We made another detour from Hastings Street on our Vancouver Heritage Foundation‘s Historic Walking Tour of Hastings West. We walk south 1 block to Pender Street.
On the corner of Homer and Pender Streets, Maurice pointed out an apartment building under renovation. He says the building and the one behind it along Homer Street belong to a lovely Dutch couple. He says the couple run a boarding house of some sort. Now they are renovating this apartment building and hoping to add more clean, affordable rooming to the neighbourhood.
We walked down to a grey building at the end of the block. It was obviously built in the same style as the other temple bank buildings we’ve been looking at. Everything was locked up from the front and we were trying to sneak a peek inside through the windows. This building was known as the BC Permanent Building and it contains the city of Vancouver’s largest stained glass dome. That sounds very impressive, but it was behind lock and key today, so there was no way to have a photo of it. The building is now known as Page House. So if you ever get an invite to an event at Page House, it’s highly recommended you go because you’ll get to see this stained glass dome that I couldn’t see.
At the end of the block, there were some more small buildings with sandstone similar to Academie Duello. On one building, we could see a symbol containing three small interconnected rings. This is the symbol of the Odd Fellows, a fraternal service organization. There are a variety of these lodges and/or societies across the world in primarily English-speaking countries. This building on the corner of Pender and Hamilton was likely home to some Odd Fellow services and possibly accommodation that would have assisted men down on their luck. Nowadays, it’s the London School of Hairdressing and Aesthetics.
Right across from the Odd Fellows building is Vancouver Community College. This part of the downtown campus of VCC was built in the 1950s. This is apparently known as the International Style. It makes me think of a lot of buildings built during the 1950’s like many of the high schools in town. It’s a very functional style, but not much flair. However, now that it’s been over 50 years since this style hit Vancouver streets, we probably should look at preserving a few examples of the International Style.
Then we crossed back across to the north side of Pender Street to Victory Square. And oh was the autumn sun ever shining today. We gathered in the southwest corner of the square where Maurice wrapped up the tour. The tour was just a few days before Remembrance Day, so it was appropriate to talk about Victory Square and it’s memorial to our fallen soldiers from the many wars. If you look carefully at the lamp standards in the square, you may notice that they are shaped like the World War I helmets of Canadian soldiers. And so ended our tour … or did it?