This advertisement appeared in the Vancouver World in January 1908. It is the earliest ad I have yet found for any business on Commercial Drive (then known as Park Drive). This pioneering grocery business operated by E.F. Hepper at 1703 Park Drive in 1908 and 1909 and moved across the street to 1742 Park Drive in 1910 where it lasted until the following year.
And they really were pioneers. I have identified only eleven business that had operated on the Drive by the end of 1908. These included six grocery stores, three hardware stores, one real estate office and a painter/decorator company. Two of the grocers and the realtor had already closed before 1908.
1909 was a slow year for growth but by the end of 1910, the Drive could boast more than 44 businesses. Perhaps Hepper & Lovelace couldn’t handle that much competition.