The Lions Gate Bridge spans the first narrows in Burrard Inlet, connects Vancouver to the North Shore, and is one of the most iconic structures in the city. Built by the Guinness family to encourage development after they bought the side of a West Vancouver mountain, the suspension bridge was tolled from the time it opened in 1938 until 1963.
I’m obsessed with a photographer named Stewart Joseph Thompson. I became aware of him a few weeks back when Pamela Post sent me a photo he’d taken of Georgia and Burrard Streets in the 1890s. Then, last week I found a photo he took the day after the fire destroyed New Westminster in 1898, including Thompson’s own Columbia Street studio.
A few weeks ago, Michael Kluckner ran a painting of a Kitsilano house on his FB page. I googled the address and was astonished to find that the house was still there on busy 4th Avenue, buried behind an ice-cream parlour. Michael tells me that only a handful of these buried houses remain, and he kindly wrote this story illustrated by his paintings from 2010 and 2011 that appeared in Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years.
Jane Williams kindly gave me a tour of her parent’s house at 1768 Argyle Avenue last week. Her father, Lloyd Williams died in April at the age of 96, and she was getting ready to hand the keys over to the District of West Vancouver. Lloyd and Jane’s mother Bette paid $50,000 for the house in 1971, before the seawall was installed and when the next-door John Lawson Park was still a field with a few scattered houses.
If you live on the North Shore, chances are that you spend at least some of your summer at Ambleside. Did you know that you are sitting on reclaimed land? Prior to 1965, much of this land was a swamp.
In 1914, Ambleside was subdivided into 17 lots and filled with makeshift homes and a few businesses.
By Tom Carter
Tom Carter is an artist, a musician, a historian, and a private collector. He has kindly agreed to write a guest blog about one of his most exciting finds.
There are some “holy grails” out there in Vancouver entertainment history—stuff we fantasize about that still exists somewhere.
When I was going through John Vance’s personal files for Blood, Sweat, and Fear, a small article torn from the pages of the long defunct Vancouver Star caught my eye. Vance’s handwriting dated it October 23, 1931 and it mentioned the murder of Naokichi Watanabe. Vance had clearly kept the clipping because he had testified that blood found on the suspect’s clothing was human.
The Vancouver Courthouse, bordered by Georgia, Hornby, Howe and Robson, was designed by celebrity architect Francis Rattenbury in 1907 and completed in 1911. Since 1983, it has been home to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Pamela Post wanted to know what sat on the site before. What she found was nothing and everything.