Category Archives: people

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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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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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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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

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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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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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Risky Swinging in the ’20s

This couple appear pretty relaxed, given that they are suspended by a none-too-sturdy-looking cable over what I believe (but cannot prove) is Seymour Creek in North Vancouver. I’m led to conclude that it is probably Seymour Creek mainly from context. There are a … Continue reading

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Val Quan

Late-breaking information on Val Quan (June 13, 2016): See comment from Bonnie, Val’s grand-daughter. She kindly provided some additional details. The information she supplied has been incorporated below.  Val Quan (sometimes spelled Quon), his second wife, Pauline, and their family … Continue reading

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Put By Your Pennies

This image is among my favourite school room photos of days gone by. Mainly, I suppose, because it seems so greatly to resemble my own elementary school experience a couple of decades later. It surprises me how little seems to have … Continue reading

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John Morton

  John Morton (1834-1912) was one of the first residents – arguably the first resident, although others have laid claim to the distinction – of modern-day Vancouver. He came to British Columbia in 1862 hoping to strike it rich in … Continue reading

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Rev. Dr. Elbert Paul, First Baptist Pastor

This is an image of a Senior Minister of First Baptist Church, Elbert Paul (1902-1985). He served the church for nineteen years (1932-51), the longest period to date. He took on the pastorship in a time of significant challenge: it … Continue reading

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Vancouver DIDN’T Need Vander Zalm, as it Turned Out.

This image is from one of three Non-Partisan Association TV advertisements made for Vancouver mayoral candidate in 1984, Bill Vander Zalm, and the other NPA candidates for City Council that year. You may well have forgotten (or not realized) that ‘the … Continue reading

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Feeling Less-Than-Fresh in THIS Crush?

These crowds were dispersing up Georgia Street from watching the parade for Vancouver’s 60th Anniversary of civic incorporation (our Diamond Jubilee, 1886-1946). Thanks are due to JMV for the detailed comment and links below. As to landmarks, there is a Standard … Continue reading

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The Fabulously Politically Incorrect Zoppes

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PNE Multiplex vs. BC Place

According to a very good history of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Vancouver’s Fair, a Multiplex was formally endorsed by the association in 1978 as a way of overhauling the PNE physical plant in Hastings Park. It was proposed that the Multiplex … Continue reading

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Reg Rose

Reg Rose was born in England in 1901 and came to Canada in 1912. After serving in the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserves, 1916-19, and taking several short-term jobs, he began working for the YMCA, serving in Calgary, Lethbridge and Edmonton as the Secretary of that organization. In … Continue reading

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Scenic Subterranean Studio 20

The above portrait is of gently eccentric Jurgen Gothe (1944-2015), during his years as CBC Radio’s host of DiscDrive. He died in April. DiscDrive was produced from what Gothe regularly referred to on-air as “Scenic Subterranean Studio 20” in Vancouver’s CBC building at … Continue reading

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When Flying Was Still Exotic

This image is one of several available online at VPL showing Clancy’s Sky Diner Cafe. This unusual cafe took clever advantage of the long, narrow space to create the impression of an aircraft fuselage. The Sky Diner seems to have been … Continue reading

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Zukerman’s Bassoon

This portrait shows Greater Vancouver solo bassoonist, George B. Zukerman, in his prime in 1951. There are online bios of GBZ available here and here (and elsewhere). Here is Zukerman playing his “calling card”, Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-Flat Major (First Movement), among a … Continue reading

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Remembrance Services Past at First Baptist Church

I was browsing through images in the Vancouver Public Library historical photos database this morning; I saw the image above and almost immediately recognized it for what it was (and what had, apparently, been forgotten or mislaid in the institutional … Continue reading

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Congregational Church Picnic?

The image below is an early one from the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA). On the glass positive of the image, there are notes; these are difficult to make out, but I’m pretty sure it reads as follows, starting at the … 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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Shipcraft on Human Scale

This photo is of the hull of a small pleasure craft under construction at Vancouver’s Shipyards at the opening of the 1930s (and located then at the corner of Georgia and Thurlow, near where the Shangrila building is today). A decade later, … Continue reading

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Salon as Clinic . . . Enduring Myth

This ’30s image is a reminder to me of the myth (which endures today, albeit in different form) of an implied near equivalence of hygiene standards between the purveyors of beauty products and those of medicine. Witness, above, the white … Continue reading

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Canterbury Coffee Shop

This photo makes me smile. It shows one of my favourite things (a coffee shop) on one of my most frequented walking streets (Burrard) and features a marching band, to boot! The band appears to be on one of the … Continue reading

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Stanley in Winter

This slideshow is a compilation by me of some of the best winter scenes of Stanley Park in the holdings of the City of Vancouver Archives.

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“All Kinds of Weather, We Stick Together…”*

The “Lord Mayor” of Yokohama in 1969 is pictured here riding in what appears to be a North American car travelling on Burrard Street just north of Georgia Street. Vancouver and Yokohama seem to have been honouring the twinning of the Canadian … Continue reading

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The Robert Marrion Family

I find the photograph above to be a very charming early Vancouver vignette. It was made, according to City of Vancouver archivists, in 1897 at Greer’s Beach – which today is known as Kitsilano Beach – and shows (among others) … Continue reading

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‘Geeks’ of the ’40s

These gents (I don’t see any women, do you?) were evidently having a mid-tourney smoke break at the time Jack Lindsay captured this moment. I imagine that the location was at the club headquarters of the Vancouver Chess Club at the … Continue reading

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A Man of Influence from UBC

The undergraduate pictured third from the left in the UBC photo above would become an Ottawa ‘mandarin’ within a few years of the date this exposure was made. In 1929, Norman Robertson joined the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa, and by 1941 … Continue reading

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City of Vancouver Engineering Works, 1945

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Photographers of the Pacific Northwest in Vancouver

With panorama images of this sort (of which W J Moore was an acknowledged local professional specialist), I like to use the magnifying icon to inspect individual faces and speculate on what each person may have been thinking at the time … Continue reading

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Which of These Things Doesn’t Belong (Today)?

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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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Gift of the Gods

This image of a PNE float is, in my judgement, one of the most outrageous of those I have seen. It was a bit of a puzzle, at first, as to just what was being advertised. The central figure – … Continue reading

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NOT Teeny-Boppers

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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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Forgotten Chinatown Playground

The newly-opened playground (in 1928) which is shown in Photos A and B was, according to CVA’s notes, somewhere near the intersection of Carrall and Pender Streets in Chinatown. But where exactly the playground was located is a bit of … Continue reading

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Richard “The Troll” – Former Rhino Leader – Missed in 2015

Canadians are in the midst of a tedious federal election campaign with no truly interesting leaders nor stimulating platforms. I for one am missing Richard “The Troll” Schaller, of North Vancouver, the former western caucus chairman of the Rhinoceros Party (their ‘prime directive’: … Continue reading

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Sea of Hats

This is a somewhat unusual view of the Cambie Street Recreation Grounds (for some later years, the site of the long-distance bus station, later still – optimistically – dubbed Larwill Park and serving as a City car park with aspirations to become … Continue reading

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Mystery of the Dog in the Manger

If you look closely at the blackboard of this image of the Model School (at Cambie and 12th; still standing, although the interior has been altered to make it City Square shopping mall), you can see part of the lesson for the … Continue reading

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Early Tech for “Readin’, ‘Ritin’ and ‘Rithmetic”

Most of the school supplies in this office building are recognizable to me. The 1930s version of the Remington typewriter, of course (with that almost unheard of technology, carbon paper inserted), variations on early document copiers (which I’m tempted to refer to … Continue reading

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80 Years

There are differences that leap to my attention when I consider these two images together. A principal one is how much more clothing we Vancouverites wore 80 years ago as against today (although it must be admitted that the seasons shown are … Continue reading

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Jubilee Methodist Men in Drag

This amusing photo may be one of the final images made (and certainly one of the last professional photos made) at Jubilee Methodist Church in Burnaby before it became Jubilee United Church later in 1925. Jubilee Church was located on Kingsway near Imperial … Continue reading

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The Grants

This wedding party photo is important, in my opinion, for a couple of reasons. It is one of the first records of an outdoor wedding in the Lower Mainland, to the best of my knowledge. And it is the last photograph … Continue reading

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PNE Parade on East Hastings

The scene above captures well the enthusiasm of PNE Parade spectators at East Hastings and Princess Street in the mid-1950s. There would be parades to kick off the Pacific National Exhibition each year for another 40 years (ending in 1995). … Continue reading

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Whetham Block/CP Telecom Building

The City of Vancouver Archives claims in the Scope and Content section of the record for this photo that it “shows the Wetham Block”. This is a typographical error; it should read “Whetham Block”, named after Dr. James Whetham. There is … Continue reading

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When the Subject was Not Human

Although one might be tempted to identify the humans in this photograph as the principal subjects, I don’t think that is the case. It seems more likely to me that the prime subject of this image is the huge living … Continue reading

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Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company in Vancouver

The troupe appearing above was one of the touring groups of the Australian theatre troupe known as Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company. The company was made up of actors under 14 years of age, and most of them were female. They specialized in offering comic/light operas … Continue reading

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Pierre Berton (1920-2004) at UBC

For a pretty good summation of Berton’s life and accomplishments, see this CBC television news broadcast on the occasion of his death.

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J. H. Carlisle: A Man of Firsts

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 church was organized; he was the … Continue reading

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Francesco Maracci’s Bluebirds Playing the Lovely. . . Pine Cone Room?

I think that the bandleader pictured above (violinist, centre) is Francesco Maracci, ‘the Venetian virtuoso’ as he was touted in The Oregonian in the early years of the 20th century. Maracci’s Bluebirds was heavily weighted towards woodwinds (saxophones figure prominently in the image). I … Continue reading

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Scads of Humans Watching the ‘Fly’

According to the Vancouver dailies of the time, there were 10,000 people watching as Harry Gardiner, the “human fly”,  climbed the exterior of the World Tower (later, the Sun Tower) without any special climbing equipment, wearing street clothes and his … Continue reading

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Timeless Reminder

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‘My, but you are a wee lass’

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Moonlit Night After Late Shift)

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Dr. Tongue’s 3D House of Electrictity (Pretty Scary, Kiddies)!

The fellows in this BCER laboratory scene do not seem to have similar comedic sensibilities to those of John Candy or Joe Flaherty (fortunately for them and the BCER), but they do seem to be borderline ‘mad’ scientists, if the equipment and fluids in the … Continue reading

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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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Irwinton Apts

This is a crop of a BC Electric photo of Burrard Street looking to the southwest and made in 1914. The Wesley Methodist Church (William Blackmore, 1902) – an ancestor congregation of St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church which would be built a couple decades … 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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Mucky Lane Work

I have become quite fond of the work done in the early years of the 20th century by BC Electric Railway photographers. Most of these anonymous souls don’t seem to me to have been amateurs (although a few images are very over-exposed). … Continue reading

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First Baptist Footie Champs

This photo makes me smile. It was taken in 1925 by one of my favourite early Vancouver photographers, Stuart Thomson, at the present site of First Baptist Church (Burrard and Nelson Streets). The young men in the image were apparently a … Continue reading

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Fishing Was Good

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Hooray for (un-sung) Eveleigh!

Sydney Morgan Eveleigh (1870-1947) was a Vancouver architect. He was born in England, coming to Vancouver in 1888. He worked with early Vancouver architect Noble Hoffar for several years and later struck a partnership with William T. Dalton. After Dalton … Continue reading

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’52 Faces of CBA

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Things Still are a Little Chaotic Here

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Fisherman’s Union

Untitled art. Fisherman’s Union Building (1968), Leonard Epp artist. This pre-cast concrete relief triptych is on three sides of the former Fisherman’s Union building (1968) at NE corner East Hastings and Hawkes (today, home to AIDS Vancouver). According to Steil’s and Stalker’s … Continue reading

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George H. Hewitt Co., Ltd.

When I first saw the George H. Hewitt rubber stamp company in the image above, it occurred to me that this was a business that must surely have disappeared with the dawn of the 21st century – until I started to … Continue reading

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The Arctic Club

The Arctic Club was one of several cocktail and supper clubs that were part of Vancouver in the late 1940s and 1950s (the Palomar and the World were two other examples). According to some remembrances of the place on the Vancouver Jazz Forum, … Continue reading

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Corona Salesmen?

On the exterior, this shop looks mostly unchanged today; it houses a barber shop (adjacent to The Paper Hound Bookshop in the Victoria Block).

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The Burger with the Brand (1954)

These photos were made by Artray apparently to accompany advertising copy. These two were part of a series of several similar images.

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“Hap” O’Connor, Umpire

Elroy Joseph (Hap) O’Connor (not O’Conner, as CVA currently has it) was an American baseball umpire for 40+ years. Evidently, he was umping in Vancouver for a game in 1929. He died in San Bernardino county, CA in 1957.

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The Original Cellar, 2514 Watson (1956-63)

Partly visible behind the head of the fellow far left is The Trio (1954), an enamelled linocut by Vancouver artist Harry Webb. Go here for the only known film images of the original Cellar club (and a few seconds showing bearded artist … Continue reading

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Who is He When Not in His (Sentry) Box (1914-18)?

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De Dutch Burger Poll!

This post is in recognition of the provincial general election in my home province of Alberta today. The photo is of The Frying Dutchman concession stand at the 1972 Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). In B.C., from 1939-82, election polling during provincial elections … Continue reading

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Caretaker, Beatty Street Drill Hall (1973)

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We’re Here for Joe

This image was made during the 1978 Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) at Hastings Park. It takes me back to the beginnings of my political awareness, Joe Clark’s all-too-brief period as the last of the Red Tory leaders of the Progressive … Continue reading

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Three Boys in 1891

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Banjo King at Tea for Opening of Burrard Bridge

This image puzzled me at first. When I first saw it, I assumed that the people were at the head table of the tea following the opening ceremonies of the Burrard Bridge. But why would world-renowned vaudeville banjoist (centre), Eddie … Continue reading

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Ashnola Area

This is a photograph which I believe has been misidentified by CVA. The City of Vancouver Archives identifies this scene as being on Cambie Street near 12th Avenue. But in fact, I believe it is the 2200 block of Main … Continue reading

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Early Church Memories

This image reminds me of growing up in church, as I did in an Alberta town in the 1960s-70s. Our church was much smaller than the one pictured above (which was, in turn, probably considered ‘small’ for its time in … Continue reading

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Seymour Billiards

The first image was taken on Nelson Street from near the back lane between Granville and Seymour streets. The second image was made on Seymour from Nelson Street looking north toward Smithe. The Vancouver (Ford) Motors building (which today houses Staples on … Continue reading

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Love the ‘Paint-In’ of ’66

The “paint-in” at the court house (which is, today, the Vancouver Art Gallery) in 1966 was apparently a response by artists to B. C. Premier W. A. C. Bennett’s wish to keep the installation of the Centennial Fountain at the … Continue reading

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CCF-Brill Vancouver Trolley 2341

This trolley is stopped just north of Eaton’s department store (Granville and Robson; the stop is on the east side of Granville) in 1976 ; it is a model T48 (built 1954?) for BC Transit’s fleet of CCF-Brill trolleys.  CCF stood for Canadian … Continue reading

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20 Ladies Switching

There are some striking aspects to this image. First , most if not all of the switchboard operators appear to have longish hair that has been tied up  — surely this is not a coincidence; must have been corporate style code. Second, … Continue reading

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Sweat of the Brow

CVA doesn’t identify what sort of industry these workers worked at, nor who they were. The gent in the waistcoat holding the rope looked familiar to me and so I sifted through some of the CVA “industrial” images made roughly … Continue reading

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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

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Charles “Clixby” Watson

This Vancouver longshoreman (I’m assuming) was painted  by UK artist Charles “Clixby” Watson (1906-64) sometime in the 1950s. On this fellow’s back appears a tattoo of the Vancouver coat of arms, as it then was. The city’s motto was “By Sea … Continue reading

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‘New’ Cecil Hotel (ca1909-2010)

 

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Stuart Thomson’s Shop

This set shows “yesterday/today” images of an early shop of one of my favourite Vancouver photographers, Stuart Thomson. It was his shop in the 1910s and ’20s. He later moved up to Robson at Burrard (adjacent to the Toronto Dominion Bank). … Continue reading

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Look Ma!

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Hot Dog or Hamburger: 10 Cents

One could be forgiven for not recognizing this as one of the most popular and well-known spots in Vancouver’s Chinatown. The slimmest building in the city and home to Jack Chow Insurance today, it was in the 1930s, apparently, where … Continue reading

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Chocolate Shop Cafe

The building in which the Chocolate Shop Cafe once was housed has plainly been replaced since the 1920s. The toughies glaring out the window of the second story of the building might have given Stuart Thomson pause! Note: The sign atop … Continue reading

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Model Boot Shop

These two images have a number of common features. Most of the buildings in this block have been retained over the years, including the Hotel Strathcona. And the space where the “Model Boot Shop” was located in 1936 today is occupied today by … Continue reading

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Downtown Granville Street

Among the intriguing elements to be seen when you click on the image above (for a closer view), is Harrron Bros., Undertakers (mid-image on the right). Note: I checked the name of the firm against BC Directories for the early years of … Continue reading

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Hornby at Robson

Why is it that I cannot look at an image of a post-rainy day in Vancouver without seeing a scene with a noir-ish aspect — where all the men in their raincoats have slightly seedy motives and where even the … Continue reading

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Three Views of the Casa Loma Cafe

  CVA 1184-3262. Cafe Casa Loma, 1940-48. Jack Lindsay photo. Note: This image has been cropped and otherwise edited. To see original image, go to CVA,)

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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

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Farewell Ormidale

There are those who argue that preservation of a historic building’s facade is cause for celebration; that the building’s heritage is thereby  preserved. I am not of that group. I believe that preserving a heritage building’s facade is preferable to destroying … Continue reading

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Latter-Day Ornithopter?

  I’m pleased that there was someone on hand – someone who knew something about wingsuits, I hope – to check this guy’s equipment. But where is the head examiner?!

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A ‘Tent’ for French

The building under construction in the photo above is what would be the setting of evangelistic meetings from May – July, 1917. The structure was known as the Evangelistic Tabernacle and was located on what was formerly the site of … Continue reading

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Oakridge As It Was

This appears to be a sign advertising Oakridge Centre Mall at this location (southwest corner of Cambie and 41st). It was taken in 1970. Woodward’s department store was the initial anchor of the mall when it opened in 1959.

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An Insincere Star? Never!

The image above seems to have been taken as part of a fund-raising effort by the Kinsmen and Kinettes clubs of Canada to raise cash for the purchase of powdered milk in wartime Britain. The female model is unknown to me. The male … Continue reading

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Before Rogers Building

This image was made just prior to (and very likely in anticipation of) the construction on the corner of Granville and Dunsmuir of the Rogers Building. C. D. Rand, whose office is visibly prominent in the single-storey structure at the … Continue reading

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Fred Hartsook Photo

The portrait shown above is of vaudeville (and later motion picture) actor, Broderick O’Farrell. Not very much appears to be known today of Mr. O’Farrell except the little that may be found here. (Could he have been anything but an … Continue reading

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Early Days of Labour

This image appears to have been shot on Dunsmuir Street, facing west towards Granville. The Bank of Montreal building at the time was located on the northeast corner of Granville at Dunsmuir and is the castle-like structure visible behind the float. … Continue reading

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War Dance and Carnival, 1917

There was a four-day fundraiser called the War Dance and Carnival held May, 1917 on the Cambie Street Grounds and the adjacent ‘old’ Georgia Street Viaduct. The Carnival was sponsored by the B.C. Commercial Travellers’ Association in aid of four charities: the Red Cross Material … Continue reading

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Precursors

Charles Bradbury (1871-1950) is the amateur photographer who made this image. Camera Workers has this to say about him: Originally from Great Britain, Bradbury emigrated to Canada from Borneo. A telegrapher, he photographed throughout the Vancouver region as well as along the … Continue reading

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United Services Centre

In 1943, a United Services Centre was established at 636 Burrard Street, where there is a park, today, between Park Place office tower and Christ Church Cathedral; across from Burrard Skytrain Station.* The following excerpt from a historical report to the Rotary Club of … Continue reading

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Shifted Priorities for Central Burrard

These images are from the 900 block of Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. The two starkly show the differing priorities for the area over the last 100 years or so. In the early years of the 20th century, public education … Continue reading

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It’s a Long Way… to Ypres, Passchendaele, and the Somme

The photo below honours the men and women who left for Europe during the 1914-18 war, to serve Canada. The Great War began, unceremoniously, a century ago today. We are looking at Cordova (the street that extends to the right of the image) and … Continue reading

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Fearless Loathing?

The look on the face of the girl looking over her shoulder is, in my opinion, priceless. She seems to be looking toward one of the leaders of this (early girl scouts?) group — a male. And it’s plainly not a look of … Continue reading

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Eurodog (Before Japadog*)

There is no location or date info supplied for this image. It appears to have been made in front of Commodore Lanes (838 Granville). Without doing much research, I would guess it was taken between 1975-85. *Note: in case you … Continue reading

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