Monday, June 23, 2014

Salsbury Sights

North of Hastings Street, there is an industrial area. Hidden among the warehouses and factories, is this treasure at 220 Salsbury Drive.

This house is a common design - a simple rectangular form with a front-gabled roof and an attached porch known as a Gabled Vernacular - however, the construction is unique.It is made from concrete blocks, which were likely made on site using a mold kit that was available at the time.

Concrete blocks with a rusticated face were a poor man's granite at the time. This material is usually found on retaining walls and gateposts on the big wooden houses east of Commercial Drive.

This house is probably from 1908. However, the source I am getting information from hasn't been able to find a building permit as of yet. The building appeared on Goad's map of 1911. Blacksmith Alex J. Ross is listed as living here at that time.

The next building I want to talk about is also on Salsbury. 1010 to be exact. It is an apartment building designed by Arthur Julius Bird for Caledonian Investment Co. Tradesmen, labourers were rapidly coming to the Grandview area and housing was needed for them.

The building permit is dated August 5, 1911 and R. Maclean and Co carried out the work at an estimated cost of $34,000. 

At the time this was built, there was almost no zoning restrictions and people were able to do basically whatever they wanted. This structure is just north of a grand home, 'Kurrajong'. (Here's my entry on that beautiful building)

There is a sort of do-as-you-please attitude to these structures. Here, the architect fancied up a plain Edwardian apartment block with bay windows framing the three entrances.

I want to thank the Grandview Heritage Group for the information on these buildings. 

I also want to tell you that from today until Saturday morning at 8 am PST, my eBook On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success, will be on sale for 99 cents in the UK and the US.

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. I love the architecture of these buildings. They show true unique features. With zoning you find many houses that remind me of a song back in the "60" about ticky tacky houses all in roll. I liked it when one could find a house to their liking and build it on their plot. I suppose we need the rules.

    1. There is a house made of that concrete just down the street from me. I wonder how old it is. Thanks for commenting Lee.

  2. I'm lucky to be able to occupy the top front bedroom of 220 Salsbury Dr. I've just moved in and can't help but be curious about who else has slept here in the last 102 or so years...

    1. That would be interesting to know wouldn't it Lonnie? A future mover and shake? A mass murderer? LOL