What's New

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 2010 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.


Clayburn Store
added March 25, 2021
Clayburn Store
The Clayburn brick plant was built in 1905, after the discovery of a high-grade clay deposit on Sumas Mountain. The village was created to house the workers, and although the plant was closed in 1931, many buildings remain, including the general store, seen here in 1910. Today it's a candy shop, and a popular destination for visitors to the area. 

131 Water Street
added March 25, 2021
131 Water Street
The trucks belong to wholesale grocers F.R. Stewart and Co. The Stewart warehouse, BC Farmer's Exchange and Chess brothers are long gone from this once-bustling street, but two buildings farther up Water Street are still there.



4th Avenue Safeway
added March 15, 2021
4th Avenue Safeway
Safeway circa 1978: another classic image from POP SNAP

International Motor Trucks
added March 15, 2021
International Motor Trucks
Even today you can tell that this building was initially a garage. It was actually built for a vulcanizing company in 1918,  and has had several auto-based businesses as occupants over the years.  Today of course, it's another row of restaurants, because of course the West End can always use more restaurants.


Sarah's Cafe
added March 10, 2021
Sarah's Cafe
This striking image by Franz Lindner is from the CBC Media Archives. It was taken in 1960 for their program on addiction in Canada, “G.O.M.” (God’s Own Medicine).  Even then, Vancouver was ground zero for drugs, and the Downtown East Side was the epicentre. The alley seems to go on forever in the old photo, unlike the current image where the Georgia Viaduct interrupts the view. Here's some information on Sarah, the Cafe's owner. 

Fire Hall #1
added March 10, 2021
Fire Hall #1
Vancouver's first fire hall opened on Water Street in Gastown in 1886. A couple of weeks later, the entire city burned to the ground. This one was built in 1905, renamed Firehall #2 in 1906, and served the neighbourhood until 1975. In 1982 it became the Firehall Arts Centre.  

Burrard Bridge
added March 09, 2021
Burrard Bridge
A "symphony of steel and concrete", Burrard Bridge was completed in 1932 as the fourth bridge to cross False Creek, and is now the oldest.  Its Art Deco ornamentation displays symbols representing the founding of the City, veterans of World War I, and Sir Harry Burrard Neale (who never came within 5000 miles of Vancouver). About 50,000 cars cross over it every day. Recent upgrades include bike lanes and suicide fencing. It looks like it's due for a new paint job.

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