Next GHG Meeting: 18th October

The next Grandview Heritage Group meeting is this Thursday, 18th October, at 7:00pm in the Britannia Boardroom on Napier Street.

This month’s agenda will include:

  • A circa 1908 postcard view of Commercial Drive;
  • The influence of the Storybook style in Grandview;
  • Around the neighbourhood, a review.

As usual, our agenda is open to any other notes of interest that you may wish to discuss.  Everyone is welcome, so come and join us!

[My apologies for the lateness of this posting].

 

Next GHG Meeting: 20th September

After our usual summer break, the Grandview Heritage Group will commence its next series of monthly meetings this coming Thursday, 20th September, at 7:00pm in the Britannia Boardroom on Napier.

We are still finalising the agenda but it will include:

  • a presentation by Patrick Gunn of the Heritage Vancouver Society on their magnificent Building Permits Database;
  • a discussion led by developer James Evans regarding the future of the St. Clare’s nunnery portion of the Sr. Francis of Assisi estate on Semlin.

There will be plenty of other matters to discuss, including any topics you may wish to raise.  Everyone is welcome, so come and join us!

Grandview Database v. 26

We have today uploaded a new and updated version of the Grandview Database.  

This version incorporates more than 2,600 new and amended data points since the previous release

  • More than 1,300 additional entries have been added from the 1917 and 1918 City Directories;  1917 Directory entries are now complete;;
  • more than 1,250 additional entries have been compiled from the 1921 census; this too is now complete;
  • and about 70 early water permits have been added thanks to the indefatigable Neviile.

In August Directory entries from 1918 onward will continue to be added, along with miscellaneous event data from the “Vancouver Daily World“. 1917-1924.

Now that the 1921 census data entry has been completed, analysis of certain overall characteristics of Grandview in 1921 can begin to be ascertained — population densities, household sizes, the location, distribution and cost of residential rental space, for example.  Over the next few months we hope to bring some of this work into the public forum.

We hope you find the Database of value, and we encourage and welcome corrections, and additions which should be sent to jakking@shaw.ca.

Moving A Building On Commercial Drive

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 in the way of progress, and one of the buildings that had to be moved was the wonderful Brandon Block on the west side of the 1700 block.

 

The Brandon Block was moved 105 years ago today.  The following is a report in the “Vancouver World” of August 15, 1913 at page 24 about the Brandon Block’s move:

“Complete success attended the moving back of the large two-storey brick building on Commercial Drive, between First and Second Avenues, which undertaking was carried out this morning in connection with the Commercial Drive widening scheme.

 

This was the first time that such a thing had been attempted locally and the task was watched by a large crowd of interested onlookers.  The structure contained three stores on the ground floor and seven suites of apartments on the upper floor.  Many of the latter were occupied during the time of the setting back of the building, but so gently was the work carried out that the movement  was all but imperceptible.

 

The building weighed, at a careful estimate, 550 tons, and the whole of it, from the very foundation, was set back seven feet.  During the operation, the water supply and the sewerage system was not interfered with for a moment, the occupants of the apartments being able to continue their domestic duties without let or hindrance.

 

“The structure known as the Halse building was built in 1910 and constituted the last of the 19 buildings which have had to be moved back through the decision of the City Council to widen Commercial Drive between First and Sixteenth Avenue.  The work has been carried out by Messrs. McCain Brothers under the personal supervision of Land Purchasing Agent J.B. Williams.”

It is hard for me to imagine a building being moved 7 feet without any disruption to services!

Grandview Database v.25

We have today uploaded a new and updated version of the Grandview Database.  

This version incorporates more than 3,700 new and amended data points since the previous release

  • More than 1,400 additional entries have been added from the 1917 City Directory;
  • More than 2,000 additional entries have been compiled from the 1921 census;
  • And about 250 miscellaneous entries have been added from the Vancouver Daily World (1917-1922).

The miscellaneous entries, which we have been adding slowly to the mix each month, include births, marriages, deaths, arrests, assaults, thefts, accidents, fires, staff hiring, and social occasions of all sorts.  They help to flesh out the details of the lives of those living in Grandview one hundred years ago.

In July we will complete both the 1917 Directory and the 1921 census.

We hope you find the Database of value, and we encourage and welcome corrections, and additions which should be sent to jakking@shaw.ca.

Car Free Day on the Drive 2018

This Sunday, July 8th, is Car Free Day on the Drive; the celebrations run from about noon to early evening.

As usual, Grandview Heritage Group has a table for the event.  We will be positioned outside Choices Grocery at the corner of Napier.

Stop by and chat to any number of GHG members who will be there to answer questions. We will have a number of displays, on the history and heritage of our wonderful neighbourhood.

We will also have access to the ever-growing Grandview Database.  Ask us about YOUR house.

The Viaduct That Saved Grandview

Today is the 151st anniversary of the founding of Canada.  It is also the 80th anniversary of the opening of the First Avenue Viaduct.  We don’t often celebrate streets and other infrastructure; but the First Avenue Viaduct quite literally saved our neighbourhood from poverty and irrelevance.

By virtue of geographic location and City Hall indifference, Grandview and Commercial Drive had become a forgotten backwater of Vancouver.  However, due to the incredible foresight and hard work of a number of worthy locals (plus the support of one of our strangest mayors), the First Avenue Viaduct was built and opened on July 1st 1938.  It proved to be the lifeline we needed.

Please read the full story here.

Grandview Database v.24

We have today uploaded a new and updated version of the Grandview Database.  

This version incorporates more than 2,200 new and amended data points since the previous release

  • More than 1,300 additional entries have been added from the 1916 through 1923 City Directories;
  • More than 500 additional entries have been compiled from the 1921 census;
  • And about 450 miscellaneous entries have been added from the “Highland Echo” (1935-1980), the Encyclopedia of Commercial Drive, the Vancouver Daily World (1923-1924) and Vancouver Evening Sun (1924), and contemporary real estate listings.

In July we will continue with entries from all streams of data.

We will be at No Car Day on Commercial Drive on July 8th and the database will be available for review.  Please stop by our table and allow us to show you what information we have on your Grandview home.

We hope you find the Database of value, and we encourage and welcome corrections, and additions which should be sent to jakking@shaw.ca.