Friday, November 7, 2014

Dr. E. N. Drier

This home at 977 East 11 Avenue was built around 1910.

Today I am going to tell you about another person who was responsible for the building of Vancouver, Dr. Ezra Newton Drier. Dr. Drier was born in Woodstock, New Brunswick sometime between 1870 and 1872. Records from that province at that time have listed him as being born in 1870 and then 1871. His second marriage certificate, in 1909, said 1872 and his death certificate said 1870. So, take your pick.

From the street directories, it appears Drier arrived in Vancouver in 1901. He practised successfully as a doctor with offices on Pender Street. He and his New Brunswick born wife, Hope, had a home initially in the West End. 

The Driers were fond of travelling and in 1902, Dr. Drier took the position of surgeon on  the Oceanic Steamship Company Australian liner, S.S. Moana. The Driers were gone for two months. Drier, around this time, hired W.T. Whiteway to design a home for him at 1101  Burnaby Street.

The Lawn Court Apartment buildings at 218 East 11th Avenue. Building Permit March 27, 1912 to H.G. Taylor, as owner, architect and contractor.  Originally this address was 212 East 11th Avenue.

Dr. Drier seems to have been an interesting gentleman with many interests. In 1905, Drier patented an arm splint and in 1906, he hired Grant and Henderson to design a commercial block at 432 West Pender Street. By this time, Dr. Drier had moved his own offices to the Fairfield Building on Granville Street. By 1912 however, he was in the block he had designed. He also lived there.

In 1906, Dr. E.D. Drier also had a hand in the installation of new offices for the Elks Lodge. A year later, the Vancouver World newspaper reported Drier purchased some land on the Capilano River. Although this was reported to be a beautiful piece of land, ideal for a hotel or a sanatorium, the source I am using couldn't find a record of the doctor building on it.

In 1908, Hope Drier died after a long illness. Ezra remarried the next year, this time to Jessie Townsend Reid. Ezra and Jessie had a daughter, Francelle, in 1910. A son, Newton, died at birth in 1911.

Also in 1911, Drier was involved in establishing a company called Western Securities. This company hired Grant and Henderson to design a six-storey apartment building. The building was built by J J Dissette for a cost of $100,000. The interesting thing is the address - although it is listed as 1243 Thurlow, it is 1101 Burnaby so Drier had his nine year old house demolished.

In 1916, the wanderlust took the Driers to New Zealand. There he quickly gained a reputation of some importance - at that time, the subject of a nationalised medical service was being debated in the country and Dr. Drier was not in favour of the practice. Three years after that, he was in Auckland where the good doctor commented on the Spanish Influenza. He felt it was a separate illness from influenza.

In 1932, the Driers returned to Vancouver. E.N. Drier died in 1941.

I wish to thank Building Vancouver for the information on Dr. Drier and to Bob_2006 at Flickr for the information on the buildings.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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