Friday, March 1, 2013

VanDusen and Laurier

In 1910, Sir Wilfred Laurier came to Vancouver to open the new Vancouver Exhibition at Hastings Park. Hastings was, and still is, located at the eastern edge of the city. In response to such a distinguished visitor and the opening of the exhibition, the BCER - British Columbia Electric Railway - extended a single car line from Powell along Nanaimo and McGill to the Park.

The area west of the park and north of Hastings was promoted as Beacon Hill and the above house, which is next door to the Berquist house I showed you Wednesday, were located close to the new streetcar line.

While Andrew Berquist built his home at 2439 Eton for $25,000, Louis Leduc built his at 2451. The yellow house has a Gambrel roof.

The president of the Vancouver Tourist Association, Fred Brown, moved into 2451 Eton Street and he had a short walk to the streetcar stop on Nanaimo then it was a quick trip to Brown's office on Granville Street. As Brown would be riding to work, he would pass McLennan and McFeely's large warehouse on Powell and Columbia.

This house is at 1929 Napier Street, built in 1910.

In 1943, the Vancouver Foundation was established with a  key figure in this organization being W.J. VanDusen. This lumber magnate and philanthropist was born July 18, 1889 in Tara, Ontario. Whitford Julian VanDusen had a long history in the lumber industry - from 1912 to 1969 and worked alongside H.R. MacMillan. However, VanDusen is known for his philanthropy.

The Vancouver Foundation now distrbutes $60 million annually, supporting everything from arts and culture to education, health, environment, children, youth and family issues. Presently, it is Canada's largest community foundation with an endowment fund worth roughly $800 million.

VanDusen also paid for and donated the land where the present day Vancouver's VanDusen Botanical Garden resides. VanDusen died in Vancouver on December 15, 1978.
Thanks to Bob_2006 at for the information on the houses, to the History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the information on VanDusen and to the Vancouver City Archives online for the final two photos.

 I hope you find the beauty around you.
This photo of the cars under the billboard was taken around 1910.

This is the Bank of Montreal building at the corner of Granville and Dunsmuir. This photo dates back to 1899 and that building is long gone.

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