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.

Next Meeting: Thursday 21st June

My apologies for the lateness of this posting.

The next meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group will take place at 7:00pm on Thursday 21st June at the Britannia Info Boardroom, Napier Street.  This month’s agenda is scheduled to include:

  • A short movie presented by Michael Kluckner;
  • An update on Hawi’ian house histories;
  • Eric on old magazines;
  • An update on the Shelley’s sign;
  • An update on the Centenary Houses signs;
  • A final review for Car Free Day in July;
  • Neighbourhood Update

Our agenda is always flexible and open; if there are other items of heritage or historical interest you would like to add, come along and we’ll be happy to chat!

 

Grandview Database v. 23

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

This version incorporates more than 2,800 new and amended data points since the previous release

  • More than 2,250 additional entries have been added from the 1915 through 1920 City Directories; 1915 is now complete.;
  • And about 600 miscellaneous entries have been added from the “Highland Echo” (1935-1980), the Encyclopedia of Commercial Drive, and contemporary real estate listings.

In June we will continue with Directory entries and perhaps do more work on 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.

Next Meeting: 17th May 2018

Time flies, and it is already time for our next meeting. As usual it will be at the Britannia Boardroom at 7:00pm on Thursday 17th May.  The agenda this month will include:

  • issues concerning the physical moving of heritage houses;
  • more on the 1908 panorama image of Grandview;
  • developments at the Hollywood Theatre (as a precursor to possible developments at the Rio);
  • the sale and development of St. Clare’s Convent;
  • 2018 century signs project;
  • Neighbourhood Update

As usual, we are open for, and indeed welcome, any other discussions to do with the heritage and history of our wonderful neighbourhood.

See you there!

Happy Birthday To Us!

Today — May 5th — is the seventh anniversary of the very first meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group!

Modest though we may be, I believe we are all proud of our achievements over this time, including the Grandview Database, the annual Heritage Signs, helping to save the Green House next to the Cultch, advocating, cheering each other on, mentoring other neighbourhood groups, talking and learning.

Here’s to the next seven years!

Grandview Database v.22

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

This version incorporates more than 2,850 new and amended data points since the previous release

  • More than 2,300 additional entries have been added from the 1914 and 1915 City Directories; 1914 is now complete.;
  • And about 550  miscellaneous entries have been added from the “Highland Echo” (1935-1980), the Encyclopedia of Commercial Drive, and contemporary real estate listings.

In May we will complete the 1915 Directory entries and do more work on 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.

Meeting Notes: April 2018

It was another lively meeting last Thursday, with a wide range of topics discussed.

  • After introductions, Eric took us through a 1967 Beaver Kit houses brochure. The brochure loudly proclaimed the use of Zonolite insulation which, today, is the cause of much asbestos distress for those seeking to renovate their older houses;
  • We discussed the maintenance contract required for the GHG website.  We agreed a further two years with GoDaddy hosting, and we authorized a cheque to repay Penny for the expense.  In two years we will review the hosting situation;
  • We reviewed the plans for Car Free Day in July, and made an early call for volunteers to man the booth;
  • Neville presented an excellent piece of research based on a 1908 panoramic image of Grandview. In the image, it is possible to see the most part of Grandview west of the Drive down to False Creek.  Neville has spent considerable time identifying the houses, and has found water permits for many. It was a very valuable presentation;
  • Neville also presented some research on BC Mills houses including a couple of interesting examples that were moved to Odlum Street in the 1940s;
  • For the trifecta, Neville continued his discussion from last month regarding 1829 Parker. He suggests that the architect was Watson who also designed Wilga.
  • Penny discussed the repairs we are prepared to make to the Shelley’s sign which is now showing serious signs of exposure damage. She and Michael presented a plan for restoration to Via Tevere which they accepted.  The work will take place once the weather turns for the better;
  • Maria presented some suggestions for the Centenary Signs project this year.  She has identified a dozen or more houses in areas we have rarely touched in earlier years. It was agreed that a list will be prepared for a walking tour to make final selections;
  • Eric presented a number of upcoming events including the Heritage Garden Tour, the Grandview Garden Club garden tour, various Heritage Vancouver Foundation events, the Vancouver Labour History tours, and Christine Allen’s lecture for VHS next Thursday;
  • We were joined for much of the evening by James Evans who gave us an update on the Brookhouse development.  We also discussed the possibilities for an HRA at the St. Francis convent property.

 

 

Next Meeting: 19th April

Another month, another meeting!  The Grandview Heritage Group’s next meeting is this coming Thursday, 19th April, at 7:00pm in the Britannia Boardroom on the Napier Greenway.

We will have our usual wide-ranging and open agenda which this week will include:

  • Beaver Kit homes;
  • A 1909 Panorama image;
  • More on 1829 Parker Street;
  • A look at the Hollywood Theatre plan as a potential precursor to the Rio development;
  • Repairing the Shelley’s sign;
  • An update on GHG website maintenance;
  • Eric’s Neighbourhood Review;
  • Centenary Signs update;
  • Car Free Day update;

We are always happy to add items that YOU might want to discuss.

Everyone is welcome, so come along and join us!

Grandview Database v.21

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

This version incorporates almost 600 new and amended data points since the previous release

  • More than 550 additional entries have been added from the 1914 City Directory;
  • And about 50  miscellaneous entries have been added from the “Highland Echo” (1935-1980), contemporary real estate listings, and another historian’s interim work on Parker Street.

In May we will complete the 1914 Directory entries.  We hope you find the Database of value, and we encourage and welcome corrections, and additions which should be sent to jakking@shaw.ca.