Tag Archives: history

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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The Mysterious Mr. Langer

“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.” (Chuck Davis, “A Palace … 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 , , , , , , , , , , | 8 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

Posted in Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), railways, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in bridges/viaducts, railways, W J Moore, water scene | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

One of the Largest Organs West of Winnipeg

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

Posted in churches, new westminster, Russell Photo Studio, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘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 , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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

Posted in Jack Lindsay, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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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1972 BC Progressive Conservative TV Ads

Update: October 19, 2017 (First Posted October 4th) 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 … Continue reading

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Turn On Your Headlights for Car Service

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 of … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Werner Lenggenhager | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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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Kim Campbell on Brentwood Float?

Could the blonde young woman on this float advertising Brentwood Towne Centre shortly after its opening in the early 1960s be Canada’s 19th Prime Minister, Kim Campbell? I think her age would be roughly right (she was born in 1947), … Continue reading

Posted in L. F. Sheraton, parades | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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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Hammond Furniture

Update (Originally Posted November 2015): The buildings that today house at least three businesses on the NW and NE corners of Clark at Venables were ones that I’ve wondered about each time I’ve gone past. This morning, as I was browsing through … 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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J. W. Freeston and a California Shoe Company Outing?

Update: First Posted April 2014 The panorama image shown above was made by B.C. professional photographer, John W. Freeston, sometime in the 1920s or perhaps earlier. I’m not certain where it was made, but there is some evidence to conclude … 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

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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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Gal: “You are SUCH a ninny!” Guy: “What?”

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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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Behind This Wall at Hotel Vancouver…

Update: March 24, 2017 This post has been revised since it was first published about 10 days ago. The most significant change has been to its scope. It was originally a very lengthy discussion that wandered into topics well beyond Beatrice … Continue reading

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

Another Hotel Vancouver ‘Lost’ Artwork

Update: March 24, 2017 This post was originally part of the one about Beatrice Lennie’s lost art at the Hotel Vancouver. I have created this new post for two reasons: (1) the Lennie post was too lengthy and the principal connection with … Continue reading

Posted in art, hotels/motels/inns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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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Corrected Image by Horizontal Flip

It can be disorienting when a historical image’s negative is printed from the wrong side. By viewing the image to the right, you can see the way the image appears on CVA as of mid-February, 2017. (That the image was … Continue reading

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

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

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

The Hastings MEATS Puzzle

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

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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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Polar Pan?

Here are Royal Lifesaving Society members, Peter Pantages and Miss E. Robinson. (Sadly, we don’t know Miss Robinson’s first name; she looks like she was quite a character. Although Peter and Miss Robinson appear in the photo to be friendly, … Continue reading

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Pet/Person Fountain . . . Gone.

On October 1, 1986 – in Vancouver’s centennial year – this fountain was established on the north side of Robson street, a half-block east of Burrard (in front of the retail space that at that time housed the main store of … Continue reading

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Fate’s Temptress

Mary Warburton (ca1871-1931) was a Vancouver nurse with a penchant for walking where she needed to go, regardless of distance or season. Two of her trips were reported in the news – one from Hope to Princeton in 1926; the … Continue reading

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Unsung Local Artist: Hans Lankau

Updated: November 22, 2016 The image from 1972 was added. Hans Gottfried Edita Lankau (1897-1971) was born and raised in Germany. He immigrated to post-war Canada in 1951 when he was in his mid-50s, settling in West Vancouver. His principal work in … Continue reading

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Lads and Strays BENEATH the Platform, Please!

The photo above was made in 1943 on the occasion of (among other things, perhaps) the crowning of the Air Raid Precautions (A.R.P.), District 16 “Queen” Viola Balzer from among other contenders for the crown (some of whom, I assume, … Continue reading

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Pacific Centre Rotunda to be Demolished for Denser Commercial Space? REALLY?

In the nearly 450 posts I’ve produced for VanAsItWas over the past two years, I’ve typically focussed on Vancouver’s past. I will continue that practice. But today I will pause to reflect and comment on a news item which I … Continue reading

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John Goss: Baritone, Art Advocate, Politician, and Marxist

John Goss (1894-1953) was an Englishman by birth, but for most of his later years, he made Vancouver his home. In the 1920s and ’30s, Goss toured in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada as a recital singer, gradually building a … Continue reading

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Franklin Hall

I was recently browsing through a Vancouver newspaper which was new to me: The Greater Vancouver Chinook. The Chinook seems to have run from 1912-15, then briefly (1915-16) as the Saturday Chinook, and still later as The Standard (1916 and … Continue reading

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Guide to Secondhand Bookstores in 1987-88 (3rd Edition)

The Guide This is the first in a series of a posts I plan to write that will make public my collected editions of this Guide to the Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookstores & Antique Map Print Shops of Vancouver. My reason … Continue reading

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English Bay Theatre

Players When I happened upon the photo shown above in CVA’s collection I said to myself, “That looks like a theatrical company in costume for Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado!” I could find no mention in local newspapers in 1912 for any … Continue reading

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1912

1912 was a significant year in the development of Vancouver’s skyline. Among the structures under construction that year were: Birk’s Building (destroyed 1974); Sun Tower (visible at extreme left of “Vancouver Today” image above); Third CPR Railway Depot (now Waterfront Station). This isn’t visible … 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

Posted in advertising, automobiles, street scenes, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Bunch of Characters

These newsboys are a charming lot. The very few adults in the frame are in the background and in most cases, largely obscured by the boys. I spot only one boy who is a visible minority – the black boy apparently resting one … 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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Department Store Dining

Updated September, 2016 Woodward’s This is an early Vancouver interior shot of the Woodward’s dining room in what is today East Vancouver, but at the time was considered by most residents to be ‘downtown’. The Bay (Hudson’s Bay Company) This … Continue reading

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Elva Selman Drowns at 2nd Beach

Elva Selman, a 24-year-old member of First Baptist Church, died in the waters off Second Beach on Friday, August 21, 1908 at around 11am. She was the daughter of Samuel and Clara Selman. Samuel was a realtor in the City … Continue reading

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T. T. Shields ‘Second Fiddle’ to A. E. Greenlaw… Who?

This article appeared in the Vancouver Daily World on August 17, 1908. An intriguing aspect of the piece, to me, was that Shields, who was near the beginning of his career as an Ontario Baptist preacher of note (later, pastor at Jarvis Street Baptist … Continue reading

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“What the…?”

I think this is a terrific shot made by some (today unknown) soul with enough spunk to see the potential of the shot and to just shoot it (in a day when camera technology didn’t often reward such spontaneity)! A … Continue reading

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Langara School for Boys

The Langara School for Boys was one of two private schools (the second was a school for girls known as Braemar) that were under the authority of Western Residential Schools. Principal McKay (of Westminster Hall) was president of Western Residential Schools … Continue reading

Posted in Dominion Photo, education, Richard Broadbridge | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘That Old [Herzogian] Feeling’

This image is a powerful reminder, to me at any rate, of a Fred Herzog image. I make no claim at all that this is a Herzog photo (it isn’t; it is one taken for the Vancouver Planning Department by a photographer … Continue reading

Posted in city, Electric Power, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Gasoline ‘Strike’ of April ’40

The week-long, so-called ‘gasoline strike’ of April 1940 should probably more accurately be called an embargo or boycott. This wasn’t a withdrawal of labour, thus inconveniencing management and pressuring the latter to negotiate with labour’s trade union representatives (the common meaning … Continue reading

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An Audi Baritone: Update

Originally published October 2014. Who is the apparent rock star above? A fellow who, in his day, was a household word: American opera baritone, John Charles Thomas.  Today, his vocal stylings are not quite forgotten (although his name is all … Continue reading

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Classic Images: Update

These two images are, in my judgement, outstanding examples of pictorial photography (or camera work as art). Both were made by Vancouver photographers: Harold Mortimer-Lamb was an amateur; John Vanderpant a professional. But when looking at these two lovely images, such labels … Continue reading

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Charles van Sandwyk

Today’s post is a bit of a detour from the usual for VAIW. I was reminded today, by a couple of events, of these wonderful illustrations. I was engaged this morning in the happy task of re-arranging the volumes in our bookcases … Continue reading

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The ‘Heebie Jeebies’

When I first ran across this image in the City of Vancouver Archive online images, I was inclined to be scornful. Until I remembered some of the ads I’ve seen in recent years for so-called ‘body sculpting solutions’ and a wide … Continue reading

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Frank Hart’s Harangue

The photo was made to commemorate the Maple Tree Monument at the corner of Carrall and Water streets. The monument was created by prolific Vancouver sculptor, Charles Marega, originally as part of a drinking fountain in 1925. In 1986, with … Continue reading

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Mr. Rockefeller Regrets

This letter was written by John D. Rockefeller’s attorney, Starr J. Murphy (1860-1921), in response to a now-lost letter sent by Dr. L. N. MacKechnie (1864-1926) of First Baptist Church (Vancouver). It seems reasonable to conclude from the context that the … Continue reading

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A Five-Hour Tour

87 years ago this month, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester,** came to Vancouver for a few days of R & R (or, rather, G & P . . . Golf and Polo) before a planned itinerary that was to include a stop … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Opinion, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in J. D. Hall, people, street scenes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe Go for a Climb

Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe were in their 20s when they made these images to remember their adventures in and around the Lion’s Gate Bridge ca 1939. No mention is made as to whether their climb up the bridge tower (of … Continue reading

Posted in biography, bridges/viaducts, people | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Not-So-Terrifically Respectful

Vancouver’s 31st mayor (1967-72), Tom Campbell, was a pro-development, shoot-from-the-lip civic leader. Campbell is best known to Vancouver heritage advocates and to the communities of Chinatown and Strathcona, as one of the most vocal proponents of the proposed downtown freeway system. … Continue reading

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Charles S. Price: Healing in Vancouver?

  For three weeks in May 1923, Rev. Charles S. Price (1887-1947) held daily (and often twice daily) evangelistic meetings and faith healing services in Vancouver. Price had been in Victoria for several days in April 1923 before coming to … Continue reading

Posted in churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Yucho Chow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Fine Work by Unknown Artist

I find lithographs such as this one (from a volume in the Uno Langmann Collection entitled Views of British Columbia and Akaska) to be very appealing. Vancouver Art historian, Gary Sim, has pointed out that that the first image (from the source hard copy of the book; the … Continue reading

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Canada’s First Drive-In Theatre

The Cascade Drive-In in Burnaby was B.C.’s and Canada’s first¹ drive-in theatre. It was started by George and William Steel and Joe and Art Johnson (Steel-Johnson Amusements, Ltd.) in 1946, opening in August of that year. The theatre was built along Grandview … Continue reading

Posted in Artray, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vancouver Arts & Crafts Association

The Arts & Crafts Association came into being in April, 1900 and lasted little more than a couple of years.* It had as its “chief aim . . . to encourage artistic feeling and knowledge and to bring the designer … Continue reading

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“What Food These Morsels Be”

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

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Risky Swinging in the ’20s

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

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Ye Little Brown Inn

Yesterday, I was looking at a printout of Sheet 16 of Goad’s Fire Insurance Atlas of Vancouver (March 1920) when I noticed the name of a business that was new to me: “Little Brown Inn”. What could that be, I … Continue reading

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A. J. Davis, Vancouver Painter

The painting above was purchased by my good friend, Wes, at a thrift store, recently. He didn’t know who the artist was nor anything of his story. He just liked the painted rendering of the portrait. A bit of digging online revealed that the painting … Continue reading

Posted in art, biography, Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Another Controversial Subject: Vancouver Housing

Traffic congestion and inadequate housing are subjects which are revisited regularly in Vancouver. The previous post was a look at how the City tried to persuade residents not to be ‘Traffic Peakers’ in the 1940s. This post is a reproduction of … Continue reading

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“Traffic Peaker” vs “Polar Cap Melter”?

This 1940s ad, which I’m assuming was a production of the City of Vancouver, makes use of all three of the classical rhetorical appeals. There is ethos in the use of statistics, figures, and a chart to persuade the audience … 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

Posted in biography, businesses, P. T. Timms, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Frank J. Leonard, street scenes, stuart thomson, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Block of Libraries

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

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

Val Quan

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

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The Lesters and their Dance Schools/Halls

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

Posted in A. L. Yates, businesses, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

J. Q. A. Henry Declines FBC Vancouver’s Call

This post is a footnote to the history of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. Neither These Sixty Years (1947) by W. A. Carmichael nor Our First Century (1986) by Leslie J. Cummings (the two official histories of the church) makes mention of a call from … Continue reading

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Put By Your Pennies

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

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Salvation Army Service at First Baptist Church

The image above and the two below were taken by photographer, Jack Lindsay, of a Salvation Army service held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. According to City of Vancouver archivists, these were made sometime in the period between … 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

Posted in automobiles, Charles S. Bailey, Jack Lindsay, street scenes, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PNE Rocket Science

This photo shows the 1958 Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) feature celebrating British Columbia’s centennial year.* Project X “was kept secret until the eve of the fair, when it was revealed that the attraction was a display of modern rocketry. The … Continue reading

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The Foot of Main Street

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Lost? Found: Pendrell Street Grounds

This photo shows a ‘park’ in Vancouver’s West End that seems to have been all but forgotten. It was located on Pendrell Street (D.L. 185, Block 70, Lot 31); an empty lot at the time the image was made. It was two … Continue reading

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‘Battle of the Jowls’? (or ‘Singing from a Different Hymnal’)?

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John Morton

CVA 677-509 – [Studio portrait of John] Morton and second wife Ruth Morton 190- John Morton (1834-1912) was one of the first residents – arguably the first resident, although others have laid claim to the distinction – of modern-day Vancouver. … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Photographers, street scenes, stuart thomson, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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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Ernest Augustus Muling, French Chef

Ernest Augustus Muling (1861-1949) was a Frenchman by birth (in Blumenau), an Englishman by nationality, and a chef by profession. He came to Vancouver from Brisbane, Australia where he seems to have spent his twenties and early thirties and where … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, hotels/motels/inns, stuart thomson, timms, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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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Sir Charles Tupper the Object of ‘Fearless Loathing’!

In one of the early posts to this site (May 2014), I remarked on what now seems to be a companion photo of the one above*. The City Archives (the source of both images) do not identify the central male, adult, figure … Continue reading

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From a Photographer Some 80 Years Ago: ‘Happy New Year’!

This corny Christmas/New Year photo was a ‘selfie’ creation of Vancouver professional photographer Stuart Thomson, made sometime in the 1930s (the later 1930s, in my opinion). May this year be a peaceful one on the Earth and in our neighbourhoods.

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Butter Packing ’40s-Style

It is mildly shocking to our (or, perhaps more accurately, my) contemporary sensibilities to see butter being cut by patently non-antiseptic metal machinery and handled by people without any gloves. Ah well, the folks who consumed the butter were doubtless glad … Continue reading

Posted in interiors, Jack Lindsay, technology | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rev. Dr. Elbert Paul, First Baptist Pastor

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

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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

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Photographers, street scenes, theatre/vaudeville/cinemas, W. E. Frost | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two Toots for Terminal City Cycling Club!

These folks are seated near the Stanley Park reservoir which, for many years, supplied water to the city. According to J. S. Matthews’* notes which accompany this image, the two buglers shown in the middle of the shot used their instruments … 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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