Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club and Denman Tennis Association

Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club - finals international - Tyler and Ballinger vs. Payne and Armstrong; 15 Aug. 1907; Vancouver City Archives, CVA 677-242; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/vancouver-lawn-tennis-club-finals-international-tyler-and-ballinger-vs-payne-and-armstrong.

Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club – finals international – Tyler and Ballinger vs. Payne and Armstrong; 15 Aug. 1907; Vancouver City Archives, CVA 677-242; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/vancouver-lawn-tennis-club-finals-international-tyler-and-ballinger-vs-payne-and-armstrong.

 

Henderson’s City of Vancouver Directory, 1908, page 1000.

Henderson’s City of Vancouver Directory, 1908, page 1000.

 

The Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club was at the northeast corner of Denman Street and Barclay Street from 1898 to about 1914. After that, the Denman Tennis Association occupied the site until about 1943.

 

Lawn Tennis Courts, northeast corner of Denman Street and Barclay Street, detail from Insurance plan - City of Vancouver, July 1897, revised June 1901 - Sheet 43 - Coal Harbour to Comox Street and Bidwell Street to Stanley Park.

Lawn Tennis Courts, northeast corner of Denman Street and Barclay Street, detail from Insurance plan – City of Vancouver, July 1897, revised June 1901 – Sheet 43 – Coal Harbour to Comox Street and Bidwell Street to Stanley Park.

 

The Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club’s website indicates that the club began in 1897.

In 1897, when the city was still in its infancy, a group of people interested in forming a tennis club met at the Hotel Vancouver; and the Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club was born. The Club was originally located in the West End and featured grass and cinder courts as well as a croquet lawn.

The Club purchased land from the Canadian Pacific Railway and moved to its present location on the corner of Fir Street and 16th Avenue in 1914.

Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club; https://www.vanlawn.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=354840&ssid=261344&vnf=1.

 

However, Vancouver and Victoria newspapers include several earlier references to the Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club.

 

Vancouver Daily World, May 4, 1889, page 4, column 2.

Vancouver Daily World, May 4, 1889, page 4, column 2.

 

Victoria Daily Colonist, July 17, 1889, page 1, column 8; https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist18890717uvic/18890717#page/n0/mode/1up.

Victoria Daily Colonist, July 17, 1889, page 1, column 8; https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist18890717uvic/18890717#page/n0/mode/1up.

 

Vancouver Daily World, July 15, 1889, page 1, column 4.

Vancouver Daily World, July 15, 1889, page 1, column 4.

 

Vancouver Daily World, April 24, 1890, page 4, column 1.

Vancouver Daily World, April 24, 1890, page 4, column 1.

 

Vancouver Daily World, April 6, 1891, page 3, column 1.

Vancouver Daily World, April 6, 1891, page 3, column 1.

 

This is a view looking north from the first Hotel Vancouver, which was on the site of the current Pacific Centre Mall. Howe Street runs diagonally through the centre of the photograph. The tennis courts are on the lower right, and a portion of a bandstand appears at the bottom right corner. The date of the photograph is uncertain (perhaps in the early 1890s).

 

View looking northwest from Hotel Vancouver No. 1, Date: 189-; Vancouver Public Library, VPL Accession Number: 4864; https://www3.vpl.ca/spePhotos/LeonardFrankCollection/02DisplayJPGs/1043/4864.jpg.

View looking northwest from Hotel Vancouver No. 1, Date: 189-; Vancouver Public Library, VPL Accession Number: 4864; https://www3.vpl.ca/spePhotos/LeonardFrankCollection/02DisplayJPGs/1043/4864.jpg.

 

The Vancouver Public Library has another photograph with a similar view (though the photo is in a deteriorated condition). It has a more specific date of 1889.

 

C.P.R. Park Tennis Court with homes on Howe Street and Vancouver Harbour in the background, 1889; Vancouver Public Library, VPL Accession Number: 1870; https://www3.vpl.ca/spePhotos/LeonardFrankCollection/02DisplayJPGs/162/1870.jpg.

C.P.R. Park Tennis Court with homes on Howe Street and Vancouver Harbour in the background, 1889; Vancouver Public Library, VPL Accession Number: 1870; https://www3.vpl.ca/spePhotos/LeonardFrankCollection/02DisplayJPGs/162/1870.jpg.

 

This view looks south, with the tennis courts in the lower right. The first Hotel Vancouver dominates the right rear of the photograph.

 

View across the C.P.R. Park towards Granville Street and Georgia Street, 1893, Vancouver City Archives; Hot P9; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/view-across-c-p-r-park-towards-granville-street-and-georgia-street.

View across the C.P.R. Park towards Granville Street and Georgia Street, 1893, Vancouver City Archives; Hot P9; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/view-across-c-p-r-park-towards-granville-street-and-georgia-street.

 

The surface of two of the tennis courts was wooden planks.

 

Vancouver, B.C. from Hotel Vancouver [detail], about 1894; Vancouver City Archives, Van Sc P112; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/vancouver-b-c-from-hotel-vancouver-4.

Vancouver, B.C. from Hotel Vancouver [detail], about 1894; Vancouver City Archives, Van Sc P112; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/vancouver-b-c-from-hotel-vancouver-4.

 

In 1897, the “Georgia Street Tennis Club” had a tournament, which seems to have taken place at these tennis courts near the Hotel Vancouver.

 

Vancouver Daily World, September 1, 1897, page 8, column 4.

Vancouver Daily World, September 1, 1897, page 8, column 4.

 

In 1898, the Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club held its tournament at its new Denman Street location.

 

Vancouver Daily World, April 6, 1898, page 5, column 5.

Vancouver Daily World, April 6, 1898, page 5, column 5.

 

Vancouver Daily World, May 11, 1905, page 11, column 2.

Vancouver Daily World, May 11, 1905, page 11, column 2.

 

The club did not have its own listing in the Vancouver directory until 1907, when it appeared at an unnumbered address on Denman Street.

From 1908 to 1916, the address was 940 Denman Street.

 

Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club site; Chas. E. Goad Company; Plate 55 [Cardero Street to Haro Street to Denman Street to Comox Street]; Vancouver City Archives; Item : 1972-582.30; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/plate-55-cardero-street-to-haro-street-to-denman-street-to-comox-street.

 

In 1912, the tennis club site was for sale.

 

Vancouver Sun, December 28, 1912, page 12, columns 6-7.

Vancouver Sun, December 28, 1912, page 12, columns 6-7.

 

By 1917, the Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club had moved to its new location at Fir Street and 16th Avenue, and the Denman Tennis Association had taken over the Denman Street site.

 

Henderson’s Greater Vancouver City Directory, 1917, page 459.

Henderson’s Greater Vancouver City Directory, 1917, page 459.

 

Denman Tennis Club 1917, Vancouver City Archives, CVA 99-5110; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/denman-tennis-club-1917.

Denman Tennis Club 1917, Vancouver City Archives, CVA 99-5110; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/denman-tennis-club-1917.

 

From 1920 to 1943, the Vancouver directories listed the Denman Tennis Club, usually at 940 Denman Street, but sometimes at 910 Denman Street.

In 1944, the site became a children’s playground.

In 1957, it was still an open area.

 

Northeast corner of Denman Street and Barclay Street, 1957, detail from Aerial view of the West End showing the increase of apartment buildings west of Cardero Street, Vancouver City Archives, Dist P133; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/aerial-view-of-west-end-showing-increase-of-apertment-buildings-west-of-cadero-street.

Northeast corner of Denman Street and Barclay Street, 1957, detail from Aerial view of the West End showing the increase of apartment buildings west of Cardero Street, Vancouver City Archives, Dist P133; https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/aerial-view-of-west-end-showing-increase-of-apertment-buildings-west-of-cadero-street.

 

King George Secondary School has occupied the site since 1963, when the school moved there from its old building at the corner of Burrard Street and Nelson Street.

Note: some people managed to have their own, private tennis courts. This one was at the northwest corner of Pendrell Street and Denman Street.

 

The West End, looking up Pendrell Street, Vancouver, B.C. [detail] ; University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs. UL_1666_0007; https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/langmann/items/1.0369105#p0z-2r0f:

The West End, looking up Pendrell Street, Vancouver, B.C. [detail] ; University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs. UL_1666_0007; https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/langmann/items/1.0369105#p0z-2r0f:

 

There was also a tennis court in the empty lot at 1937 Pendrell Street. See: “Lost? Found: Pendrell Street Grounds,” Vancouver As It Was, https://vanasitwas.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/lost-found-pendrell-street-grounds/.

 

Sources

Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club, Wikipedia article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_Lawn_Tennis_Club.

B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, Roy Phipps, http://www.bcsportshalloffame.com/inductees/inductees/bio?id=217&type=person: “He won the mixed double handicap and the men’s doubles handicap at the Denman Tennis Tournament in 1917. In 1918, again at the Denman Tennis Tournament, he captured the singles open, doubles handicap, doubles open, and mixed doubles open events.”

Changing Vancouver, Dawson School, Burrard Street; https://changingvancouver.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/dawson-school-burrard-street/: “The school was replaced in 1963 with a new building in the heart of the West End.”