The Dales House at 414 Alexander Street circa 1890 CVA Photo SGN 490

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Panorama Shot of Nelson Street in 1908

I am in the midst of doing research for my upcoming West End History Walking Tour. I have the route all mapped out. If everything goes well I will have a tour set up that will start from the Listel Hotel Vancouver in the morning and arrive at the Sylvia Hotel around noon. Then around 2pm I will take another group from the Sylvia Hotel, zigzag through the West End and end up at the Listel Hotel Vancouver. Not quite sure how often I will be offering these... all those details still need to be worked out, but I am really excited about it.

Just like my East End History Walking Tours, I plan to have a binder of archival photos with me so people can see exactly how certain sections of the streets they are walking on looked 100 years ago.

To that end, I have been searching through the City of Vancouver Archives and Vancouver Public Library Special Collections database for photos of the West End. I found lots of great photos, but my heart almost stopped when I came across this one. This is City of Vancouver Archives photo PAN P103, taken in 1908. The photographer is unknown. Wow! (Remember to click on the photo to enlarge it).

This panoramic view shows 2075 Nelson Street, 2045 Nelson Street, 2001 Nelson Street, 2040 Nelson Street, 2000 Nelson Street, 1966 Nelson Street and 901 Chilco Street, 2010 Barclay Street and 2005 Comox Street in the background. I don't know anything about the houses yet. My tour doesn't even take in this section of Nelson Street... It's all very different now.

This is the neighbourhood that Vancouver's elite abandoned for Shaughnessy Heights about three to four years later. These large houses were converted to rooming houses, and later demolished to make way for apartments and highrises...  

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