It’s back! I has been 3 years since I published my last Local History Advent Calendar! So much has happened since that last time—including the publication of my first book, Mount Pleasant Stories—that I figured it was about time to dust off the Local History Advent Calendar once again. Similar to a regular advent calendar but instead of chocolate treats, each day you “open” a new historical treat. Think of them as holiday cocktail party fodder– 24 facts or stories about local history that can be used as conversation starters at your next social event.
A rare existing example of an industrial building from Mount Pleasant’s past, this circa 1904 stone and brick structure was originally built as part of an expansion of Vancouver Breweries Ltd. operations.
A building permit was issued to the brewery in October 1903 for an $8,000 brick and stone building to be erected on the corner of Scotia Street & East 6th Avenue. Daily Province newspaper articles from 1903 reveal that the new two-storey building featured a bottle-washing room equipped with automatic electric machinery and was constructed for use as a storage cellar for ageing ale.
After the building ceased its brewery function it became the home to a variety of businesses over the next several decades including: confectioner Benjamin F. Fell’s Candy Factory (you can still see the hand painted Fell’s Candy Factory sign on the East 6th Avenue facade), Purity Dairy, Vancouver Creamery, Canada Grease Works, and a stucco manufacturing plant to make bottle-dash stucco. The building was converted into artist live-work spaces in 1993.
In 1998, a TV “docu-soap” called Brewery Creek , which followed the lives of residents of the Brewery Creek condos for two months, including one time resident, singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan aired on CBC.
You can read this and other Mount Pleasant stories in my walking tour book, Mount Pleasant Stories. Copies are available for purchase in Mount Pleasant at Pulpfiction Books – 2422 Main Street and in Chinatown at Massy Books – 229 E Georgia St. It makes a great gift or stocking stuffer for your favourite local history buff!