The 50 Year Struggle To Get A Library in Grandview

. It was during 1950 that the Grandview Chamber of Commerce took up the issue of a lack of a library in Grandview. The need for a library in the district had been recognized as far back as the 1920s, and a site on the northwest corner of 3rd and Commercial was selected and purchased … Continue reading The 50 Year Struggle To Get A Library in Grandview

Drugs and Booze: The Rowdy History of 1761 Grant Street

The one-and-a-half storey house at 1761 Grant was built under a $2,250 building permit  issued to W.H. Creitz at the beginning of January 1910. By May it was on the market, described as having seven rooms “with every up-to-date convenience built in.”  It was “not an ordinary house; come and see it; if you see it, … Continue reading Drugs and Booze: The Rowdy History of 1761 Grant Street

The Rental Market in 1921 Grandview

An innovation of the 1921 Canada Census was to ask detailed questions regarding those who rented, how much rent they paid, and how many rooms they occupied. According to the 1921 Census counts, in the core district of Grandview, there were: 4,547 people living in rental accommodation, or 44.27% of the Census population; They were … Continue reading The Rental Market in 1921 Grandview

Population Growth in Grandview: 1911-1921

Further to my previous post about the geographic distribution of population in Grandview in 1921, the following map illustrates the same using the 1911 Census returns (For a description of the block system used to map these results, please see here.): The 1911 Census showed a population count of 7,356 compared to the population in … Continue reading Population Growth in Grandview: 1911-1921

Population Distribution in Grandview

When the suburb of Grandview was first surveyed and laid out for planning, the area within the core boundaries of Clark Drive (west), Hastings Street (north), Nanaimo Street (east), and Broadway (south) was divided into surveyors' blocks, each with a unique legal designation. Grandview, at that time on the very edge of the new Vancouver, … Continue reading Population Distribution in Grandview

The Wonderbucks Building

In the most recent Changes On The Drive, I reported that the building at 1301 Commercial, which most of us these days know as the Wonderbucks Building, is now for sale after lying empty for more than a year. The building has a fascinating history which I thought I might relate here. The Fraser family … Continue reading The Wonderbucks Building

Meeting Notes: August 2013

We had another great meeting last Thursday evening.  We covered quite a lot of ground: It was noted that the 1921 Census of Canada is now available for scholars. At the moment it is made available via Ancestry.ca and a subsription membership is required.  The current search engine dies not allow searches via addresses. Bruce … Continue reading Meeting Notes: August 2013

Tour of St. Francis Church and Rectory

On Thursday evening last, Fr. Eugenio, pastor of the St. Francis of Assisi parish in Grandview, very kindly invited a group of GHG members and friends to the Church on Napier Street where he took us on a tour of both the church and the rectory where he lives. In the early 1920s, Franciscan monks … Continue reading Tour of St. Francis Church and Rectory

The Wealthy Barber and The Tin Man

Just the other day I was standing on Commercial Drive looking across at two of my favourite buildings which are in the centre of the east side of the 1600-block. The building on the left is the Odlin Block and the building on the right is the Rodway Block.  My interest was piqued because these … Continue reading The Wealthy Barber and The Tin Man

St. Francis of Assisi church and the Italian community

(This is an excerpt from the recently published Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years [Whitecap Books]. The photographs are from The History of Saint Francis Parish, Vancouver, published in 1959)   The Franciscan Monastery, its front porch closed in, on Semlin at Napier in the 1950s   There are just a handful of places in … Continue reading St. Francis of Assisi church and the Italian community

International Women’s Day: Catherine Bufton

In honour of International Women's Day, I thought I'd write a short piece on one of the most dynamic women ever to grace Grandview and Commercial Drive. Catherine Bufton (nee Drake) was born in Gloucester, England, in 1881.  She emigrated to Manitoba where she met and married Hubert Bufton.  After Hubert's service in World War … Continue reading International Women’s Day: Catherine Bufton

Robertson Presbyterian Church Development

A large part of the iconic 1908/c.1921 Robertson Presbyterian Church (and from 1978-2011 a Fijian Hindu temple and cultural centre) will be demolished to make room for a ten-unit housing development on the corner of Napier and Salsbury. The south-facing wing and the west-pointing lean-to will be torn down. The remaining BC Mills Timber & … Continue reading Robertson Presbyterian Church Development