What's New

White Rock
added May 10, 2022
White Rock
For thousands of years the area now known as White Rock was inhabited by a Coast Salish tribe called the Semiahmoo.  The town of White Rock grew from a Canada Customs mandate that ports of entry be located one mile from the border, which in 1846 was determined to be the 49th parallel. Then came the railway, bringing tourists from Vancouver and New Westminster.  The rock itself, stained white by seagull poop, was bright enough to be used as a beacon by 19th century sailors. Now it's painted white.  (1920-ish photo from BC Archives.)

999 Denman Street
added April 27, 2022
999 Denman Street
This West End apartment building looks relatively unchanged after almost 100 years.  It was built by HH Stevens, a grocer from Yale BC who also built the Queen Charlotte on Nicola Street.  You can find a little more history on it here.  (1928 Major Matthews photo from City of Vancouver Archives). 

Abbott House
added April 25, 2022
Abbott House
The Abbott House was built in 1900 on a picturesque bluff that once boasted a view of Coal Harbour. The neighbourhood, known as Blueblood Alley, was full of grand homes, but this is the last one standing.  Wealthy residents left the West end for Shaughnessy in the early 1900s, where a lot could be purchased for the princely sum of 50 bucks. The original owner, Henry Braithewaite Abbott, was a big shot for the CPR, and had a street named after him in Gastown.  (1985 City of Vancouver Planning Department image from the City of Vancouver Archives).

Brandiz Hotel
added April 25, 2022
Brandiz Hotel
This 1913 building has undergone a few name changes over the years. It was originally called the Hotel Seward, then the Howard Hotel, and the Empire Hotel. Today it is a privately-owned SRO hotel called the Brandiz.  Back in the day this was a bustling corner of the city, with neighbours like the Pantages Theatre and the White Lunch Cafe.  It's original price tag was $60,000 and today is assessed at just over $10 million. (1935 Major Matthews image from the City of Vancouver City Archives).

Waterfront Station
added April 20, 2022
Waterfront Station
This iconic Vancouver landmark was built by CP Rail and opened in 1914. It was the third station built by the railway at this location. It served as the western terminus of CP's passenger train business until 1979. Today it is a busy transportation hub, connecting passengers using the SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express. 

Fairacres Estate
added April 18, 2022
Fairacres Estate
The current site of the Burnaby Art Gallery was originally built in 1911 by Henry Ceperley, a real estate and insurance tycoon.  At the time, it was Burnaby's largest private home.  It changed hands numerous times over the years until it was bought by the City in the 1960s. 

Matheson House
added March 19, 2022
Matheson House
This beautiful 1929 Norman Revival style house was designed by and built for architect R.M. Matheson of Townley and Matheson, prolific designers of Vancouver homes between the two World Wars. They also designed Vancouver's City Hall. Later on, the home was renovated by another famed architect, C.B.K. Van Norman. (1931 Dominion Photo image from the City of Vancouver Archives).

Burrard Bridge
added March 19, 2022
Burrard Bridge
This photo was taken in 1932, when the bridge first opened. It shows a marine gas station, and through the spans you can see the False Creek trestle of the Lulu Island line, which took passengers from downtown to Steveston, and as far east as Chilliwack.  (1932 Stuart Thompson photograph from City of Vancouver Archives).


Burrard and Nelson Streets
added March 19, 2022
Burrard and Nelson Streets
This 1923 image shows Burrard Street's cobblestones, as well as markers indicating future trolley car tracks.  First Baptist Church is still there on the left, currently shrouded by scaffolding.  (1923 Stuart Thompson image from City of Vancouver Archives).

Embassy Ballroom
added March 18, 2022
Embassy Ballroom
The 1908 building you can see on the right side of the frame was originally called the Lester Dancing Academy (you can see some pictures of the interior here). In the 1940s it was called the Embassy Ballroom. In the 1960s it was Dantes Inferno, then the Retinal Circus, a rock venue hosting such luminaries as Led Zepplin, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, the Velvet Underground and The Doors. Today it's a thriving nightclub known as Celebrities. (1958 Major Matthews image from the City of Vancouver Archives).

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