What's New

Abbott and Water Streets
added March 08, 2021
Abbott and Water Streets
Much of Water Street's south side has been rebuilt, since the original buildings were built on unstable soil. The Canadian Fairbanks Store at the corner was saved through extensive renovations. 

Robson and Hornby
added March 08, 2021
Robson and Hornby
In the old photo taken sometime in the 1950s), the Richmond Apartments are on the left, the Devonshire Hotel is in the background. Both are gone now. The old court house remains as does the Hotel Vancouver, a sliver of which can be seen in both photos. Hornby Street appears to be much wider now, possibly due to the construction of Robson Square across the street, along with the addition of a bike lane a couple of years ago. (Photo by Leslie Sheraton, copyright City of Vancouver).

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. 

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