Posts filed under The Way We Were

The Way We Were - Piggly Wiggly

Words by Helena McMurdo

If you were wondering where to get groceries in South Granville 1934, look no further than your local Piggly Wiggly at the corner of 14th and Granville. According to historyvancouver.ca, a May 1929 advertisement in The Province for Piggly Wiggly boasted 28 locations in Vancouver, one in West Vancouver, one in Victoria, one in New Westminster. At the time of the photo below, South Granville customers had just two more years to enjoy Piggly Wiggly. The chain would be purchased in 1936 by Safeway.

 Piggly Wiggly Ltd. and Crescent Court, Granville and West 14th, 1934, Photographer / Studio: Frank, Leonard Photo courtesy of VPL Archives

Piggly Wiggly Ltd. and Crescent Court, Granville and West 14th, 1934, Photographer / Studio: Frank, Leonard
Photo courtesy of VPL Archives

Sadly, the days where you could just roll up in your model T, secure "Angel Parking" and grab a quart of milk are a thing of the past. Today the building above is the home of the Crescent Court Apartments and La Vie en Rose, a trip to which, incidentally makes me feel like a wiggly piggly. Coincidence? I think not.


Posted on October 9, 2015 and filed under The Way We Were.

The Way We Were: Fairview School

By Helena McMurdo

It's back to school time so let's look at a school of South Granville's past. 

The Fairview school opened as an elementary school in August 1893 at Granville and West 7th before moving, in 1895, to a 4-room building at 1540 West Ninth Avenue (now west Broadway) at the corner of Granville Street (then called Granville South).

 A google maps search identifies current-day 1540 West Broadway at the little path between Cactus Club and Cookworks (recently renamed Cook Culture). The block between Fir Street and here is occupied today by the Vancouver School Board.

 Fairview School , 1907 Photographer / Studio: Timms, Philip Courtesy of Vancouver Public Library Archives

Fairview School , 1907 Photographer / Studio: Timms, Philip
Courtesy of Vancouver Public Library Archives

In 1907, Fairview High opened at the same location before being replaced by Fairview High School of Commerce in 1927 which operated until 1963 at which point it was demolished to construct the Vancouver School Board Offices.

There wasn't a lot of information on this school and I was helped out by Vancouver School Board Archives with dates of the various schools but if anyone has further information or perhaps if you attended the Fairview High School of Commerce in its later years, we would love to hear from you.  Leave a comment below or get in touch at info@southgranvilleinhabiter.com

Posted on September 8, 2015 and filed under The Way We Were.

The way we were: Model T's on G Street

By Helena McMurdo

I was trolling through the archives the other day and can't believe we hadn't yet featured this beauty. I love that this is so clearly recognizable as our dear Granville Street. As usual traffic is brutal and the bus is no where to be seen.

 West side of Granville Street looking South from 11th Ave, 1925 Photo courtesy of VPL Archives, (VPL Accession Number: 30369)  

West side of Granville Street looking South from 11th Ave, 1925
Photo courtesy of VPL Archives, (VPL Accession Number: 30369)
 

This seems to be the perfect picture to play a game of I spy. A nun, a nurse (or is just dressed in the fashion of the day?), a drunk man on a bicycle, The Douglas Block. Now you go. Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Posted on August 15, 2015 and filed under The Way We Were.

South Granville - Still Stylish

BY ŽENIJA ESMITS

A literal snipped of SG history. Here's a small sample of a couple of neighborhood addresses past tenants.

With a rich history in retail, South Granville has had many shops, come and go over the years and I've mentioned the turnover of shops in the neighborhood on several occasions.  This clipping sent by my dad has a couple of tiny adverts pertaining to mid-century South Granville. Dad had the clipping because he and my grandmother appeared in this particular issue of the Vancouver Sun in an article about DP's (Displaced Persons) coming to Canada from various parts of war-torn Europe. Personal history aside, this page of newspaper also had precious advertisements from the day. I was particularly delighted to find the references to South Granville and particularly my beloved Boboli. 

 Vancouver Sun clipping - December 3, 1949

Vancouver Sun clipping - December 3, 1949

Top:
2776 Granville St. Edith A Carrothers - Her eponymous shop with Distinctive Styles to Fit sat in the location where Boboli is today. One of the few stores to have been going strong in the neighborhood for over 20 years, Boboli will celebrate its 30th anniversary this September.

Bottom:
2623 Granville has had a few incarnations in the past 10 years. Most recently JNBY (sadly missed) and most recently High Street Fashion. Back in 1949 it was Adele Beauty Salon. Still the place to beautify yourself we have salons galore on our stretch of Granville - some things never change.

Doing some minor research on the internets I found a few more addresses that could be accounted for. 2127 Granville and 2906 Granville

A portrait studio called  the Whitefoot Studio stood at 13th and Granville. What I think was an interior decorating or upholstery store - The Chelsea Shop Ltd stood at 2127 Granville where Guild House Antiques is (or is it?) Jule Ann Wellband Beauty Salon stood at 2906 (which doesn't seem to exist anymore?) 

Purdy's Chocolates used to be at 2843 and still happily sits on South Granville just a block away. The list of what used to be and what is goes on. Images are limited but our imagination can fill in the blanks

Do you have any old advertisements or photos of the neighborhood? We'd love to see. 


Posted on June 7, 2015 and filed under The Way We Were, Neighborhood Observations.

The Way We Were: Billboard Jungle

By Helena McMurdo

A few weeks ago, we wrote about some of the advertising on South Granville in the early part of the century. During that research we found a plethora of images of billboards and advertising from back in the day that we thought it would be fun to share. Our neighbourhood looked very different in the past with the skyline being dominated by large billboards.

Back in 1926, food staples and household appliances were the items of desire but by the middle of the last century, the object of our lust had shifted to the automobile. Although our readers may be familiar with present day "Dueck on Marine", this 1949 sign on Granville Street just below Broadway led the inhabiters of the day to the Dueck dealership at 1305 West Broadway. That's where you could find beauties like this Cadillac.

Dueck Chevrolet neon sign at night on building Granville & West Broadway. Part of a second billboard for Daily Province Newspaper also show. 1949 ©VPL Archives

It was a similar situation at Broadway and Granville where a billboard for a "Power Glide" Chevrolet sat on top of the famous Aristocratic. Down at the bottom of the hill it's all cigarettes, white bread and leaded gasoline. Don Draper would be proud.

  Corner of Granville Street & West 4th Avenue looking South from Granville Bridge, 1950 © VPL Archives

Corner of Granville Street & West 4th Avenue looking South from Granville Bridge, 1950 © VPL Archives

Ignore for a moment the selection of unhealthy choices and notice in particular the change in the roadway shown in the photographs above and below as a result of the construction of the Granville Street Bridge opened in 1954. (More on that coming soon).

The image below, from 1961, is looking a lot more like the South Granville we recognize. Rail tracks removed, the bridge ramp sweeps directly up Granville Street past that bus stop we know today. Although we don't see those '57 Chevs too often these days. Pity.

  Billboards at the south end of the Granville Street Bridge, 1961. © VPL Archives

Billboards at the south end of the Granville Street Bridge, 1961. © VPL Archives

The Way We Were: Bank of Nova Scotia

One of the things we love about our neighbourhood is the sense of continuity. It's comforting to think that certain things have been there before us and will likely outlive us. The Shaugnessy Apartments, The Douglas Apartments, The Stanley, The Dick Building are anchors of history in our neighbourhood. Despite what seems like an endless turnover of businesses, some have stood the test of time. Here's one. The Bank of Nova Scotia. For the kids out there, that's what we used to call Scotiabank in the "olden days". 

During the Roaring 20s the Bank of Nova Scotia exhibited a sort of tudor looking facade but the location is the same as it is today. 12th and Granville. Look at those elegant ladies out front. An interesting point to note - the traffic light is actually embedded in the centre of the road.

Bank of Nova Scotia, 1925. © VPL Archives

In September 1939, the bank's facade had changed considerably but elements of the previous structure of the building would seem to remain. The traffic light has moved skyward but looks a little different than our present day variety.

Bank of Nova Scotia, September 1939. © VPL Archives

In some ways, I find this photo a bit erie. Deserted streets aside, the date of the photograph, September 1939, reminds me that things were kicking off in Europe and Hitler was marching into Poland. Difficult times ahead.

Interior of Bank of Nova Scotia, 12th & Granville, 1940 © VPL Archives

We'll leave you with a shot of the interior of the Bank in 1940. Yeah, you can see why they ripped that marble out. Not.

Posted on May 14, 2014 and filed under The Way We Were.

The Way We Were: 1926 Foodies Alive and Well

In our neighbourhood, there is a certain window that I often pass. I will admit that, more than once, I have stood outside and stared  at the amazing La Cornue Oven inside and wondered what delicacies I would create if I was the owner of this darling. 

Flash back to 1926. Were we so different? The photograph below was taken for Duker and Shaw Billboards. It's taken just South of 16th (at about Angus) looking towards South Granville. You can see the Douglas apartments at 12th and Granville in the distance. Unlike today, traffic is not too bad. The headline reads, "Cook electrically on a Moffat Electric Range". 

Taken for Duker and Shaw Billboards Ltd. South Granville, looking north from Angus Drive. Courtesy of Vancouver Archives.

Here's an example of the Moffat Electric range from around the same period. A thing of beauty.

Down at 4th and Granville, they are advertising some ingredients I'll no doubt need in my new kitchen. I'm sure that with this oven, and the baking powder and Worcestershire Sauce (bonus points for saying it properly) advertised below I could make something truly delightful!

Taken for Duker and Shaw Billboards Ltd. Modern Garage, Granville Street, between 4th and 5th. Courtesy of Vancouver Archives.

The Way We Were: The Dick Building

Broadway and Granville - You've officially arrived in South Granville. We came across this great view of the centre of our universe from a few years back. It's instantly recognizable but of course this is pre-Chapters and our old friend The Aristocratic still presides over this corner. 

Welch's Chocolates were before our time but I'm guessing they would have been useful at this time of year for those in search of an Easter Bunny. Anybody remember this shop? We'd love to here your memories. The second shot below reveals the name Coutts' Cards so we're wondering if that was the actual name of the shop.

Broadway and Granville sometime between 1980 and 1997 © City of Vancouver Archives

In a previous post, we mentioned the original location of Jordan's Rugs at 2536 Granville Street so it's interesting to see it at that location in the photo above as well as to be able to look down towards the current location of Jordan's in the photo below.

 Broadway & Granville looking East, November 1988 © City of Vancouver Archives

Broadway & Granville looking East, November 1988 © City of Vancouver Archives

Which brings us to The Dick Building. Today's home of Blenz, McDonald's and more, this lovely was built in 1929 and designed by architects Townley & Matheson who operated as a major architectural firm in Vancouver between 1919 and 1974 and who also designed Vancouver City Hall.

The Dick Building shortly after it's completion in 1929. Photographer W.J. Moore. Courtesy of Vancouver Archives. 

How much do we love this photo above? The building looks so spanking new. That's because it is. How about those 'for lease' signs. (Not so different from the SG of today). Check out the elegant detailing on that mailbox,  the hand painted lettering on upper windows and the photo bomber guy on the third floor. We also love how you can look up the side of the building to the  gradual upslope we recognize today as we head east along Broadway.

In the next photo, again from 1929, there are more signs of life and it seems a Jewelers has moved in. Vancouver Public Archives lists this as E.A. Ewert Jeweler. Also visible are the Christian Science Reading Room (note they are still there in the 1988 photo), Dr. A.E. Werk (Dentist) and Dr. Casselman (Physician). 

The Dick Building, 1929. Courtesy of VPL Archives.

As always, we love to hear your memories of the neighbourhood. If this post sparks any for you, please let us know in the comments.

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