A beauty of architecture on Hastings – designed by architects Sharp and Thompson in the style of London’s Victorian Gentleman’s Club and the front facade seems unchanged since built in 1913.
The Vancouver Club was formed in 1889 and was a private gentleman’s club. There were many private clubs at this time – early days in Vancouver’s history, exclusive clubs formed with strict memberships and characterized by politics or special interests. Other clubs such as Terminal City Club (still exists next door) and Railway Club.
This Vancouver City Archives photo shows the original building on the right and the newly built Vancouver Club on the left. Note the building behind. This area of the new Vancouver was Residential – and the members of the Vancouver Club lived in the neighbourhood, until the upper class moved out of the “City” to new homes South of here, eventually making their homes in Shaughnessy.
Thankfully, at some point in the 1970s the City of Vancouver identified some 60 historic and architecturally significant buildings and put them on protected Heritage Status – probably the only reason some gems such as this still exist. If only they would still do that today instead of dance with developers.
Entrance with silver leaf ceiling.
Top of the stairs before entering the Grand Ballroom.
The Grand Ballroom – with Austrian Oak wood panels -carved, dry fit, shipped over and reassembled. This room was added at a later date and more recently has been used for weddings and other events. The lampshades are a source of debate.
View out the back – peekaboo view of the mountains – above the Convention Centre. When this was built the waterfront was closer than it is today – there was a bluff with the train tracks below prior to the Viaduct being built.
Other view to rear (North).
Reverse view of Grand Ballroom – small bands have played up on the balcony- and that is an original clock.
Originally the Spouses room – as a Gentleman’s Club, the third floor was for MEN ONLY until 2000 with the amalgamation with the Georgian Women’s Club. This building had one of the first elevators, and to this day it does not stop at the third floor, as was used by the wives at the side entrance.
Other side of the Georgian Room. This room by day is for use by business people and devices are allowed up here – devices are not permitted in other areas of the club.
The bar – with private individual lockers (another whole wall of them behind me) – handy during prohibition – public drinking not allowed – this was a private club so did not apply here. Note Winston Churchill sitting in a place of prominence.
This section of the bar was built to match the existing – it is a cozy spot.
Billiards Room – tables imported from England and craned in over the rear balcony.
I attended a Vancouver Heritage Foundation fundraise event hosted at the Vancouver Club. I live in the suburbs an hour south of downtown Vancouver, 3 water body crossings. I always enjoy their events and worth the trek to attend.
The Vancouver Club has transitioned well with the times and seems (as an outside observer) to have shifted to being a business persons club and venue for events.
My name is Sue Womersley and I am a design consultant in White Rock BC sharing my interest in design, architecture and West Coast living.