In the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs, we have historic photographs depicting street scenes in Vancouver in the early 1900s. In this post, we will introduce some of our favourite photographs, showing the heritage buildings in Downtown Vancouver. We hope you can identify these buildings and how they have changed since then!

Carnegie Library

Carnegie Library, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1910 and 1920?]

The building is located on the corner of Main Street and Hastings Streets and is now the Vancouver Public Library, Carnegie Branch.

Holy Rosary Cathedral

The Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1910 and 1920?]

Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1901 and 1910?]

The Holy Rosary Cathedral is located at the intersection of Richards and Dunsmuir streets. It opened on December 8, 1900. It is listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register and is a legally protected building (source: Wikipedia). Here is a photo of the altar in the Holy Rosary Cathedral.

Sanctuary of R.C. Cathedral, Vancouver, B.C., [1906]

Hotel Europe

Hotel Europe, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1905 and 1915?]

The caption on the postcard reads, “The only ABSOLUTELY fireproof hotel in the Dominion – when in Vancouver, visit us”.

The building was constructed in 1908-1909. Situated on a triangular area formed by Powell Street and Alexander Street, beside the Maple Tree Square in Gastown, it is designed in the “flatiron” style. The name “flatiron” derives from the building’s resemblance to a cloth iron. (Source: Wikipedia).

Dominion Trust Building

Another flatiron-style heritage building is the Dominion Trust Building at the corner of West Hastings and Cambie Streets, across the street from Victory Square. There are a few postcards in the Uno Langmann collection depicting the building in different times.

A Busy Corner in Vancouver, B.C., [not after 1909]

Dominion Trust Block, [not after 1910]

Dominion Trust Building, Vancouver, B.C., [1910]

The Dominion Trust Building, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1920 and 1930?]

Vancouver Block

The Vancouver Block sits near the intersection of Granville and Georgia Streets. Constructed between 1910 and 1912, it was one of the grandest skyscrapers at that time (source: Canada’s Historic Places).

The Vancouver Block, one of the newest skyscrapers

Here is a double postcard with the second connected card depicting a typical floor plan for the building.

Vancouver Block, [between 1912 and 1915?]

The building features a large clock tower on the top. Let’s have a close look at how big the clock is!

Clock on the observation deck of the Vancouver Block building, [1921]

Post Office Building and Winch Building

New Post Office, Vancouver, B.C., [1910]

Post office, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1920 and 1935?]

Winch Building, Vancouver, B.C., [not before 1911]

Completed in 1910, the old Post Office Building is located at the corner of Granville and Hastings Streets. Vancouver’s main post office was housed here from 1910 to 1958. Adjoining the old Post Office Building is the Winch Building, completed in 1911. The two buildings are now part of the Sinclair Centre. (Source: Wikipedia).

We hope you enjoyed this post! In the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs we also have photographs from other cities and towns in BC, such as Victoria, New Westminster, Penticton, and Fernie. To view more historic photographs, please visit Open Collections.


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