Category Archives: street scenes

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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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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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

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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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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

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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 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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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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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

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Lest We Impress

It is all too easy to impress the present onto the past. Especially in cases where there has been an attempt made by contemporary architects to ‘nod’ to a prior building that once occupied a lot. A good example of this … Continue reading

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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

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Church Parades and Church Street

I think I may have a reasonable explanation as to why Church Street (the north-south lane between Seymour and Richards and Georgia and Robson) was so named in the early years of the city. It seems to me that the name … Continue reading

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325 Howe

The Name Game The building shown above has been known as the “Welton” Building (1912-1919), the “Pacific Coast Fire” Building (1920-?), and recently, probably, simply as good old 325 Howe. Who decides what a building shall be called? It is usually safe to … Continue reading

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Fairview/Roxy Theatre

There isn’t much known about the Fairview Theatre (1912-38), later called the Roxy Theatre (1939-55?). In fact, I have never before seen a photograph of the theatre. According to the building permit for the Fairview (which appears in the permit database … Continue reading

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Belmont Grocery and Quality Gifts

  These are two separate images of adjacent shops made at the corner of Granville & Nelson in 1969. Left image: CVA 780-26 – Belmont Grocery, Theatre Row, [at 999 Granville Street] 1969. Right image: CVA 780-24 – [View of a] … Continue reading

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Victory on 500 Block of West Hastings

This is a very nice image made by Jack Lindsay, probably on VE or VJ Day.* The photographer was on ground level for this shot, standing in a vacant parking spot in front of the Bank of Toronto building (later, the … Continue reading

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The Foot of Main Street

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Views of CPR Right of Way: Before and After 1932

These two images of the CPR right of way in Vancouver’s downtown east side have features in common. Both photos were made in the midst of the Great Depression, all of the people in the photo are men, all wearing dark suits. … Continue reading

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Answers to ‘Name Those Streets’

Image #1 This is Granville Street. The image was made from elevation near the intersection with Georgia; the camera was facing south. The Vancouver block, Castle Hotel, and the Orpheum and Capitol Theatres are visible (among other landmarks). As of today’s … Continue reading

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Name Those Streets!

I will show below three City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) photos. Each photo has been wrongly identified by CVA. Your challenge (if I may borrow from the theme of a 1950s-80s U.S. television network game show) is to correctly Name Those Streets! … Continue reading

Posted in Jack Lindsay, street scenes | 3 Comments

1936 Commissioned Image of Granville

I very much enjoy the image above, made by one of my favourite local photographers, Stuart Thomson. I like the gentle blur of the strolling crowd. And I especially like the lady caught in profile looking into Saba Bros. Silk … Continue reading

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Robsonstrasse in Days of Yore

We are looking at the south side of Robson above, between Thurlow and Bute streets in the mid-1970s. Below, is a very fetching scene, in my judgement (note the effective use of light and shadow), of the same block, but across the … Continue reading

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Mum (Nothing Needs Saying About this Lovely Street Scene)

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The Old Cecil

I refer in this post to the “old” Cecil Hotel (on the north side of 100 block West Hastings Street) to help distinguish it from the newer Cecil Hotel with which most Vancouver contemporaries are probably more aware – the one formerly on Granville … Continue reading

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Happiness Cafe and Neighbours

I love this Walter Frost image for several reasons. But my three principal reasons appear below. First of all it shows a city block that was on the cusp of huge change. Within a few years of the making of this photo, this … Continue reading

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South Granville’s Mid-Century Office Building

The Block Building (CBK Van Norman) stands at the corner of (South) Granville and 11th Ave. It was built in 1965, I believe. The art work over the main door is a work by Lionel and Patricia Thomas and is called … 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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From Lumber to Racquets

The address of the yards of Coast Lumber & Fuel Co. was at a corner of Bodwell Road* (today’s 33rd Avenue) and Ontario Street. According to a City website, there was a streetcar track along Bodwell Road, so that, I’m … Continue reading

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Church Street (Lane)

It is not unusual to find a “Church Street” in a Canadian city. Even today, in our post-church-attendance era, streets called “Church” can be found in New Westminster, North Vancouver, and in the Collingwood district of the City of Vancouver (near Boundary … Continue reading

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Winter on Davie at Homer

A zoomed image on the same (December) day in 1968 appears below.

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The Gifted Mr. Bradbury

A real pleasure for me in this photo-historical adventure I’ve called VanAsItWas is in discovering and re-discovering crisp, well-exposed images that speak of an attention to detail and a real concern (whether consciously or not) for issues that would ultimately be … Continue reading

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Hycroft Towers Service Station

This is an early 1950s image of Hycroft Towers at the SE corner of Granville and Marpole Ave. Hycroft Towers was originally the “kitchen garden” of Hycroft Manor (which today is across Marpole Ave from HT). It isn’t clear to me how long … 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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An All But Unknown Burrard Street

This is a northward view along Burrard Street from near Melville Street (the street that today is adjacent to the Burrard St. Skytrain Station). The most striking aspect of this image to me is that the only building I recognize … 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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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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China Creek Cycle Oval

This cycling oval was originally built for the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in 1954. After the Games were over, it became known as China Creek Cycle Oval. The oval seems to have been located just east of where … 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.

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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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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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Why a ‘Bailey Bridge’ in Downtown Vancouver, 1944?

I could find out nothing about the above bridge either online or in the local library. The photograph of the bridge (1 of 2 by Don Coltman; the other image is here) shows the structure spanning Georgia Street at one-way, south-bound … 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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Welding Vancouver Streetcar Track

There was something about the image above that bothered me. Something that didn’t look safe. Then it struck me. The fellow standing next to the wagon with the warning: “Danger: 500 Volts. Do not touch machine or watch flame” had … Continue reading

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Robson Square Ice Rink Formerly Public W.C.

If you are a Vancouver resident or have visited the city, you will probably know that these apparently quite handsome public washrooms are no longer here (there are two remaining sets of these relics, neither in the downtown core and … Continue reading

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Wooden Sidewalk, 1914

This wooden sidewalk was, according to the City of Vancouver Archives, somewhere on 16th Avenue in 1914. Where this was on 16th, I don’t know. It might have been almost anywhere — from Collingwood Street (in Dunbar/Point Grey) in the west … Continue reading

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Georgia Through a Windscreen. . . Dimly

The image above seems to have been made through the windscreen of a vehicle that was stopped on Georgia St. for a red light. (Not, in 1963, we may safely assume, taken with the driver’s mobile phone!) It appears to have been shot eastwards … Continue reading

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Rectory: Holy Rosary

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Human Traffic Signal

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Northwest Seymour & Nelson (1920/’26)

These two images were taken by the same photographer (Stuart Thomson), the camera is facing the same direction (northwest), and are of nearly the same locations (Seymour Street at Nelson in the first image; Seymour from a bit south of Nelson in the … Continue reading

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Granville at Beach

We are looking toward the northeast corner of Granville Street at Beach Avenue in these two images. The first photo (above) was taken slightly to the east of the second (1909) Granville Bridge; the photo below was made a little ways to the … Continue reading

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I Scream, You Scream…

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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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Burrard & Pender: A Century’s Differences

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Betwixt and Between

This post consists of two 1914 images that appear to have been made on the same day by BCER (and of the mates made last week by the author). The 1914 images were interesting to me because they were made at one … Continue reading

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Moonlit Night After Late Shift)

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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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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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Old Kits Presbyterian Church (1911-1925)

A friend noticed this striking older building at 1855 Vine Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues), which today consists of private condo units. She asked me if I’d encountered it and if I had any idea what the original purpose was of … Continue reading

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TelusGardens

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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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Yellow Sub Records

The Yellow Submarine record shop shown above in 1975 and the commercial building to the left of it appear still to stand. Unfortunately, the baby-blue-coloured home on the other side of the Sub seems to be gone.

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The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear

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I Can Live on Peanuts…

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One of Our Early Flatirons

The building which was formerly the Hotel Europe (and, indeed, is still remembered as such) was designed by Parr and Fee for Angelo Calori and was constructed in 1908-09. It was, apparently, the third of Calori’s hotels. It isn’t clear where … Continue reading

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

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Kiss Sunkist Goodbye

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Strathcona Lane

The image above shows a former back lane in 1978, apparently then used principally for accessing the garage of 808 Hawkes Avenue (home on the right; not visible). The image below was made this week. It shows the home on … Continue reading

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Wilson’s

This retail corner (SE Cordova and Granville) was anchored by a newspaper vendor called The Checking Depot in the 1910s (I suspect that this image was made in 1914 – the only year I could identify in BC Directories in which … Continue reading

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Dairy, Apartment Block, Big Box

The early image above was made at the 2300 block of Yukon Street (near 7th Avenue  and Cambie Street). Later, this block became less industrial and more residential. The wood frame apartment block which appears below was on the same side of the block … Continue reading

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Meet me at Birk’s Clock

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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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The Arcade

Both of these images are looking roughly in the same direction (although the 2014 photo was taken a block further north from Hastings than was the ca1900 one). At the time the ca1900 image was made, the Dominion Trust Building … Continue reading

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Percy’s and Flo’s Garage

Nye’s Garage was designed by architects Townley and Matheson and built in 1922 at the corner of 2nd and Cambie for Percival and Florence Nye. The couple. who apparently ran the operation very much as a partnership, lived in an apartment … Continue reading

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First Against Thirst

The image above was not taken too many years ago (relative to many images that appear here), and it is difficult to determine if the original wood frame structure has been demolished or given a new ‘skin’. It served as the home … Continue reading

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Appropriated Orthodoxy

Work on the Fir Street off-ramp for the most recent Granville Bridge (construction 1952-53) has just begun in the image above and was at a more advanced stage in the photo below. The question that was most pressing for me was: Which church was … Continue reading

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Hector’s: A Challenge

The building still stands, today, but it has a new ‘skin’. Today, the structure is clad in what appears to be corrugated steel. What’s the history of the place? The building does not appear to have existed prior to about 1966 … 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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When Craftsman-Style Homes Ruled Nelson

This image of the quiet street of Nelson in the heart of West End, Vancouver, seems to be looking east, from the 2000 block (Chilco Street). The home on the right side of the street with the turret (middle distance) … 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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Ho Sun Hing Printers and Neighbours

The image above is of the 200 block of East Georgia Street (in Chinatown), made in the 1960s. If you compare this image with the one immediately below, there are really very few substantive changes to the buildings on the block, so … Continue reading

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Watson Gloves

The image above was taken in an unknown year at the original manufacturing site of Watson Gloves — on East 2nd Avenue, just west of Main Street. I was walking in that neighbourhood this afternoon and spotted the entry to … Continue reading

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Gas Warehouse

This is the last existing structure of Vancouver’s “gas works” (Sharp & Thompson, 1910). The warehouse appears to be the building center-left in  the first image above. The city heritage plaque on the building notes that “the choice of this … Continue reading

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BCER Men’s Quarters

 Architect Robert Lyon designed the Men’s Quarters of the B.C. Electric Railway (1913), shown under construction above. This structure is located at the SW corner of Main and Prior streets, across the street from where the BCER’s car barns were at … Continue reading

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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

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Rae-Son Shoe Rack?

The image above, made in 1974, is of 615-619 Seymour Street. At the time, the tenants of the building were the Rae-Son Shoe Rack and the Salon George beauty salon. During the years that this art deco structure has been at this site … Continue reading

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St. Regis

For some history on the St. Regis Hotel (W. T. Whiteway, 1912), see here.

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The Murray

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Astor Hotel

The image above shows Vancouver Buisness College at 147 West Hastings (just east of Cambie) in 1904. By 1909, the space had been taken over by the Hotel Astor (not to be confused with the Hotel Astoria, which still stands today in … Continue reading

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MacEwan Arts

This is the west-facing side of the Hartney Block. In 1974, McLeod’s Books was the principal retailer on the main floor. Holding down the back end of the building were MacEwan Art Supplies and Cassels Window Shade. Today, a funky … Continue reading

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E. A. Morris

The E. A. Morris block has been restored to appear much as it looked in 1938 (to get some idea of how much restoration work was required, have a look at version of this building in 1974 that housed The … Continue reading

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The Workingman’s Store

This is an image from the City of Vancouver Archives which I hadn’t noticed before. It is most interesting. First, it is worth getting oriented. We are looking north on Main Street and Stuart Thomson, the photographer, is standing with … Continue reading

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When You’re Smilin’

The Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret was a fixture at 109 East Hastings from the 1950s to the 1980s. Today, the place has been given new life as the SBC Restaurant – a combined indoor skateboarding park/restaurant.

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‘New’ Cecil Hotel (ca1909-2010)

 

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Burrard Skytrain Station

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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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Terminal City Oyster, Fish and Deli

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Look Ma!

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Agnew Surpass Shoes

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Roast Chicken: 40 Cents (or “Newsboys Keep Out!”)

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Wesley Methodist from Thurlow

The view above is an atypical one. In the distance, of course, is the (unfinished?) Vancouver Block. The church in the middle distance/right is Wesley Methodist Church which in the 1930s would be demolished to make way for the Burrard Building … Continue reading

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Remember to Tie Up Your Horse on Georgia

The “empty lot” where the horses are in the image above was then known as the CPR Park. By the 1970s, it would be Pacific Centre. The building across Georgia Street from the horses is Hotel Vancouver #1, where the Toronto … Continue reading

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Whales Trumped Product Ads

The Whaling Wall on the former Continental Hotel is bowing to the wrecking ball this week. However, according to this link, there are plans to install a new whale mural somewhere in East  Vancouver. The Orca mural, in my opinion, … Continue reading

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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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Direct from the Sea to the Pan

This fish and chip shop is just a couple of doors up East Hastings from where the legendary ‘The Only’ Seafood would later thrive (The Only was at 20 East Hastings). I don’t know whether the Old Country Fish & Chips was … 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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Empire Hotel and Cafe

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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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Famous Cloak and Suit Co.

The first business occupying this site (adjacent to the Royal Bank building on the north side of Hastings near Granville) was the Leland Hotel Annex. The Leland Hotel’s main building (with its four big Greco-Roman columns at the front) was across … 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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Hollywood Cafe

Before this space housed the Hollywood Cafe, it was the Blue Goose Cafe; later (by 1949) the Good Eats Cafe. Still later (1950) – and (if you are inclined to put faith in dates offered by CVA) earlier (1930) – this … Continue reading

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Strand Theatre

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Esquire Cafe

For a 1969 image of the same space, see this earlier posting.

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600 Block Granville

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Angelus Confectionery on Howe

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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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Third CPR Station/Waterfront Station Viewed from Seymour at Hastings

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BC Permanent Loan Co.

This building lived with the contradiction that was its name for a number of years (there is no such thing as a permanent loan, except in the nonsense-world of art galleries and museums). There is at least one other contradiction … 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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Catholic Taste

 

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Hogan’s Alley

Hogan’s Alley, the only predominantly (though not exclusively) black neighbourhood in Vancouver was destroyed by the City in the late 1960s. The reasons were two-fold: partly it had to be demolished to make room for a highway that (thankfully) never … 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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Hambro Building

The structure shown above from the 1930s was the Hambro block. “Hambro” almost certainly is a reference to the private London (UK)-based bank. Sort of a boring building, you say? I tend to agree. The exterior was quite dull – and the exterior … Continue reading

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A Few of my Favourite Junk Yards

I confess to a longstanding fondness for junk yards; well, actually it is more accurate to say that I harbour a fondness for the idea of junk yards. This is a holdover, I think, from my pre-teen enchantment with The Three Investigators … Continue reading

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Former Strathcona Park, Future City Hall

The photo above is a view of what would become within a couple of years the home of Vancouver’s City Hall. The site was known then as “Strathcona Park” (a name now given to a park that is actually within the … 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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‘Big Yellow Taxi’ Syndrome

Okay, this block of admittedly quite humdrum-looking commercial properties here on Seymour St. (between Dunsmuir and Georgia and across Seymour from the Hudson’s Bay Company) doesn’t really count as a ‘paradise’, at least in my books.  But it serves as an … Continue reading

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100!

To celebrate my 100th post, published yesterday, I wanted to choose an image which was, to me, truly new. One I don’t remember ever seeing before, nor knowing anything about. This building was in the 100 (no coincidence) block of West … Continue reading

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YMCA Vancouver: Later Incarnations

The image above shows the 3rd incarnation (I think) of the YMCA in the City of Vancouver. (The first and second buildings were on Hastings, just east of Cambie Street). The 1941 photo of the Y was probably one of the final … Continue reading

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When Many Burrard St. Properties Were Parking Lots

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Billboardicus Giganticus

The enormity of the billboard showing a bespectacled gent shilling for Nabob is mildly shocking. Even more so that it appears to have been adjacent to a single family dwelling – although one that almost certainly was on a principal automobile route. But … Continue reading

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Early Occupants of the Main Flatiron Property

The image above has a semi-rural charm to it that is a feature of many Canadian photographs made during the Victorian period. The lad in the foreground was almost certainly standing where he was at the request of the now-unknown photographer … 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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Across From Pigeon Park

The corner across from Pigeon Park (or, more formally, Pioneer Square) is shown below in two images: the first was made sometime in the first decade of the 20th century; the second in 1926. This is the northeast corner of … 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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HV Fantasia

This HDR image is one I made about a year ago when I was feeling particularly sorrowful for the loss of the predecessor of the current Hotel Vancouver – the much more architecturally interesting hotel that was located two blocks … Continue reading

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Cobblestone Lane

These images were taken from roughly the same location. In both, the photographer was facing south in a back lane just north of Water Street in Gastown and opposite what  once was known as Homer Street Arcade and today is called … Continue reading

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Wild About Arches

From the incorporation of Vancouver through the early decades of the 20th century, residents of Vancouver were nuts about erecting arches. Most arches were constructed to celebrate special occasions and visits of dignitaries. There are photographic examples in the City of Vancouver Archives … Continue reading

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Burrard Inlet Waterfront Reclamation

These two images, made 78 years apart, were taken from roughly the same location. It is apparent from these images that in the years since the 1930s, much commercial waterfront land has been ‘reclaimed’ by building up and northwards. In … Continue reading

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Electric Vaudeville

The building pictured above at the corner of Main Street and what was then the eastern end of the Georgia Viaduct is what was once a centre of Vancouver vaudeville, the Avenue Theatre building. The Avenue was a little off the beaten … Continue reading

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Oyster Bay Cafe

I walked past the new Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar (part of the Sutton Place Hotel establishment (on Burrard Street near Robson Street) and I wondered how long this oyster-consuming place would survive. I was reminded, then, of what I … 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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