Archive for the ‘eastvan history 101’ Category


January 15, 2011

Dutchess Princess Fishes

Lettuce do this

Rip Shit and start again



eastvan History 101: lesson 4 – Norquay

October 28, 2010

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.

Haunted Vancouver

October 19, 2010

Upon googling some scary shit, I came across this brief piece by Maureen K. Fleury on haunted establishments in Vancouver. Here are a couple cool ones:

Hotel Vancouver

Hotel Vancouver, a well-known landmark recognized by its copper roof and gargoyles, is believed to be haunted by a lady dressed in red. Guests and employees have seen this elegant lady walking on an invisible ledge. The hotel’s elevator often makes an unscheduled stop on the 14th floor. When the doors open, this same lady appears to be floating along the hallway.

University of British Columbia

At the UBC, the main library is believed to be haunted by an elderly lady in a white dress. There is no explanation for the appearance of this woman.

Close to the University of British Columbia, a woman got out of her boyfriend’s car after having an argument and decided to hitchhike a ride home in the rain. Sadly, she was run over by a car. She is still seen walking along the same street on rainy nights. Her image is extremely vivid; in fact, drivers will stop and ask her for a ride. For some reason if a driver has a passenger in the car, she will ignore the offer and continue walking. If the driver is alone, she will jump in the rear seat. When asked where she would like to go, she disappears.

Eeeeps! I’ve been in the Main Library at UBC and I do not like it.

Werd x Dogs

September 26, 2010


A couple of days ago, Werd, his homie Tyler and myself found ourselves debating the cleanliness of a dog’s mouth. I always knew a dog’s mouth must be clean because I learned somewhere that their licks could help heal cuts and scratches. Tyler, however, started to sway my “ol’ wives tale” thinking. Werd followed up 3 days later with this message:

Dogs mouths tend to be open a great deal of the time. More air circulates through the mouth and tounge it kills most microbes and bacteria that like darker, damper conditions.

They also dont eat the crap we do, they dont get as much stuff stuck in there teeth. If they only eat hard kibble they will have a cleaner mouth than yours.

Actually on discovery channel Myth Busters show they did a test on dogs mouth compared to humans and the dog was something like 65% cleaner than the humans.

Addition Info: Dogs Saliva have anti bacterial make up that clean the teeth and tounge when ever they begin to salivate. Its not a wivestale actually, its a documented treatment of the poor and homeless (street beggars) in biblical times. Those people too poor to get medical treatment would let the street dogs lick there wounds in order for them to heal… not gaping wounds but little cuts, scrapes, soars, blisters. NOW a days we have more antiseptic enviroment, those people were hardier than us. We probably shouldnt let dogs lick our wounds.

CATS on the other hand have Extremely dirty mouth, worse than ours. I would never let a cat lick a wound. Its due to the specilized tounge hairs and the make up of there teeth. Also there diet is more rodent based and therefore get more germs from there food.

eastvan History 101: lesson 3 – Hogan’s Alley

September 20, 2010

Vancouver’s history is really young if you compare it to other cities with as much global recognition. Young it may be, it is fairly rich and has transformed very rapidly over the years.

Imagine the downtown core having a highway passing through it… That was the plan of some of Vancouvers city planners in the 70’s. I often think about it, the thought excites me in some ways. I personally enjoy large cities with highways that pass through them. It really gives a good glimpse at the whole city while your passing through.
The other part of me is glad this plan never went through. The small amount of historical neighbourhoods that we have, wouldn’t exist now if the freeway plan succeeded.

When thinking of Hogans Alley, some of us 80’s babies might think about the Nintendo Entertainment System video game.

There was a Hogan’s Alley in our own backyard.
Here’s what wiki has to say about it:

Hogan’s Alley was the local, unofficial name for Park Lane, an alley that ran through the southwestern corner of Strathcona in Vancouver, British Columbia during the first six decades of the twentieth century. It ran between Union and Prior Streets from approximately Main Street to Jackson Avenue.

1958 City of Vancouver Archives Photograph

While Hogan’s Alley and the surrounding area was an ethnically diverse neighbourhood during this era, home to many Italian, Chinese and Japanese Canadians, a number of black families, black businesses, and the city’s only black church, the African Methodist Episcopal Fountain Chapel, were located there. As such, Hogan’s Alley was the first and last neighbourhood in Vancouver with a substantial concentrated black population. A possible reason these families settled there was because of the close proximity to the train stations since sleeping car porters were predominantly black men.[1] A 1957 study by the City of Vancouver Planning Department described the black population of Strathcona as such: “The Negro population, while numerically small, is probably a large proportion of the total Negro population in Vancouver. Their choice of this area is partly its proximity to the railroads where many of them are employed, partly its cheapness and partly the fact that it is traditionally the home of many non-white groups.”

Prior to 1935, Hogan’s Alley was a red light district, owing to Mayor L. D. Taylor’s “open town policy,” which was that police resources would be concentrated on major crimes, not victimless vice crimes. As a result of this policy, illegal drinking establishments, brothels, and gambling dens operated here, as they did in various other non-white sections of town like Chinatown and Japantown, but also in non-ethnically defined areas nearby such as Gastown, East Hastings and lower Mount Pleasant. This policy also earned Taylor a reputation for being soft on vice crime and he faced accusations of corruption. This was the basis of his electoral defeats in 1929 and 1934. Hogan’s Alley long outlived Taylor’s career in civic politics until it faced demolition to make way for a freeway.

Most of Hogan’s Alley was destroyed circa 1970 by the Non-Partisan Association civic government’s construction of the Georgia Viaduct, the first phase of a planned interurban freeway originally intended to wipe out all of Hogan’s Alley and much of Chinatown and Gastown[4]. The freeway was stopped by an alliance of Strathcona community activists and Chinatown businesspeople. The freeway was blocked, and Strathcona, Chinatown and Gastown were saved from the wrecker’s ball, but not before Hogan’s Alley was effectively obliterated. Today, the block or so that is left of the alley itself bears no mark that there was ever a black presence there, and is an indistinct part of Strathcona facing an empty lot adjacent to the busy Main Street on-ramps to the viaduct.

800 Block of Main Street 1968/2009

photo courtesy of entheos_fog

Now there is talk of getting rid of the viaducts. I like them. I think it’s a cool path into the downtown core, with buildings surrounding either side. Even if they were to stop traffic from coming into downtown, they should consider turing the viaducts into an elevated greenway, like New York City has done with the abandoned elevated subway railway
tracks, The High Line.

A view along New York's High Line Linear Park

i think that would be such a beautiful addition to the city, especially with this push of being the greenest city in the world!!!

Anyways, the loss of Hogans Alley is a sad one. It would’ve been cool to have that neighbourhood flourish.
If you’re interested in more information about Hogan’s Alley, proceed to the following website

There’s a facebook group that is in support of Hogans Alley found here

Prior Street (Then & Now)

photo courtesy of SqueakyMarmot

Prior Street 1969 eastbound

photo courtesy of SqueakyMarmot

Hogan's Alley map (1939)

Hogan’s Alley map (1939)
Area surrounding Hogan’s Alley from 1939. In Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood.
Source: City Engineering Services – Engineering Department – Surveys Branch
photo courtesy of SqueakyMarmot

eastvan history 101: lesson 2 – wally’s burgers

June 12, 2010

Wally’s Burgers

I’ve only been to wally’s burgers a few times, when i was working across the street in my carpenter days. It was decent. Nothing too special, just another burger and fries joint.
The thing that made wally’s burgers special was that it was a glimpse into the past.
Into an era when Vancouver was becoming a major city. I wasn’t alive during those times but from pictures you can see the development around town, such a beautiful lil city turning into what will become a major player in the eye of the world.

The stand alone building, the amazing neon sign, the illustrations of the food product, the big window between customer and employees.
Kingsway is a street that i would frequent as a young ‘un. Passing up and down one of the cities main arteries to head to wherever we were going, i would see a few establishments that would stand out to me, Wally’s Burgers happened to be one of them.
It was so unique. Nothing else in the city looked quite like it.

Sadly, Wally’s Burgers closed it’s doors in early 2008.
I did not find out it was closing until it was too late. I would’ve surely went there on the last day, to pay my respects to another faller soldier.

Almost a year after the doors closed and the sign was taken down (destroyed?) i received an email:

Hi Rob!

I am still very interested in the painting. We are currently in the process of building a new wally’s location and I would love to get my hands on one.

I know this is very short notice but I’m wondering if you have this painting available now, as in picking one up this Saturday? Please let me know asap.

thank you!


A NEW Wally’s Burgers! They want my painting of Wally’s Burgers! How excited was i to become a contributor to the history of my city.
I went and bought a frame for the painting and the transaction happened. The painting was in the hands of the new Wally’s Burgers owners.
From what i’ve heard it’s hanging up in the restaurant in eastvan.

Wally’s Burgers
2611 E 49th Ave
Killarney Center

there is also a location at Cates Park

Wally’s Burgers at Cates Park
4131 Dollarton Hwy
North Vancouver

here is a story from

Drive-in burger joints and neon signs have been going steady since the ’50s. And in Vancouver, the perfect match was at Wally’s Burgers at 2703 Kingsway.

Countless motorists have passed by Wally’s classic sign, a kitschy red and green neon jumble that soared three storeys. Countless burger aficionados have chowed down on Wally’s Deluxe Wagon, a double patty monster on which you’re encouraged to pile on most anything you could ever dream of (including a hot dog).

But you’d better get your Wally’s fix quick, because it’s closing at the end of March.

Competition from the fast food chains has cut into business, the neighbourhood is being redeveloped, and the rent and taxes are $6,500 a month. So owner Connor Kim has decided not to renew the lease, and is trying to sell the business.

“Very cheap,” says Kim, a Korean immigrant with a thick accent.

“[But] higher than hamburger price — $22,000.”

The landmark neon sign goes along with the business. Unfortunately, it’s not in the best shape. Paint is peeling off, and parts of the neon letters are burned out on both sides. Kim says there’s no point in fixing it, given the restaurant is about to close.

“I am leaving,” he says.

“For whom do I fix? For Vancouverites? For city hall?”

Kim has owned the business for five years.

“We used to sell around 200 burgers every day,” he says.

“Now it’s dropped, people go for cheaper burgers. Our burger is not junk [food], it’s a home-style burger. We prepare every morning, very fresh.”

Punk rock singer Billy Hopeless thinks Wally’s still does the best burger in town.

“The Deluxe Wagon is a superior hamburger, and Wally’s is a superior burger joint,” says Hopeless, the leader of cult heroes the Black Halos.

“It’s got two patties, cheese and lettuce in a hoagie bun, what they call a wagon bun. You can get it with a hot dog if you want, bacon. You can get a fried egg on it. But the main ingredient is Wally’s Top Secret Relish, which is not for sale. Even though there’s a bucket right behind it that says ‘Sun Spun relish’ on it, which I think is a no-name brand you buy at Superstore.

“But I love the fact that they call it Wally’s Top Secret Relish. And I love the fact that you can get pogos at Wally’s, the Canadian corn dog.”

Quality burgers have been Wally’s forte since an Austrian immigrant named Wally Stritzel started the restaurant in 1962, taking over from another burger joint called Harvey’s.

“It used to be the best in town,” says Wally’s brother Hermann.

“Because everything was fresh, nothing was frozen. If he didn’t like the way the hamburger patties looked he’d send it back. The fries, the same way. He advertised his stuff as quality food, that’s why he built up his business real good. It was a gold mine at one time. Friday, Saturday night, that place was so damn packed.”

Kingsway was hopping in the ’60s, when teenagers would cruise up and down the strip, stop in for a burger and shake, then cruise some more.

“They used to have a special, two cheeseburgers for 19 cents,” recalls Eric Harvey, whose family has owned Harvey’s furniture and appliance store down the street since 1927.

“They used to make their chuck wagon burgers with Canadian back bacon. When Wally Stritzel took it over, his mom used to go in there and clean out the whole kitchen. And it was the cleanest kitchen, ’cause she was Italian, of course.”

Actually she was Austrian.

“Austrian, Italian, whatever, when she cleaned that place it was it spotless, it was fantastic,” says Harvey.

In spite of its popularity, Stritzel sold Wally’s in the ’70s.

“He sold out as soon as McDonald’s started building up,” Hermann Stritzel explains.

“They built a McDonald’s at Kingsway and Victoria, he had a hunch [it would hurt business]. So he sold it.”

Wally Stritzel suffered from diabetes, and passed away 10 years ago at the age of 63. But the restaurant bearing his name soldiered on. A family named Ahn ran it for many years, then Kim took over.

Kingsway has changed dramatically since Wally’s heyday. At one time, Kingsway was the main entrance into Vancouver, which spawned a thriving drive-in culture. It also used to be the place where guys in hot cars would go to race.

“In the summertime we’d just wait outside the store here, waiting for them to wind ’em up,” Harvey recalls.

“Then we’d leave here at nine o’clock, go home, get changed and go to the drive-in and drive around.”

“Wally’s is sort of the last of the roadside architecture that Kingsway was known for, because it was the entrance to Vancouver,” says heritage expert John Atkin.

“You had a number of really interesting drive-ins and restaurants and motels and that kind of stuff. With the city’s pending wrecking of the 2400 Motel [down the street], Wally’s represents the last little piece of the old Kingsway.”

The city owns the 2400 Motel, which also has a remarkable neon sign. But both the 2400 and Wally’s are likely to fall prey to a higher-density redevelopment of Kingsway the city calls “Norquay Village.”

“There might be some token heritage there, they might save the [2400] sign in situ,” Atkin says.

The Wally’s site is owned by a company called West 75th Holdings, a family concern that has owned the site for five decades. Spokesman Al Gjernes says there are no plans for the site yet, but notes that “the city doesn’t want any fast food restaurants there or anything automotive oriented.”

Gjernes says the company owns about 300 feet of Kingsway street frontage around Wally’s.

“The [Wally’s] building is tired, it needs to be redone,” he says.

“It just wasn’t generating the economics, the return. The lands in that area are fairly valuable now.”

What will become of the sign? Gjernes says the pylon it sits on is in bad shape and it would have to be replaced (on close inspection, the pylon is slightly leaning). Kim would like to donate it to a museum. Atkin thinks a creative solution would be fix it up and leave it on Kingsway, which is what Burnaby recently did with the Helen’s children’s clothing sign on Hastings.

“I think it should be collected [by the Vancouver Museum], or the museum should talk to the city about it being an in situ artifact,” Atkin says.

“It would be in the museum collection, but it’s on the streets of Vancouver. Take a lead from Burnaby, which is doing some interesting stuff.”

eastvan history 101: lesson 1 – first avenue viaduct

May 1, 2010

i just found this article online,
almost brought a tear to my eye.

it’s regarding eastvan history. this area i’ve grown up knowing in my days and times, becoming a recognizable image in my mind, the history of it. where it came from. there definitely was a time before this thing was around. this shows the transition of that place to what it became which would eventually give me reason to want to represent the area i am from.

the area is first avenue and the viaduct.
that is an area that takes you from downtown to the heart of eastvan.
the area i used to visit to see my grandma. i was from another area of eastvan but my grandma lived near this area.
the views outside, the memories of growing up an 80’s baby seeing that area and associating good or bad times.
now to see it in a light of older times. times where literally cutting your own wood to light the stove at your house was a way of life.
there are little rays of sunshine around this viaduct area that still exist. near seymour elementary i get the feeling of old vancouver. i look at certain buildings and imagine myself during the times those buildings were constructed or their beginning times of being occupied.

not strathcona but the side east of raycam bridge.

this post that follows is from  flight_from_kamakura on the forum
i am really appreciative of what they have done to expose this side of vancouver to the public.

i hope you don’t mind me posting this article on my blog

thank you

first avenue viaduct.

vancouver wasn’t always vancouver, and back in the day, grandview-woodlands was a quiet community rather distant from vancouver’s commercial areas. in 1937, the city constructed a viaduct over the railways’ berths and other badlands, to connect grandview more directly with the heart of things. all images from the city archives.
pre-construction, northeast view, from the roof a railcar, not too far from glen/clark station. we’re seeing the intersection of clark and first ave (or the head of first ave, as it was then):

two views at the same stage of construction:

they don’t make them like this anymore:

completed october 1938:

the long view: