unit Block East Hastings

I’m going to begin today’s post with a tightly cropped version of a CVA Stuart Thomson photo of what looks like a lovely commercial district in downtown Vancouver (the full image appears below). In these three shops, as my wife … Continue reading

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Theo Gaerdes

The building above, which housed Grandview Sheet Metal Works at 1685 Venables Street, was (according to Vancouver Heritage building permit records) designed by a C. Smidt and built in 1912, by James Dryden for Theodore Geardes (who was also the … Continue reading

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Railway Club: 1974, 2014

The Railway Club has been at the northeast corner of Dunsmuir at Seymour (579 Dunsmuir) since 1931. The image above was taken in 1974; the one below in 2014. It was originally a member’s-only club, called the Railwaymen’s Club. In … Continue reading

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