Drug Stores On the Drive

One of our currently vacant storefronts is about to be taken over by, I believe, Pharmasave.  Several people have said to me:  “Why do we need another drug store on the Drive?”  Fair enough question, and it led to me to see how many drug stores we have had on the Drive historically.  The following is a chronological list of such stores from the Drive’s beginning until 1999:

  • Royal Drug Company (1910-1914)
  • Tucker’s Drugs (1910)
  • Cochrane & Campbell (1911)
  • Vancouver Drugs (1911-1939)
  • Brown & Dawson (1913)
  • Grandview Drugstore (1915-1928)
  • Reliable Drugs (1915-1999)
  • Royal Drug Store (1915-1955)
  • Cunningham Drugs (1940-1969)
  • Docksteader Drugs (1956-1963)
  • Druggists Bulletin Service (1956-1967)
  • Fred’s Pharmacy (1963-1999)
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (1972-1989)
  • Tech Drugmart (1977)
  • Circle Drugs (1979-1980)
  • Pacific Pharmacy (1980-1982)
  • Service Drugs Pharmacy (1986-1992)
  • Health Point Pharmacy (1987)
  • People’s Drugs (1990-1995)
  • Commercial Drug Mart (1998-1999)

One of the things that jumps out from this list is that no new pharmacies opened on the Drive between 1915 and 1940.  This shows, I suspect, the market dominance of Louis Toban’s Reliable Drug Stores which had four branches on the Drive between Parker and Broadway.

Data from “The Encyclopedia of Commercial Drive“.

2 thoughts on “Drug Stores On the Drive

  1. And Toban’s shoes. One (of the name) still in New West?

    Any notice of a Rollerland on 4th Avenue?


    1. Toban Shoes, usually called Quality Shoes, was run by Louis Toban’s brothers David, Henry and Alfred. It was Alfred who left the Drive in 1937 to set up shop in New Westminster.

      As for Rollerland, the building just off the Drive at 1686 E 4th was more usually known as Grandview Hall. In the 1930s it was “Grandview’s own Centre of Entertainment,” with dances and whist drives. It was converted to a roller rink in October 1941 but had closed by 1945. I’m pretty sure the building became a mattress factory.


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