100 Years Ago Today in Grandview, #3

. Swap Columns The Vancouver dailies included scores of pages of ads. Many of them were corporate material just trying to sell you stuff; but a significant number were “swap” ads, where individuals offered up something in exchange for something else. For example, on Saturday 3rd February 1923, someone offered a short silk plush coat…

100 Years Ago Today in Grandview, #2

. It was a big day for Grandview — January 29th, 1923 — as the Grandview Theatre debuted its brand-new $15,000 orchestral organ. It was, they said, “the last word in organs.” You got all this, plus a Jackie Coogan feature, for just 30 cents!

100 Years Ago in Grandview, #1

. One hundred years ago today, on 24th January 1923, it was announced that the School Board had purchased the block between Lakewood & Templeton, and E. Georgia and Barnard (now Adanac), for the sum of $10,500, a price that was considered “exceptionally low”. This would eventually become Templeton School.

The Italian Labourers’ Strike, July 1910

. The summer of 1910 was a hot one for labour across North America. In the first couple of weeks of July, more than fifty thousand garment workers went on strike in New York in a dispute that would eventually draw in more than 100,000 workers; bricklayers and stonemasons walked off the job in Montreal;…

Happy 100th Magnet Hardware!

. Magnet Hardware, which currently operates as a Home Hardware franchise on the corner of Commercial & Graveley, has been in business for exactly 100 years today. Magnet originally opened on 28th October 1922 “in the gallery of the Cal Van Market” at 25 Hastings Street. By early 1923, the business was located at 1515…

The Drive: Birth of a Community (1901-1907)

This is the third chapter in my history of early Commercial Drive. Chapter One: In The Beginning Chapter Two: False Start * * * * What pushed things forward was the change in use of the interurban line and its inclusion in the city-wide streetcar system. The Vancouver Electric Car Co had been given rights…

The Drive 1890s: False Start

. In 1890, the boostering land owners of Vancouver and New Westminster — backed by their respective mayors and financial elites — decided it had become necessary to link the two cities by means of an electric interurban railroad. One contemporary observer later confided that “there was a strong suspicion in many minds” that an…

The Drive: In The Beginning

. In the beginning there was forest, where the local indigenous peoples hunted deer and other animals for untold generations. But then the settlers arrived and much of the rolling hills east of the new city of Vancouver had been granted to the Hastings Mill Company as a timber lease in 1870. They paid a…

Louis Toban: Drug Store Tycoon and Philanthropist

. Louis Toban was born in 1901 in Lithuania to a Jewish family. His father, Samuel Toban, came to Vancouver in 1910. The following year, Samuel’s wife and six children joined him and they were all naturalized as Canadian citizens in 1914.i It took a while for the Toban family to settle down; between 1914…

The Buftons of Commercial Drive: A Biographical Sketch

. The Bufton family opened a store on Commercial Drive in the early 1920s. By the time they closed their business in the 1980s, they had become Drive royalty, both as a result of their corporate longevity and also because of their active involvement in so many of the issues that faced Grandview in those…

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