1800 Georgia Street was a small, one-storey building at the southwest corner of Georgia Street and Denman Street. For a time it was a grocery store and confectionery. The site was vacant in the 1921 and 1922 Vancouver directories. Later it became the location of a marine engine business.
The available photographs suggest that the building above may not be the original building on the site. This building may earlier have been the Victory Tea Rooms, which was at the northwest corner of Georgia Street and Denman Street. (The 1919 Vancouver directory listed George L. Kipp’s grocery at 1801 Georgia Street.)
Another possibility is that the tea room and the Ensign Motor Supply Company occupied two different buildings, even though they seem to have the same general proportions.
There is one reference to 1800 West Georgia Street in Heritage Vancouver Society’s database of historic building permits: http://permits.heritagevancouver.org/index.php?cID=1 [searched October 1, 2019]. (The small value and the notation “Repairs/Alterations” indicate that the permit was not for the construction of a complete building.)
|Owner:||Gamage, Mrs. M.|
|Builder:||Baker, S. B.|
|Legal Address:||DL: Block: Sub: Resub: Lot:|
|Street Name:||Georgia Street W|
By contrast, the 1918 permit for Mr. Kipp’s store building at 1801 West Georgia Street was for the more substantial amount of $1,000.
|Owner:||Kipp, J. L.|
|Architect:||Pender Carpenter Shop|
|Builder:||Pender Carpenter Shop|
|Legal Address:||DL: 185 Block: 64 Sub: Resub: Lot: 1|
|Street Name:||Georgia Street W|
|Remarks:||Office/Store; store building [BCR]|
Addresses at 1800 to 1808 Georgia Street from 1911 to mid-1980s (Vancouver directories, newspapers and other sources).
|1911 to 1912||No listings under Vancouver streets|
|1913||Charles E. Jennings sporting goods (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1914||Kenneth Arthur Craig, machinery; Archibald Walker, automobile engineer (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1915||A G Guere [sic] and Company, confectionery and skates (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1916 to 1918||Alphonse Giguere (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1919 to 1920||Arthur Edmund Carson (confectionery) (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1921||Vacant (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1922||Eugene Lacerte (confectionery) (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1923||Mrs. Eugene Lacerte (confectionery) (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1924 to 1930||Ensign Motor Supply Company (1800 Georgia Street)|
|1931||Nautilus Marine Limited|
|1932||Vacant (1806 Georgia Street and 1808 Georgia Street)|
|1933||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Brown-Johnston Canadian Limited (1806 Georgia Street); Vacant (1808 Georgia Street)|
|1934||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Brown-Johnston Canadian Limited (1806 Georgia Street); 1808 Georgia Street not listed under Vancouver streets)|
|1935||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Brown-Johnston Canadian Limited (lamp shades) (1808 Georgia Street)|
|1936||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Cottage Tea Room (1806 Georgia Street); Purcell Hall (1808 Georgia Street).|
|1937||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Barr’s Fountain Lunch (1806 Georgia Street); Purcell Hall; B.C. School of Church Music; Sound Service (acoustical engineering)(1808 Georgia Street).|
|1938 to 1939||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Barr’s Fountain Lunch (1806 Georgia Street); Purcell Hall; Purcell Hall School of Church Music; Sound Service (acoustical engineering)(1808 Georgia Street).|
|1940 to 1943||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Barr’s Fountain Lunch (W.J. Barr)(1806 Georgia Street); Purcell Hall; Purcell Hall School of Church Music (1808 Georgia Street).|
|1944||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Barr’s Fountain Lunch (W.J. Barr)(1806 Georgia Street); Christian Institute (1808 Georgia Street).|
|1945||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Barr’s Fountain Lunch (W.J. Barr)(1806 Georgia Street); Parkway Gospel Hall (1808 Georgia Street).|
|1946 to 1954||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Mike’s Café (1806 Georgia Street); Parkway Gospel Hall (1808 Georgia Street).|
|1955||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street); Juli-Ann Coffee Shop (1808 Georgia Street)|
|1956 to 1981||Royal Bank (1802 Georgia Street)|
|1957 to 1961||Seagull Restaurant (1808 Georgia Street)|
|1963 to 1965||Vancouver Boat Shop (1808 Georgia Street)|
|Early 1970s||Annarva Sales ( furniture and television sales) (1808 Georgia Street)|
|1973||“The Texan” (family restaurant) (1808 Georgia Street)|
|1974 to 1981||Annarva Sales ( furniture and television sales) (1808 Georgia Street)|
|Mid 1980s||Australian Sheepskin Products (1808 Georgia Street)|
Ensign Motor Supply Company
From 1924 to about 1930, the Ensign Motor Supply Company was at 1800 Georgia Street.
Ensign Motor Supply first appeared in the Vancouver directories in 1921. It was at 1683 West Georgia Street from 1921 until about 1924, when it moved to 1800 West Georgia Street. About 1930, it moved to 1729 West Georgia Street.
By 1938, Ensign Motor Supply was back at 1683 West Georgia Street.
In 1941, the business at 1683 West Georgia was Simson Maxwell Limited. George Simson (1900-1983), the son of Calvert Simson, was one of the directors of Simson Maxwell. Robert Quarrington Maxwell (1909-1967) was the other director.
Nautilus Marine Limited
In late 1930 and in 1931, Nautilus Marine Limited was at 1800 West Georgia Street.
By 1932, a new building had arisen on the site. The Royal Bank of Canada’s branch was on the corner of Georgia Street and Denman Street, with an address of 1802 West Georgia Street.
The Royal Bank had moved from its earlier branch at the corner of Georgia Street and Bidwell Street.
From the 1930s to the 1950s a series of restaurants was at 1806 West Georgia Street, including Mrs. D. Ransom’s “Cottage Tea Room” in 1936, William J. Barr’s “Barr’s Fountain Lunch” from 1937 to 1945, and Michael Spanik’s “Mike’s Café” from 1946 to 1954.
Brown-Johnston Canadian Limited, a lamp-manufacturing and retailing business, had a retail outlet at 1808 West Georgia Street. The company was incorporated in 1932. William Newport Bunting (1884-1975) was the company’s manager.
Attempted Bank Burglary
In October 1933, the Vancouver City Police became aware of an attempt to tunnel into the Royal Bank’s vault.
The tunnel started in a house to the west of the building at the corner of Georgia Street and Denman Street. The house may have been at 1814 Georgia Street.
The scheme failed when the tunnel was unable to get through the foundations of the building’s heating plant, which was in the Brown-Johnston portion of the building.
The robbers were later caught in connection with another bank holdup.
Purcell Hall and the British Columbia School of Church Music
Brown-Johnston Canadian Limited was at 1808 West Georgia Street until about 1935. The next occupants were a venue for musical performances and a music school that was inspired by a school of English church music.
In 1933, Leonard Wilson (1911-1963), a talented musician from Vancouver, had been studying at St. Nicholas College of Music at Chislehurst, Kent, England.
Dr. Sydney Hugo Nicholson (1875-1947) was the warden of the College of St. Nicholas at Chislehurst, Kent, and the head of the School of English Church Music. (Dr. Nicholson had earlier been the organist and choir master at Westminster Abbey in London.)
In December 1934, Dr. Nicholson stopped in Vancouver as part of his world tour to promote church music.
Dr. Nicholson’s tour later included visits to other North American cities.
Dr. Nicholson became Sir Sydney Nicholson in 1938. He died in 1947.
In 1936, British Columbia developed its own School of Church Music at Purcell Hall. The “hall,” which was in the fairly small space at 1808 West Georgia Street, provided room for school facilities and an auditorium.
At the inauguration of the school, Leonard Wilson gave a lecture on life at St. Nicholas School of Church Music.
The principal teacher at the school was John Frederick Chubb (1885-1966) (often known as “J.F. Chubb” or “Frederick Chubb”).
After a long career, Frederick died on March 6, 1966.
Frederick’s son, John Arthur Chubb (about 1914-2001) also taught at the school. (He was sometimes called “Arthur Chubb.”)
Arthur Chubb’s students at Purcell Hall sometimes used an early model Hammond organ, which generated sound from a series of rotating metal tonewheels.
A series of drawbars allowed the organist to choose a wide variety of tones that were intended to replicate the various stops in a pipe organ.
An amplifier and speaker allowed the organist and the audience to hear the music.
Later, the Hammond organ became popular with other styles of music, and organists developed new sounds that were not imitations of traditional pipe organ sounds. As well, the Leslie speaker, with its rotating chamber and rotating horns, became part of the Hammond organ sound.
Arthur Chubb: Marriage to Margaret Almina Eligh
In March 1942, Arthur Chubb married Margaret Almina Eligh at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver.
Arthur died in Richmond, British Columbia on July 17, 2001.
Leonard Wilson: Later Life
From the 1930s to the early 1960s, Leonard Wilson continued to be involved in the Vancouver music scene. He was an organist, choir leader, music teacher, and later a music critic for the Vancouver Sun. He died in Vancouver on April 22, 1963.
Purcell Hall and the School of Church Music were gone from Georgia Street by about 1943. (For more on Purcell Hall, see “Forgotten Purcell Hall,” Vancouver as it Was, September 29, 2019; https://vanasitwas.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/forgotten-purcell-hall/.)
The Royal Bank remained on the corner portion of the property until about 1981.
The rest of the building was home to a series of retail businesses.
In 1969, Annarva Sales was a furniture and television retail store, with an address of 1808 West Georgia Street.
In 1981, Maynard’s Auctions held a receivership sale for Price Waterhouse, which was the receiver-manager for Annarva Sales Limited.
In the mid-1980s, a sheepskin products firm was at 1808 West Georgia Street.
By the late 1990s, a new building was on the property. The most prominent tenant since then has been the Running Room, which sells equipment for runners and organizes running activities throughout the year.
Brown-Johnston Canada Limited
“Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KS88-PN9 : 11 March 2018), William Newport Bunting and Ruby Luella Jones, 25 Dec 1912; citing registration , Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,906,652.
“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FLBG-YJX : 8 November 2017), William Newport Bunting, 1975.
“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FLYH-DYG : 8 November 2017), Ruby Luella Bunting, 1969. [Ruby Luella Bunting née Jones; wife of William Newport Buntin.]
Attempted Bank Robbery
“Bandits Tunnel City Bank,” Vancouver News-Herald, October 4, 1933, page 1, column 8; page 2, column 5.
Frederick Chubb (musician)
Waterlow, D. Barry, “Frederick Chubb”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published May 10, 2007; Last Edited February 21, 2017. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/frederick-chubb-emc
Hammond organ, Wikipedia article; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammond_organ
Leslie speaker, Wikipedia article; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_speaker
Leonard Wilson (musician)
Leonard Wilson, Canadian Encyclopedia, by Margaret Drynan; published online: July 5, 2007; last edited: December 13, 2013; https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/leonard-wilson-emc: “Leonard Wilson. Organist-choirmaster, composer, lecturer, writer, b near Manchester 1911, d Vancouver 22 Apr 1963; LTCL 1929, honorary FTCL 1947. Though his family emigrated to Vancouver when he was 9, Wilson returned to England at 18 for five years of study at the TCL and the RSCM.”