What's New

500 Block Carrall
added May 31, 2021
500 Block Carrall
In an area once known as Shanghai Alley, the corner of Carrall and Pender Streets is steeped in the history of both Vancouver and China.  The Chinese Empire Reform Association once called 525 Carrall Street home, and across the street sits the Chinese Freemason Building. Both played an integral part in the evolution of China in the early 1900s. 

Florida Market and BC Block
added May 24, 2021
Florida Market and BC Block
Streetcar tracks were being removed from Commercial Drive in this 1954 image taken by Walter E. Frost.  The BC Block and Florida Market buildings are still standing today. 

Enigma Restaurant
added May 24, 2021
Enigma Restaurant
Before it was the Enigma Restaurant, this building was home to Moodie's Quality Meats. 1939 photo courtesy of  Dominion Photo Company and the Vancouver Public Library

10th and Alma
added May 15, 2021
10th and Alma
This 1939 photo was taken by Dominion Photo, a commercial photography company founded in 1914 by Percy Bentley (no relation). It was part of a set of photographs of Safeway stores throughout the Lower Mainland and is housed at the Vancouver Public Library archives

The Commercial Block
added May 10, 2021
The Commercial Block
This 1912 building served as a grocery store and lodging for the ship building industry down at the foot of Lonsdale. For many years it was painted bright turquoise for reasons unknown.  These days it houses a popular coffee shop and restaurant. I have no idea when the original photo was taken or who took it, so I'm guessing it was the mid-2000s, judging by the car in the background. 

Ridgeway School
added May 02, 2021
Ridgeway School
The Edwardian Baroque architecture of Ridgeway Elementary School was intended to reflect the sophistication of the nearby Grand Boulevard subdivision, which in the early 1900s was being promoted as the finest neighborhood on the North Shore. It was completed in 1912, just before the general economic depression of 1913 halted ambitious construction projects like this. Several additions have been made to the school, but fortunately they have been faithful to the original design.  

Hamersley House
added April 24, 2021
Hamersley House
Built in 1904 for Vancouver's first city solicitor, Hamersley House has seen duty as a sanitarium, municipal hospital, an old folks home and a restaurant over the years. In 2005 it was granted heritage status and is now a day care centre.  

Girls industrial School
added April 21, 2021
Girls industrial School
This school was built in 1914 to serve as as a detention home for juvenile delinquents age 8 to 18, who were taught homemaker skills like cooking, cleaning and sewing. The Vancouver Sun called it a 'house of horrors' for its filthy living conditions and dungeon-like rooms in the basement. In 1995 it was converted into condos and rechristened "Terra Vista".  

Del Mar Hotel
added April 02, 2021
Del Mar Hotel
The Cadillac Hotel was built in 1912, and was renamed the Del Mar in 1955. In 1975 it was bought by George Riste, and became a popular stop for passengers from the nearby Greyhound bus depot. In the 1980s BC Hydro started buying up the block to build their new headquarters, (which can be seen towering over the Del Mar in the background) but Mr. Riste refused to sell at any price. opting instead to run it as an SRO, leasing the ground floor to a variety of art galleries. George passed away in 1910 but his family continues to run the Hotel, providing low income housing to residents of the downtown area. 1977 photo copyright City of Vancouver.

1888 West 3rd Avenue
added March 28, 2021
1888 West 3rd Avenue
This 1910 photo was sent to me by the great-grandaughter of the adults in the picture. The house has obviously had some major renovations done, including raising the house to accommodate a higher basement, and changing the roofline, but some original features remain. In 1993 it caught fire while being converted to strata units, but it's still standing in Kitsilano.


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