What's New

Secord Hotel
added February 21, 2024
Secord Hotel
Built in 1890, the Secord is probably Vancouver's oldest hotel outside of Gastown. It's location in the middle of Japantown was perfect for providing housing to families of workers at Hastings Mill just down the road. For years it was a liquor-free establishment, but by 1920 it had been taken over and renamed the Imperial Hotel, with a beer parlour on the ground floor. In 1947 the name was changed again to the Marr and it became a popular watering hole, until BC Housing purchased it and converted it into a SRO, managed by Atira(1890 photo from Vancouver Photo Archives). 

The Anchor Hotel
added February 14, 2024
The Anchor Hotel
There has been a hotel at the corner of  Columbia, Powell and Alexander Streets since 1887. The present structure was built between 1905 and 1912, and was originally called the City Hotel. The railroad ran so close to the building that the corner had to be lopped off to accomodate it. Over the years it has been home to many bars and clubs, and after a major renovation is seeking tenants. (1973 photo from Vancouver city Archives). 

The Shelly Building
added February 08, 2024
The Shelly Building
Originally called the Duncan Building when it was built in 1912, it was renamed the Shelly Building in 1925 when it was bought by William Curtis Shelly for his wife Cora. It continues to operate as a commercial and retail centre. (1912 photo from Vancouver Photos Archives). 

Salvation Army Temple
added February 04, 2024
Salvation Army Temple
Built in 1949 for the Salvation Army, this rare Moderne style building also served as a Buddhist Temple for many years, but has been sitting empty for over 20 years. The site is currently owned by Vancouver Coastal Health, who have threatened to demolish the building. (1951 photo from PNG Archives). 

Edward Lipsett Ltd
added January 30, 2024
Edward Lipsett Ltd
Edward Lipsett started his sail making company on Water Street in 1891, and soon graduated to selling fishing, boating and hunting supplies. He ran the  business until his death in 1948.  (1947 photo from Vancouver City Archives).

The Arcade Building
added January 16, 2024
The Arcade Building
Originally the home of the Province newspaper, this 1898 building has undergone a number of facelifts over the years. After the Province moved out, it became a department store, then a furniture store. After a recent renovation it is now an upscale art gallery at street level and offices and studios upstairs. (1926 photograph from Vancouver City Archives.)

Sam Kee Building
added January 15, 2024
Sam Kee Building
The Guinness Book of Records lists 8 West Pender as the 'narrowest commercial building in the world'.  It's slim width is due to the City expropriating a lot from businessman Chang Toy (known to the caucasian community as Sam Kee) to widen Pender Street, refusing to compensate him for the remaining sliver of property that had little value. Toy accepted a bet from a friend that he couldn't build something usable on the site, and proved him wrong. The building is just 6 feet wide at ground level, with projecting bay windows on the second floor and a full basement that runs underneath the sidewalk above.  It was bought by the Jack Chow Insurance Company in 1986, who put in lights and windows to showcase the unique property. (1913 photo from Vancouver City Archives)

80 East Pender Street
added January 10, 2024
80 East Pender Street
The unusual architecture of this well-preserved 1911 building make it stand out on this block of century-old buildings in Chinatown.  The style is called "Victorian Italianate" and it reflects the wide variety of architectural designs for commercial buildings in the early years of the 20th century. It housed the Great Northern Transfer Company for many years, adding to its heritage value. (1914 photo from Vancouver City Archives).  

Ming Wo
added January 09, 2024
Ming Wo
Vancouver-based cookware store Ming Wo opened in this spot in 1917, and lasted for over a century here. The building itself was constructed in 1913 by Wong Soon King, one of Chinatown's wealthiest and most successful businessmen. It's distinct Chinatown style architectural features (a recessed balcony, glazed upper floors, classic metal cornice) earned it a heritage designation in 2003. You can still visit Ming Wo's stores in Kitsilano and on Granville Street. (1924 photo from Vancouver Photo Archives).

27 West Pender
added January 08, 2024
27 West Pender
Only the building on the far left remains from this 1920 photo. The D.J. Elmer building was originally home to a milling company that manufactured rolled oats. McQueen Produce was a warehouse at one time. Many other tenants have come and gone. The current structure provides housing for the urban aboriginal community.  (1920 photo from Vancouver City Archive). 

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