What's New

Ho Ho Chop Suey
added March 06, 2021
Ho Ho Chop Suey
The Sun Ah Hotel was built in 1912 by Loo Gee Wing, who made his money during the Klondike Gold Rush, and invested it wisely in Vancouver real estate. The Lung Kong Tien Yee Association has owned the hotel since 1926. The Ho Ho Chop Suey opened in 1954, and catered to the non-Chinese visitor. It's bright neon signage served as a Chinatown landmark for many years. (Paul Yee photograph, copyright City of Vancouver).

PNE Parade
added March 02, 2021
PNE Parade
In the 1950s, hundreds of thousands of people would line East Hastings Street to watch the PNE Parade go by.  These days this neighbourhood near Princess Street is looking a little more ragged, lacking much of the colour that the old Kodachrome image has. The Carl Rooms Block has lived on this corner since 1909, currently owned by the City, as is the Patrick Anthony Residence two doors west (left). The one-storey tailor shop  building just next to it is also still there, barely.  

500 Block Seymour Street
added February 22, 2021
500 Block Seymour Street
The businesses have changed but the buildings remain. Here is some information on the stores that lined this block back in the day. 

St Regis Hotel
added February 21, 2021
St Regis Hotel
the St Regis has been standing guard at the corner of Dunsmuir and Seymour Streets for well over 100 years. It experienced a major facelift in 2008, and since then has consistently earned top rankings from hotel review sites. Thanks to Paul Done of Epic Media for the old photo!


Manitoba Grocery
added February 21, 2021
Manitoba Grocery
Just one of the hundreds of corner stores that have closed over the years. The city is looking at policies to encourage new small scale grocery stores to open again, citing their role in creating a social connection in neighbourhoods. This image from 1978 was shot on Kodachrome by POP SNAP, whose work from that era can be seen here.

400 West Hastings
added February 14, 2021
400 West Hastings
Situated on the corner of a block that has remained virtually intact for almost 100 years, this 1903 Royal Bank branch was built by Jonathan Rogers, an early real estate pioneer.  Today it is a campus of the Vancouver Film School. 

Niagara Hotel and Ellesmere Rooms
added February 07, 2021
Niagara Hotel and Ellesmere Rooms
The Niagara Hotel can be seen peeking out from behind the imposing Central City Lodge. The hotel started life in 1912 as the Connaught, one of many hotels in the area between the CPR station and the city centre. It later became the Niagara Hotel, notable for its famous neon sign. The wooden building on the corner is Ellesmere Rooms, a boarding house from 1887 that lasted until the 1940s before it was condemned. In 1993 the Central City Lodge took over the corner spot. 

McMillan Building
added February 07, 2021
McMillan Building
This building was constructed a year after the 1886 fire that destroyed the city, making it one of Vancouver's oldest standing buildings. Once it was the city's post office, and has gone through many incarnations since then, including many facelifts. In the 1960s the entire façade was covered in metal siding for a time. In 2006 it was restored to its original design. 

Hotel Belmont
added February 07, 2021
Hotel Belmont
Sitting on the corner of Nelson and Granville for well over a hundred years, the Hotel Belmont has undergone many name changes in it's century of existence. It was named after its original owner, Colonel Oscar G. Barron, an American hotelier. In 1925 it became the Belmont, in the 1970s it was the Nelson Place, then the Dakota, a Comfort Inn in the early 2000s, and back to the Belmont in 2017. One of its claims to fame was Babalu’s Tapas Lounge, where a young Michael Buble honed his craft. 

Dunsmuir Hotel
added February 06, 2021
Dunsmuir Hotel
When it opened in 1908 the Dunsmuir Hotel was a classy place, offering "American and European plan" rooms "within a minute's walk from the center of the city".  As years passed it's fortunes declined, and it was turned over to the Salvation Army. It has been vacant since 2013, and is currently owned by the Holborn Group, who own the entire block with plans for redevelopment. However, this building has a heritage designation and will probably be restored. 

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