Tag Archives: history

Mistaken Assumption . . .

There’s a building on West Hastings near Hamilton about which I’ve had a long-standing misconception. It’s sweeping facade reminded me so much of a 1940s-style movie theatre that I’ve always assumed that that was the original occupant. [1] But I … Continue reading

Posted in Don Coltman, interiors | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fowler’s Rose

This carving of a Tudor Rose was taken from the tomb of the Duke of York, Tewkesbury Abbey, England, in the year of 1881 when repairs were being made to the tomb. The same year it was given to Major … Continue reading

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Nabob’s ‘Harmony House’ on CBC

The “Harmony House” radio variety show was the first commercial radio program originating in the West to be put on CBC’s network. It was broadcast live from the Orpheum Theatre, starting in September 1943 [1]. The corporate sponsor of Harmony … Continue reading

Posted in Don Coltman, music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Smoking Prohibited at this Smoker!

This is a very brief post to point out a couple of interesting aspects of this WWII-era “Smoker” (a social gathering that typically included tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking) of the 201st Battery, held in downtown Vancouver. First, I should … Continue reading

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The Mysterious Joseph Langer

Update (June 2020) Information on [J. F.] Langer is . . . difficult to find. There’s nothing on him in the City of Vancouver Archives, nothing in the Special Collections Division of the Vancouver Public Library, precious little elsewhere. — … Continue reading

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Analog Craig’s List, 1967

Given that Ron Morrier is best remembered today as the host of All-Star Wrestling, it may be a bit surprising to watch him hosting this 15-minute program. He comes across as a calm, well-spoken, and good-humoured gent. Joseph Roland DeLorme … Continue reading

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Dr. Ray Starr Goodwin

According to handwritten information on the back of this photo, it is an image of First Baptist Church young people on an outing to Deep Cove ca1904-05. The only person named is “Ray Starr Goodwin”, but he isn’t identified except … Continue reading

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Granville Street on the Verge

I was trolling through CVA’s online photographic holdings this morning when I came across this image. It wasn’t the first time. Once again, I was struck by how much it appeals to me. The appeal of this northward shot of … Continue reading

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No ‘Social Distancing’ Going on Here!

Original post published in 2015 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 … Continue reading

Posted in Jack Lindsay, people, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Variant of Vancouver’s SECOND Coat of Arms?

This brief post is just to notify my readers that I have stumbled across what may be a hitherto unknown variant of Vancouver’s second coat of arms (1903-1969). For a history of the city’s three coats, see here and here. … Continue reading

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Ladybug Tours

By Maurice Guibord, Guest Blogger Years ago, I came across this postcard (above) and then a pamphlet (below) touting “Ladybug Tours” offered in Stanley Park. I got the two pieces years apart, so it was nice to put them together. … Continue reading

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John A. Radford: ‘Artistic Dean’ . . . Who?

When John Radford died, the Vancouver Sun hailed him as “dean of Vancouver artists and famous throughout Canada as an architect, water-colorist and art critic”. Today, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in Vancouver (even in art or local … Continue reading

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Vancouver’s Monarchs of the Bronze

In 1932 the Vancouver Sun newspaper teamed up with a number of suburban Famous Players theatres, as well as a few ‘country’ theatres across the interior of B.C. to have a “Sun Tan Contest”. [1] The ‘contest’ would actually consist … Continue reading

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Maison Henri: Vancouver’s Forgotten Parisian House

Henri Gautschi’s Vancouver hairdressing business, Maison Henri, lasted for over 35 years. But today the business and its proprietor are generally unknown. Henri Edward Gautshci (whose surname sounded Italian) was born in 1875 in Paris, France. His father came from Switzerland. … Continue reading

Posted in Frank J. Leonard | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Barry Glass, Star Photographer

Barry William Glass was born in North Vancouver in 1933 to William Glass and Winnifred Marr. He went to Britannia High School, where he was a member of the MacMillan Club of Fine Arts. During his years at Britannia, the … Continue reading

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Fun Facts: The Signal Station Atop Lions Gate Bridge

How did signallers get to work? This isn’t a fact; more of an educated guess. I figure they walked across the bridge deck, using the ped-way the way any other pedestrian would cross the bridge. When they were beneath the … Continue reading

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The Age of the Searchlight

The late 1920s and 1930s was the age of the searchlight in Vancouver. Searchlights were not a new thing. They had been in use in 19th century Europe. Indeed, they were not new to Vancouver, either. Searchlight technology was in … Continue reading

Posted in Art Grice, Art Jones, Jack Lindsay, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A South Richards Street Survivor

The very solid brick structure shown above was at 1339 Richards Street and seems to have been built circa 1914. To my surprise, given Vancouver’s record of demo-ing most buildings that stand for more than 50 years, this structure endured … Continue reading

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Ted Lefebure’s ‘Voice’ (in the absence of a photo)

The germ of this post (if one may use such a word these virus-centric days) came from local music/theatre expert, Tom Carter. He found the correspondence that is at the post’s heart in a Gastown antique shop years ago and … Continue reading

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When the King was Here and Swinging

Benny Goodman (1909-1986) was my musical hero during my high school years. No, those years were not for me the 1930s or 1940s. They were the late 1970s! Yes, I was and am, perhaps, a bit odd. I was turned … Continue reading

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1948 Exterior Views of Vancouver’s Grand Old Lady

This is a pictorial post of crops based on some terrific images made of the Old Hotel Vancouver (1916) by Don Coltman in April 1948. Judging from the titles given the original images, I take it that these were commissioned … Continue reading

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William Fowler: Early Orchestra Leader in an Innocent Age

William Fowler (1875-1936) was the leader of Fowler’s Orchestra from ca1902 to ca1915. He was the eldest son of James Fowler and Jane Youngson. His sole sibling was his younger brother, Peter. The Fowlers came to Vancouver from England in … Continue reading

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A Block of Libraries

Update In 1925, Mrs. A. J. Davidson would start a little bookstore business across the street from the home shown below (later she would move the business next door to the home, later down the block a few doors; it would … Continue reading

Posted in books/reading, businesses, street scenes, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Earle Hill: From ‘Dainty’ to ‘Cave Man’ Music

Earle Hill (1887-1955) was a noteworthy orchestra leader in Vancouver in the late 19-teens and the ’30s and ’40s. Earle Channell Hill was born in 1887 to William and Vella in Vanvert, Ohio. He played the violin. He had his … Continue reading

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Former U.S. President Tours Vancouver…in About 30 Minutes

When former U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt, came to Vancouver on July 18, 1915, he was in town for about half an hour. The Roosevelt party, according to press accounts, consisted of three people: Colonel Teddy Roosevelt, Mrs. Roosevelt (Edith Kermit … Continue reading

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Avon Theatrical Productions: A Checklist

The Avon Theatre was originally known as the Pantages, from its opening with that name as a vaudeville house in 1908 (on south side of East Hastings between Columbia and Main). It was identified less formally as the ‘old Pantages’ … Continue reading

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Stauffer’s and Mitten’s Arctic Club

The Arctic Club was one of several cocktail and supper clubs in Vancouver in the ’30s, 40s, and ’50s (including the Quadra, the World, and Jean Fuller’s). According to recollections of the Arctic Club at the Vancouver Jazz Forum, it was a … Continue reading

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Vending Before Food Trucks

Posted in Al Ingram, people, street scenes, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Flying Was Still Exotic

Update 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 interior space to create the impression of a DC-3 aircraft fuselage. The Sky Diner … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Foncie Pulcie, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Crowd Welcomes Kilties at Union Depot/Thornton Park

The photos above and below are identified by the City of Vancouver Archives as being a “large crowd gathered around automobile, men in military uniforms” and the date shown for the photos is “ca1915.” I had doubts about the attributed … Continue reading

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J. W. Freeston and a California Shoe Company Outing

Update The panorama image shown above was made by B.C. professional photographer, John W. Freeston (1887-1923) in 1919. From what I’ve been able to determine¹, Freeston had a brief and unhappy life. There is evidence that he lived in California; … Continue reading

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Getting Nowhere – Fast – in 1901

This seemed like an apt image to post in this season of broken fitness resolutions. The image was made, according to the City of Vancouver Archives, about 120 years ago. My two questions, regarding the photo: (1) Where was it … Continue reading

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Archives Image Corrected by Horizontal Flip

Update 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 … Continue reading

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

1972 BC Progressive Conservative TV Ads

Update There are a series of television ads on CVA located here¹ (to find the first of the PC ads, go to the 7.08 minute mark in the clip) that represented another in a long series of attempts by BC Tories … Continue reading

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Remembrance Services Past at First Baptist Church

Update 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 … Continue reading

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, jennifer friesen, people, Ross J. Kenward | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Behind This Wall at Hotel Vancouver…

Update Behind the wall shown above, in the elevator court of the third (1939) Hotel Vancouver, lies, quite possibly, Ascension, a work of bas-relief sculpture created by Beatrice Lennie (1904-1987) a renowned and very able good sculptor. Doris Munroe, in … Continue reading

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

The Shop at Sich’s Corner

Sich’s Corner was the name of an early Vancouver tobacconist’s shop located on the southwest corner of Cambie at Cordova. The person who named it and for whom it was named remained at the corner and, indeed, in Vancouver, for … Continue reading

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One of the Largest Organs West of Winnipeg

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

Posted in churches, new westminster, Russell Photo Studio, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Forgotten Purcell Hall

Purcell Hall and the B.C. School of Church Music (the two were ‘tied at the hip’ for most of their lives) came into being in 1936 at the SW corner of Georgia at Denman Streets (1808 W Georgia), adjacent to … Continue reading

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First Baptist Church’s Iron Fence/Notice Board Memorials

Judging from what I’ve heard and what appears to be the ‘vision’ of the current First Baptist Church building project, upon its completion, there will no longer be an iron fence surrounding the garden near the tower entry. That is, … Continue reading

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H.M.S. New Zealand at Vancouver, 1913

This post will showcase a few of the photos made by Vancouver photographer, Stuart Thomson, in 1913 on the occasion of a visit to the city of H.M.S. New Zealand. The ship had been funded by New Zealand as a … Continue reading

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Adult Ed in Technical Subjects in 1930s Vancouver

This post focusses on a series of photographs made in about 1937 by the great pro photographer, Stuart Thomson, of what appears to be adult education going on in a variety of technical subjects. The photo above, it may be … Continue reading

Posted in stuart thomson, W J Moore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

S.S. Islander’s Forgotten Gulf Ferry Service

The Islander is today known by some as a gold-laden ship that was sunk by an iceberg off the Alaskan coast in 1901. But what seems to have been forgotten (1) is that prior to that unhappy event, it served … Continue reading

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Sea of Hats

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

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Prof. Ludwig Zimmer, Herbalist . . . and Zimmerton’s Namesake

Ludwig (“Louis”) Zimmer (1838-1895) was born in Grunberg, Hessen Darmstadt, Germany, but left his homeland when a young man. He settled in Guelph, ON in 1861. In 1867, he married Salome (b1829), who was also born in Germany. His business … Continue reading

Posted in businesses, medical matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cleve’s Win Impacts at Least a Couple of Vancouver Residents

Who are the principal figures in this image? What is the context? And where is this bunch of early Vancouverites gathered on this occasion? This brief article in the Vancouver Daily World is helpful: Fulfilled the Wager At 2:30 this … Continue reading

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Who IS this Woman?

Who was this attractive woman with such a determined countenance¹? If you were to ask this question at the City of Vancouver Archives — where this photograph has resided, probably, for most of its life — staff there might, quite … Continue reading

Posted in biography, businesses, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Harry T. Devine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The McIntosh Girls in Tent Town

I’m not sure what it is about this image that I find compelling. It is a well-made photograph, to be sure; the exposure and composition are flawless. But I don’t think the technical competence of the photographer is what draws … Continue reading

Posted in Bailey Bros. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

International Harvester BC/Yukon HQ

The demolition of The Party Bazaar building this week, after 7 years at its Station Street location, made me wonder what other businesses had been in that building over the years. In fact, few. In 1950, the heavy truck manufacturing … Continue reading

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Adam’s Rib Cabaret

Update! I love the scantily-clad, outrageous word play on this card! Adam’s Rib (1047 Granville) was located on the west side of Granville Street, midway between Helmcken and Nelson. Specifically, it was between where “The Mexican” restaurant and the “Vietnamese … Continue reading

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Connaught Beach Club

By Neil Whaley, Guest Blogger English Bay’s Crystal Swimming Pool had its beginnings in a 1926 proposal for a private luxury facility called the Connaught Beach Club. That club was to have a pool, tennis courts, separate Turkish baths for … Continue reading

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70 Years of FBC Organists

The early organists at First Baptist Church (1905-1975) are an intriguing collection. One was willful and arguably bad-tempered; another had an unusual name which the press messed up; one was on staff when the Sanctuary and organ burned to a … Continue reading

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, music, Organs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

B.C. Lions SNORED in ’54!

This post is a fun excuse to show off a few of Gordon Poppy’s photos of a window display he helped set up for the Vancouver flagship store of  T. Eaton Company (at the time, from 1949-1973, in the former … Continue reading

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Sleeper Photo Reveals Lost Deco Interior

Update! Thanks to a 2012 publication by Michael Windover, Art Deco: A Mode of Mobility (Québec : Presses de l’Université du Québec), I have learned that the mural on the wall shown below (with a deco-style airplane and ocean liner … Continue reading

Posted in art, Leonard J. Frank | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Phone Exchanges: Tools for Local Historians

By Neil Whaley, Guest Blogger I collect vintage Vancouver items and I like to be able to pin down the date they were created as accurately as possible. Phone numbers on items are helpful; many telephone exchanges in Vancouver existed … Continue reading

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Comfort’s 1954 Portraits at UBC

This is just a line to accompany the images of the portraits shown above. It was learned this week that these six images of UBC faculty and officials (which had been shown in UBC’s Archival Collections as painted by “unknown” … Continue reading

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Tag Days

  — By Neil Whaley, Guest Blogger ‘Tag days’ were one-day fundraisers held in Vancouver before, during and after WW1. Volunteers canvassed on street corners for a particular cause, and donors received a tag on a string they could wear … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ‘Whisper Off Granville’: Delmonico Cafe

Like me, you may never have heard of the Delmonico Cafe. It was on the south side of Robson Street ‘just a whisper [west of] Granville’ (to borrow from one of their slogans) for scarcely six years. In its brief … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Where Was This Photo Made?

I’ve intentionally not shown a caption description of the location of the above image. I’d like you to study the photo and take your best guess as to which block is shown here. Okay, ready? It is the east side … Continue reading

Posted in Don Coltman, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

In Love . . . with a Photograph

I think this is a superb post-war image of a Vancouver intersection. What do I love about it? First and foremost, I love that it is not a standard Vancouver view. This is not an intersection that was often photographed and, … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, cafes/restaurants/eateries, food, Otto F. Landauer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Public Drinking Fountains

Early A very early (if not the first) Vancouver water fountain was situated at the corner which, from the 1930s, was known as Pioneer Place but is better known, today, as Pigeon Park. This piece of real estate was useless … Continue reading

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Follow the Bouncing Grand Union Hotel

When it occurred to me, recently, to research the history of the still-standing Grand Union Hotel (on unit block West Hastings), it seemed to me that it should be a fairly straightforward task. How mistaken I was. It turned out … Continue reading

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700 Seymour in ’47

The three images featured in this post of the 700 block of Seymour Street are among the finest available of the block from CVA online. Professional photographer, Don Coltman, was commissioned to make the images for Shell Oil, Co. in … Continue reading

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WHAT-ithumpians?!

What on earth is a “calithumpian” and what is its relevance in a blog about how Vancouver once was? An article in the Woodstock (Ontario) Sentinel-Review, had this to say: According to the Thamesford [Ontario] Calithumpian website, the word Calithumpian … Continue reading

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The Spider and the Fly: Personality Politics at FBC – 1905

Context It was the spring of 1905. First Baptist Church was still worshipping in the modest wooden building on Hamilton and Dunsmuir, but they had purchased the lot on Burrard and Nelson and were beginning to raise funds to build … Continue reading

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Missing?: Monument to First City Survey Stake

This monument was created in 1952 to honour the driving of the first survey stake by CPR Land Commissioner, L. A. Hamilton (sometimes referred to as the “Godfather of Vancouver”), at the site (300 Hastings Street; SW corner of Hamilton and … Continue reading

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‘Bailey Bridge’ in Downtown Vancouver, 1944

Updated (First Published August 2015) This photograph shows a 240-foot Bailey Bridge (1 of 2 by Don Coltman; the other image appears below) spanning Georgia Street at Howe Street in 1944. Zooming on the image reveals a sign on the structure … Continue reading

Posted in architects, bridges/viaducts, Don Coltman, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

First Baptist’s “Living Room” to be Demolished

Update (first posted October, 2018) “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing … Continue reading

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MIA: The Loss of a 20-foot Painting (Rolph Blakstad: Part I)

This is a tale of discovery. Of learning what a painting was called, who created it, and, perhaps, what became of it. The story began with the photo shown below. I have a peculiar passion for Fred Sunday’s panoramic images. … Continue reading

Posted in art, UBC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pierre Elliot Trudeau in Vancouver: 1976

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

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The Musical Occupations of Horace W. Harpur

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

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Park Lane

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Turn On Your Headlights for Car Service

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

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Werner Lenggenhager | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Professor Alan C. Cairns

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

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Alfred Lafond

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

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1930s View Down Richards Street

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

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500th Post: A Case of Mistaken Identity

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

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How Victory Square and Its Cenotaph Came to Be

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

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Speculations on a Black ‘House of Ill Fame’

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

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Bully Off!* Very Early Ladies’ Grass Hockey

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

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Three Early Seafood Nosheries

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

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Charles Schooley: City Paymaster and Prominent Baptist

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

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Victorian Picnic Images of the 1890s

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

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Arcadians’ One-Hit Wonder?

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

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Vancouver Bible Training School

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

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Spencer’s Details

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

Posted in department stores, Dominion Photo, Don Coltman, Harry Bullen, street scenes, stuart thomson, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Zion’s Friend and Rebel

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

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Flirtation by Postcard?

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

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“Old Books” Seller

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

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Transition

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

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The Age of Aquaria

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

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

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

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Menacing Mollusks Munch Maritime Piles

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

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Re-Inventing CPR/Waterfront Station

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

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Early ‘Brief Lives’ of Richmond Apts

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

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A Look Back to a Look Ahead to the 1960s

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

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Bridge Tender’s Nightmare Made Worse?

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

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‘The Smallest Building’ in Vancouver

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

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

The Remarkable Images of the Springer Album

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

Posted in Eric A. Hegg, Gidley Studio, Harry E. Bullen, J. A. Brock, Photographers, UBC, Uno Langmann Collection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Poodle Dog

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

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Views of CPR Right of Way: Before and After 1932

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

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

NOT a K-Tel Record(*)!

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

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Grace & Claire Corbould

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

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Historical Corner: Terminal & Main

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

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B. C. Hilliam, Music Man

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

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HNY from BC Electric (and VAIW)!

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

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A. E. Beck, Pioneer Lawyer

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

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Alan Beech’s Final Illusion

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

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B.C. Maternity Hospital

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

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Fuel-Based Buses

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

Posted in Don Coltman, public transit, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cenotaph Before Victory Square

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

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Kids’ Hospital on Haro Street

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

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Annotated Georgia at Hornby (and Environs)

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

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

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

J. H. Carlisle: A Man of Firsts

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

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Cowan & Brookhouse Printers

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

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The First First

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

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The Cowboy Evangelist

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

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W. J. Cavanagh: Acquitted of Bigamy

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

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Forgotten Maestro: George P. Hicks

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

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Oops! NOT Vancouver’s Greyhound Depot

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

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Sheila Buchanan’s Little Known Career

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

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Fourth/Final)

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

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Third)

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

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Second)

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

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Oddball in Buckram

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

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Magnifying BC Hotelmen

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

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

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

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Sir John and The Russian Prince

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

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Ernst’s Cello (NOT Piano) Fingers

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

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Southern View (Pender at Seymour), 1892

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

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Frank L. Beebe’s Vancouver Aliens

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

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The New Democracy of William Herridge

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

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The Yoshio Hinatsu Mystery

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

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Up Granville from Hastings, 1909

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

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The Happy Wanderers: Findlater’s Elgar Choir

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

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W Marks the Spot

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

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Orange Meat?!

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

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Church Membership Transfers

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

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Bolivia Bound: The Story of Howard & Mary Plummer

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

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A Peculiar Notion: Foot Bridge Across First Narrows, 1909

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

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Norris Sculpture a Viaduct Memory

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

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First Baptist Church in Disguise?

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

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Cafes and Bookshops – Two of My Favourite Things

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

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

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

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

The Drifting Mizonys

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

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The Hastings MEATS Puzzle

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

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Rev. Arthur J. Hadley: “Let’s Go!”

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

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The Vancouver Vagabonds

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

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

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

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