eastvan History 101: lesson 4 – Norquay

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Written by David J Harlow

Norquay came into existence when BC Electric put the inter urban from Vancouver to Chilliwack in the late 1800’s Norquay school was opened 1913 { I Believe} According to my Father and others that the only way BC Electric could get people to man the stations was to build house for their first employees. Back then south of 45th was bush, swamp, trees, a golf course and the City garbage dump. No Killarney or Champlain Heights. Where 29th Ave Station is now was a farm with many apple trees. Norquay was a viable area before the 1960’s.

My mother came to the Norquay area in 1925, my father in 1939. I was born here in 1946 and have lived here all my life. My mother went to Norquay School {mid 1920s} as did I {1950s} and my four children {1970s thru 80s}.
Norquay park was there as was the wading pool {Installation, dated somewhere in the 30s}, it was the home to the Vancouver senior men’s soccer league and senior men’s fast pitch softball. The original field house was located where the big swings are now, Each summer the parks board would staff the club house with students {directors} so that little one would have supervised activities to do during the summer. The Norquay Ratepayers association had house league soccer and softball for both Girls and boys. At the hall they put on dances
{Sat afternoon for the teens}

Norquay Sports days; all of the students at Norquay would dress up in costumes and we would march in a parade from Norquay School, south on Slocan Street to Kingsway, East on Kingsway to Norquay Park. All of the store owner on Kingsway would decorate their store fronts and cheer us as we walk by to our Sports day {{Both Slocan and Kingsway were blocked off so we could march down the middle of the road}}

Kingsway in the 50’s was store fronts with apartments above the stores. Street cars also ran in both directions on Kingsway. This area has the distinction of having the only operating dairy in Vancouver I went to school with the sons and daughters of the founders of Avalon Dairy.
On the North West corner of Kingsway and Slocan was a small restaurant, a barber shop, a grocery store {B & K} and the Norquay ratepayers community Hall. {The B&K and Barbershop buildings are still there} On the North East side of Slocan and Kingsway was Elm’s drug store and a meat shop.

On the South East corner of Kingsway and Slocan was a garage {later the Dragon Inn} The Royal Bank of Canada, Beales Hardware, a small grocery store {{Lowes}} Hattori”s Dry cleaners, Beauty shop, Fish and chip store. On the South west corner of Kingsway and Slocan was a Texaco {now Churches chicken} and then the 2400 court. Between Slocan and Earles there was a Trailer park; Trailer lot; car lots; Wally’s and Harvey’s Department store {{ the last time I last talking to the owner, they stated that Harvey’s is oldest family owned department store in Canada}

Earles and Kingsway south west corner was Nickels grocery store. At 34th and Kingsway was the fire hall. Each winter the firemen would flood Norquay Park so the neighborhood could Ice skate Norquay is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Vancouver, It just got swallowed up by Killarney, Grandview, Renfrew and Windermere.

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One Response to “eastvan History 101: lesson 4 – Norquay”

  1. Jo Says:

    I moved to EastVan in 1972 and have seen a lot in this city change and grow. It was good to flashback for a few with you 🙂

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