What's New

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.

First Baptist Church
added September 25, 2020
First Baptist Church
A century separates these two photographs, and the church looks as good as it ever did. Soon a 60-storey megatower will rise above it, right where the Hobbit House used to be.

El Cid Hotel
added September 25, 2020
El Cid Hotel
The building at 340 Cambie street has had many names over the years. Its life started in 1898 as the Commercial Hotel, when this corner of the city was a magnet for the riches of the Klondike Gold Rush. In the 1970s it was renamed the El Cid, and featured crushed velvet wallpaper and heart-shaped waterbeds. Today it has a heritage designation due to some of its Richardsonian Romanesque architectural features, although it's a run-down SRO hotel. Sandwiched in between the hotel and the massive Flack Block is Vancouver’s smallest building, known only as Rose Brothers Barbers, after one of its tenants over its 125-year-old life. (Photo courtesy City of Vancouver). 

Pennsylvania Hotel
added September 25, 2020
Pennsylvania Hotel
Originally named the Woods Hotel when it was built in 1906, the Pennsylvania offered luxury suites for weary travelers for two or three dollars a night. Time took a heavy toll on the building until a multi-million dollar renovation in 2008 transformed it into a home for low income residents, as well as a designated heritage site. And it’s haunted. Happy endings all around. Side note: I was having trouble lining up the turrets in the two pictures and wondering why the recent one seemed so much bigger than the original. This page explains things.

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