What's New

The Queen Charlotte
added November 28, 2020
The Queen Charlotte
The West End experienced a massive building boom during the 1920s, including the Marlboro, and the Queen Charlotte, pictured here. Built by Dominion Construction for a businessman and politician named H H Stevens, whose beliefs in white supremacy led to his active involvement in the shameful  Komagata Maru incident. It was restored by the late Robert Ledingham and now consists of 25 million-dollar condos.

Haywood Bandstand
added November 28, 2020
Haywood Bandstand
 If you look closely you can see two small children posing in front of the bandstand. When I was there the other day, a homeless guy was encamped under the shelter of the overhang. The Heritage Foundation claims it was built in 1914, but the photograph is dated 1912. The North Shore mountains in the background of the old photo appear much closer than in my shot, because the original photographer used a much longer lens than mine. You can see the old English Bay Pier in the background. 

The Marlboro Apartments
added November 28, 2020
The Marlboro Apartments
 This 1928 image shows the Marlboro in the last stages of completion, and as you can see it hasn't changed much over its 92-year life. It was built by one of the Lightheart Brothers, prolific builders of apartment buildings in the West End. 

Maxine Beauty School
added November 28, 2020
Maxine Beauty School
 If you have ever driven down Davie Street toward Denman you would have noticed this West End landmark. Its unique architecture is matched by the legends that surround it, including bootlegging, brothels, and secret tunnels to the Rogers family mansion a few blocks up the street. All that remains is the front façade of the original building. The rest has been gobbled up by a 21-storey condo development - its 4 floors of underground parking failed to unearth any tunnels, but did awaken a few ghosts

Vancouver Fire Hall Number 6, Nelson and Nicola
added November 26, 2020
Vancouver Fire Hall Number 6, Nelson and Nicola
 Very few buildings in Vancouver have survived as long as this one.  And it is still an operating fire hall. 

Templeton Block
added October 06, 2020
Templeton Block
When it was built in about 1895, the Templeton Block sat on one of the busiest intersections of the city. It was among the first brick buildings constructed after the Gastown fire. Over the years it attracted a wide variety of tenants. In 1910 Knowlton’s Pharmacy moved in, and stayed there until just a couple of years ago, still using its original display cases and shelving.

Fairmont Barracks
added September 25, 2020
Fairmont Barracks
Originally built as a private school for boys, the school had to move after only a few years to make room for a military hospital. The RCMP took it over in 1920, and it has served as a training facility and barracks through the years. In 2014, the property was acquired by First Nations members, and a joint venture between them and Canada Lands Company is in the works. Not surprisingly, the rich history of the Fairmont Barracks is a source of great pride for RCMP members, and great pain for the indigenous community, so its future is being hotly debated.

Ashnola Apartments
added September 25, 2020
Ashnola Apartments
This beautiful old-timer has outlasted all of its original neighbours, and now stands alone at the entrance to Mount Pleasant. It was originally built in 1912 by Dr. Israel Powell, whose accomplishments include organizing and naming the streets in the area after provinces.  Fortunately it’s designated as a Heritage ‘B’ structure so it should stick around for a while. It’s current retail tenant sells donuts, giving you yet another reason to check it out.

St Paul’s Hospital
added September 25, 2020
St Paul’s Hospital
There has been a working hospital on this site since 1894, but the present structure was built in 1913, with several more additions throughout the years. Recently a new location was established for the hospital, and the Burrard Street location has been sold and will be redeveloped.

The Hickey Block
added September 25, 2020
The Hickey Block
Built in 1889 after the Gastown fire, The Hickey Block at 228 Abbott was originally a hotel with a saloon on the ground floor. Recently renovated, today it is the home of Montauk Sofa Company.

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