On Sunday February 1, 1981 shortly before 9:00 a.m., George Wright, a 70-something caretaker was working at the Englesea Lodge when he spotted fire coming from the building’s basement storage area.
“There was a big boom and the fire rushed out at me. It threw me back against the wall,” he told a reporter.
I took a drive past the Pantages Theatre at East Hastings and Main yesterday. It was pouring with rain and the Downtown Eastside looked even bleaker than normal, like something out of a Dostoevsky novel.
It’s hard to imagine that this skuzzy part of town was once the central business district, but go back a century and the Pantages was part of a thriving theatre district and downtown core.
Suzanne Wilson has photographed more than 3,300 North Vancouver houses that are now demolished. She has posted pictures and the social history of many of them are on her blog site.