Our Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Historic Walking Tour of Hastings West made a slight detour from Hastings Street to take a peek at Waterfront Station.
We walked along the elevated walkway above Granville Street in the direction of the Vancouver Sun/Province building. We could see Waterfront Station and the old Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) building down on Cordova Street. However, this CPR building is not even the original train station that stood in this area. The current building is the third incarnation of the CPR railway terminus building.
Maurice passed around pictures of the second CPR building that used to sit right at the foot of Granville Street. It was a gigantic rail-gothic building. Just look at those spires. The first time that I found out about this building was when I watched historic Vancouver streetcar footage from the documentary, City Reflections. As the 1907 streetcar made its way north along Granville Street, this large building appeared at the end of the street. I had no idea what it was. It just seemed to tower as the streetcar got closer and closer to the waterfront. Well, now I got my answer from Maurice.
This photo from the Vancouver Archives shows the excavation of the current CPR building. Cordova Street is on the left, Burrard Inlet on the right, and the second CPR building is just in the back. Through the process of extrapolation, we can “proudly” tell you that a multi-story parking lot now sits on the site of what once was a grand railway station building. Oh progress.