The Triangle Building: ‘Aorta’ of Mount Pleasant’s ‘Heritage Heart’

Christine Hagemoen – 2017

The Triangle Building at 2402-2422 Main St/44, 46 Kingsway is a key building in what has become affectionately known as Mount Pleasant’s ‘Heritage Heart’, the area around the triangle block. Created by Broadway and the historic intersection of Kingsway, Main Street and 7th Avenue and referred to by this name in the Mount Pleasant Community Plan (2010), the ‘Heritage Heart’ was the hub from which ‘Old Mount Pleasant Village’ developed and it has remained the hub of the neighbourhood ever since.

The Triangle Building was built by merchant, developer and philanthropist Ben Wosk in 1947.  Beneath the grey stuccoed skin of this unique Streamlined Art Moderne building still exists the original vitrolite exterior finish.  This pigmented structural glass was a product of mid-century developments in material science.  Also indicative of the period’s affinity for slick shiny surfaces are the stainless steel window and door frames which surround the building front and back.

VPL-78025B – Robert O. Bentley 1972 Dominion Photo Co.

Mount Pleasant’s vibrant mix of small businesses is one of its characteristics most valued by both its residents and the city at large. Since it was built, the Wosk Block/Triangle Building has provided more small, accessible storefronts and offices for the neighbourhood’s countless prized independent businesses than any other building in the area. One locally owned shop especially cherished by the community was Bain’s Candies and Fine Chocolates (established in 1938), which was housed in the tip of the building from the time the Wosk Block opened in 1948 until the turn of the 21st century. People still remember Campbell Munro who made candies for Bain’s for more than 66 years. The building is currently home to an eclectic group of businesses much loved by the community and provides some of the most affordable commercial rents in the area, as was highlighted in the recent article in the MetroNews, ‘Landlord helps keep block ‘alive’ (Thursday, February 21st, 2017).

aa-1404-CBC – Alvin Armstrong – 1956 – Night Shot for Almanac

The building’s upstairs offices have continually been used by businesses, community groups and non-profit associations emblematic of the neighbourhood and important to the community’s social and cultural cohesion. In the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s there was a high concentration of industrial workers associations and credit unions mixed among various professionals as well as community groups like the Viet Nam Action Committee and Canadian Jewish Outlook Magazine. Since the late 1980’s the offices have been home to many arts organizations and artists studios along with other groups and businesses. The building tells the story of the neighbourhood’s evolution and changing identity and its present popularity as a social gathering place, both inside its shops, cafe and eateries and outside along the sidewalk, reflects how much the building and its tenants are held dear by the people of Vancouver.

As the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group it is our goal to identify, celebrate and preserve heritage buildings that are not only of architectural interest and importance but that have a history of contributing to the social/cultural identity and fabric of the community.  It is our hope to open up a conversation about the future of this treasured and vital building that might be characterized as the ‘aorta’ of the ‘Heritage Heart’.

Addendum to original post:  This photo shows the Triangle Building with its new mural by Bracken Hanuse Corlett, painted for the Vancouver Mural Festival 2017.

Mural by Bracken Hanuse Corlett

Mural by Bracken Hanuse Corlett

Advertisements
Standard

Thanks For Dropping By Our 5th Heritage Lounge!

It was great to again meet so many heritage enthusiasts at the recent Mural Festival/MPBIA Street Party and to have such keen interest in our displays and take away materials about Mount Pleasant’s history.

Our colouring station with pages created by local artists of key treasured buildings was non-stop busy and we also had one by Priscilla Yu of her mural done this year.

 

 

We very much appreciate all of the encouragement we received to continue our work of celebrating and advocating on behalf of Mount Pleasant’s rich and cherished heritage. Mount Pleasant’s heritage lives!

 

Many thanks to Bruce Macdonald for the loan of his maps and for being our in-house historian, Stan of Rath Art Supplies for the loan of an easel and his ongoing support, Charmaine Carpenter and Neil Wyles of the MPBIA for booth support and the loan of Neil’s tent, Pitt Meadows Museum for the loan of their tent and the Quebec Manor Co-op for the loan of furniture.

The Heritage Lounge crew this year was Christine, Colin, Danielle, Flora and Jennifer with lead-in support from Alyssa and take down help from Erin and Laura of the Quebec Manor.

Standard

Join Us For Our 5th Heritage Lounge Saturday, August 12th from 12 – 6

The Heritage Lounge will again be located in front of Rath Art Supplies at 2412 Main Street, just up from the intersection of Main, Kingsway and 7th Avenue and a part of the Vancouver Mural Festival’s street party. The street party is sponsored by the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area (MPBIA) and Create Vancouver Society.

Stan at Rath Art Supply

Along with displays and maps about Mount Pleasant’s history, including its long and rich tradition of being home to a vibrant arts community, we will have colouring pages celebrating the neighbourhood’s built, cultural, natural and industrial heritage created by local artists.

Jennifer Chernecki & James Lloyd colouring pages

Jennifer Chernecki created the page of the 1889 James Black Residence at 144 E 6th representing the time when it housed the Gropp’s Gallery Collective (from 2008 until 2014). James Lloyd’s illustration of the 1889 Depencier House at 151 E 8th depicts the Victorian building when it was home to the legendary Bain’s Candies and Fine Chocolates.

This year we will have several new colouring pages as well as a colouring station sponsored by Rath Art Supplies. The pages are free for the taking and if you don’t have time to sit down and do a little colouring we encourage you to take one home.

We will also have some neighbourhood walking tour pamphlets and our Heritage Heart Look and Find to take away.

We look forward to you dropping by and sharing your stories of the neighbourhood. Mount Pleasant’s Heritage Lives!

Standard

My Canada Is…In My Backyard

Have you ever wondered why Mount Pleasant’s streets are named after the Canadian provinces/territories & why Ontario Street is the centre/000 block of Vancouver?

In 1869 Henry Valentine Edmonds, the clerk of the municipal council in New Westminster, acquired District Lot 200A – the wilderness south of False Creek and north of today’s Broadway that would later become Mount Pleasant. By 1888, a year after the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Dr. Israel Powell, who hailed from Ontario, was a co-owner of the land with Edmonds. In 1871 Dr. Powell had been one of the key people to negotiate the entry of the British colony of British Columbia into the country of Canada, which had been created in 1867.

Dr. Powell named all his streets in Mount Pleasant after the seven provinces that made up Canada in 1888, when the neighbourhood was established; thus creating a representation of the map of Canada. The centre street of Vancouver’s grid system is Powell’s Ontario Street, the 000 hundred block going east-west. He probably did this because Ontario is known as central Canada and it was Powell’s birthplace. The eastern province streets are east of Ontario Street with the western province streets west of it.

“The original map of Canada street name system in Mount Pleasant was later extended to include two new north-south streets after a new province and a new territory were formed: Alberta Street, in the 300 block west (Alberta was formed in 1905) and Yukon Street in the 400 block west (the Yukon territory was formed in 1898).”

Information, quotes and map from the ‘Mount Pleasant Historic Context Statement’ (pages 2-5) written by Bruce Macdonald in 2008 for Donald Luxton and Associates and the City of Vancouver.

MPHG would like to thank the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area (MPBIA) and Rath Art Supplies for their generous support of this project.

This Heritage Week 2017 project brought to you by Alyssa, Danielle and Jennifer.

Standard

Celebrating Heritage Week 2017 and the theme ‘My Canada Is…’

Have you ever wondered why Mount Pleasant’s streets are named after the Canadian provinces/territories & why Ontario Street is the centre/000 block of Vancouver?

For an explanation check out our Heritage Week 2017 banner display ‘My Canada Is…In My Backyard’.

my-canada-is

The banner is in the window of Rath Art Supplies, located in the Triangle Building at 2412 Main Street, right in the centre of Mount Pleasant’s ‘Heritage Heart’.

It will be up until February 26th, 2017.

Mount Pleasant Heritage Lives!      window-on-side-of-crosbie-blk-on-sw-corner-of-main-8th

MPHG would like to thank the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area (MPBIA) and Rath Art Supplies for their generous support of this project.

Standard

Mount Pleasant’s Historical Themes

Each year since the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group’s inception we have had a Heritage Lounge (at the Autumn Shift Festival 2013-2015 and at the Vancouver Mural Festival 2016). We have created display boards on different topics including this one on Mount Pleasant’s historical themes. To access the City of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant Community Plan document, on which this display board is based, click here.mp-themes-2015-dec2c

Standard

Thanks for Joining Us at the Heritage Lounge!

IMG_2643IMG_2641Thank you to everyone who dropped by the Heritage Lounge. It was lovely to meet so many heritage enthusiasts interested in Mount Pleasant’s history and be part of the Vancouver Mural Festival/ MPBIA street fest.

IMG_2642
A feature display this year was ‘My Mount Pleasant: Vancouver’s First Suburb’, put together by the neighbourhood’s grade five heritage ambassador Lauren Lee for BC Heritage Fairs. Everyone was most impressed with her engaging storytelling about our historic neighbourhood and her own heritage home. Click here to see her companion video for Young Citizens.

2 col pgs
We had the beginnings of our next project available, which is a colouring book with pages by local artists celebrating Mount Pleasant’s built, cultural, natural and industrial heritage.
Bain's col pg - Jen
Jen - col pg Her Lg 16

Jen Chernecki is colouring James Lloyd‘s illustration of the 1889 Depencier House at 151 E 8th, which depicts the building when it was home to Bain’s Candies and Fine Chocolates. Bain’s was in Mount Pleasant for over sixty years. The Depencier House is currently home to eight 1/2 Restaurant. Jen’s illustration is of the 1889 James Black Residence when it housed the Gropp’s Gallery Collective between 2008 to 2014. The residence is currently home to the James Black Gallery.

IMG_2650

Sean MacPherson was on hand to tell about his ‘Remembering Brewery Creek’ project. We are happy to report that he has received a grant from the Chapman & Innovations Fund at UBC to create a website and walking app about the historical creek. We look forward to this new documentation of a key aspect of Mount Pleasant’s history.

IMG_2645

Great to have Josh and Finn pouring lemonade for thirsty visitors on a hot day.

Many thanks to Lauren Lee and her family, local artists James Lloyd and Jennifer Chernecki and to Sean MacPherson.

Big thanks as well to Bruce Macdonald for the loan of his maps and photos, Stan of Rath Art Supplies for the easels, the Quebec Manor Co-op for the Lounge furniture and the MPBIA for the canopy.

The Heritage Lounge crew this year was Alyssa, Danielle, Jen and James & Sally.

Standard