Last Christmas, my friend Jason Vanderhill gave me a card showing a couple of disco dancers from the ‘70s. The caption explained that the photo was taken at the opening of something called Daddy Long Legs in North Vancouver.
The only thing I could find out about the Daddy Long Legs disco was from a Globe and Mail article dated August 4, 1979 which focused on PR superstar Tom Butler rather than the venue he was promoting. “It was a public relations man’s dream,” went the lead. “Margaret Trudeau, the biggest newsmaker to storm the east from the North Shore’s sheltered heights, was boogying at the opening splash at Daddy Long Legs, a new North Vancouver Disco.”
The same picture appears in Kate Bird’s wonderful book Vancouver in the Seventies, and after a visit to the NVMA yesterday, we figured out that the hotel was built around 1975 and was at the corner of Marine Drive and Capilano Road. The 1980 city directory describes it as “Vancouver’s finest resort hotel.” The high-rise had 150 rooms all with colour television, complete convention facilities, restaurant dining, show lounge, garden bar, dancing, a heated indoor swimming pool, saunas, whirlpools, and tennis courts. John Hale was the general manager.
It doesn’t look like the disco or the hotel lasted very long because it quickly turned into the International Plaza Hotel and Apartment Complex in the city directories. The hotel’s facilities have since been repurposed into various fitness clubs (currently Steve Nash). The former disco is now the Staples.
Kate tells me they have photos of our Prime Minister’s mother dancing at the disco on opening night, but chose to include the above photo because there were other pictures of her in the book.
I’ll be writing more about Tom Butler in an upcoming blog.
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