This year, as part of my volunteering for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, I will be photographing various heritage buildings in Vancouver. Initially I will be starting with residential buildings in the West End and Downtown Vancouver. One of the buildings on the list was The Plaza at 925 Bute Street in the West End … an apartment building on the south-west corner of Bute and Barclay Streets in the West End.
As soon as I saw the list included The Plaza I knew I had to start with it. Why, you may ask? My family actually has a history with this building. In 1940, after my parents were married in Victoria, they moved to Vancouver and rented an apartment in The Plaza. They lived in the apartment until June 1944 when they moved to their new home on West 20th Avenue.
While I haven’t yet found a definite construction date for The Plaza, it first appears in city directories in 1928. While I don’t have a great photo of the building at that time, the photo below, circa 1942, shows part of the building as it was then … and, in reality, as it is now. The Plaza is the lower building in the right corner of the photo.
Of course, 1940 to 1944 was a different reality as far as rents were concerned … read and weep when you see what my parents paid in monthly rent for that period of time … of course, salaries were much much lower at that time as well.
The interior of their apartment can be seen in the following photos. The first photo shows the living room in 1942. Note that I have the silver tea service on the table.
This next photo shows a Christmas scene, circa 1942-43 …
The last photo shows my Mum, on the right, and her Mum, on the left, sitting in the living room area in June 1943.
While I an not sure if they were already looking for a house, in 1944 they were required to move … my older sister was born in December 1943 and babies were not allowed in the building as per the letter below:
The last photo shows the corner ground floor unit which they rented.
In June 1944 my parents moved from the apartment to their new house at 2150 West 20th Avenue. The building today does not look much different then it did in 1940 and, what was very nice to see, was continued building maintenance to the cornice on the roof last year. Hopefully the building has many many years of life remaining.