. 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!
. 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 … Continue reading The Drive 1890s: False Start
. 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 … Continue reading The Drive: In The Beginning
. The boom for building in Grandview was in the decade before the First World War, and by 1914, the neighbourhood was filling out and thriving. Unfortunately, the impact of the War and the business downturns immediately after, left the Drive without much opportunity for further development and expansion. These difficulties were exacerbated a decade … Continue reading The Viaduct That Saved Grandview (1938)
One hundred years ago today, 3rd June, 1922, there was an auction of household contents at 1549 E. 2nd in Grandview. The 6-room wooden house had been owned and occupied for some time by Albert Cameron and his wife, Susannah. Albert is listed in the census of the previous year as a carpenter in a … Continue reading House Contents, 1922
The first Isolation Hospital, known then as the pest house, in Vancouver was just a shack on the Inlet near where B.C. Sugar refinery would soon be built. However, when smallpox -- “the loathsome disease” -- struck in 1892, the shack was quickly abandoned, and infectious disease victims were shuffled off to a temporary camp … Continue reading Smallpox! Grandview’s Isolation Hospital
Visitors and locals alike often wonder why Commercial Drive south of First Avenue -- a wide arterial road -- is different than the northern half which is narrower and more intimate. The reason goes back more than 110 years and it all had to do with political intrigue in the Balkans. Like many streets in … Continue reading The Widening of Commercial Drive
It was the spring of 1949 and Commercial Drive -- after two long decades of Depression and War -- was reveling in the first flush of postwar prosperity: the stores were full and people finally had money to spend. No doubt, it was this very prosperity that drew Robert Harrison to the corner of First … Continue reading Shoot Out At First & Commercial
. At the last monthly meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group, Jak presented his research on an early church in Grandview. The following is a version of that presentation (1). This story began with a mystery. In the 1905 Vancouver City Directory, there are just a few listings for Park Drive, the original name of … Continue reading A Church, Lost and Found
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
In the summer of 1913, the part of Commercial Drive south of First Avenue was being widened. This expansion took place after a number of major buildings had already been erected on that route since 1910, some of which were in the way of the new road. This inconvenient fact was not allowed to stand … Continue reading Moving A Building On Commercial Drive
We had another interesting meeting last Thursday. Thanks to our logistics wizard Eric and others we weren't thrown too much by a last minute change of venue. Donato gave an illustrated report on the refurbishment of a heritage fireplace in the oldest house in Grandview; Eric presented some fascinating material on the use of bricks … Continue reading Notes From The March Meeting
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
We had another full house for the meeting yesterday evening, and as usual covered some fascinating topics. We began with a presentation from a group of residents concerned about a proposed 6-storey project in the 1500-block Grant Street (the presentation is covered in more detail here). There were many questions and responses seeking to clarify … Continue reading Notes From February Meeting
Tomorrow is Remembrance Day when we celebrate our veterans. It seems an apt time therefore to look at how our newly-painted Legion Hall at 6th & Commercial came to be. The story is told through the pages of our local newspaper, "The Highland Echo". ***** Branch 179 of the Royal Canadian Legion was founded in … Continue reading Building The Legion Hall
I am sure most readers will recall that last month we presented a plaque to Donato Calogero, the owner of 1350 Graveley, the oldest surviving house in Grandview. Donato's family also own the house next door, at 1358 Graveley, and it too has an interesting family history which has now been reported at the Vancouver … Continue reading 1358 Graveley
This afternoon, during a gathering at 1350 Graveley Street, we unveiled our plaque to the oldest surviving house in Grandview. Members of GHG were graciously welcomed by the Calogero family who have carefully maintained the house since the 1970s, and we were joined by neighbours, and descendants of the Wheeling family who built the house … Continue reading Great Day To Unveil A Plaque!
The GHG had another interesting meeting last night, covering a wide range of topics: We discussed arrangements for the plaque to be placed at 1350 Graveley to recognise it as the oldest still-extant house in Grandview. The unveiling will take place near the end of July (date to be confirmed) when a number of the … Continue reading Notes From The June Meeting
The GHG had another fine meeting last night, covering a diverse set of topics. During the 1940s and 1950s, oil heating was marketed across Canada, became a popular alternative, and many people had oil storage tanks buried in their yards. These days, the old tanks are considered a hazard and are generally removed, especially when … Continue reading Meeting Notes: May 2017
In June 1902, the Vancouver City authorities published a long list of the lots on which property taxes had not been paid (see, for example, "Vancouver Daily World," June 11, p.18). This list included the names of the last-known owner of each lot, making it a highly useful set of dta for the GV Database. … Continue reading A Connection To Nanaimo, V.I.