Vancouver History Tidbits: Abbott to Tatlow and Gabriolaby
I recently received a new comment on my John Henry Cambie post from last May and I was inspired to look up a few more names, particularly those who have streets named after them.
Abbott I used to work on Abbott street, which runs from the waters edge in Gastown straight through to where GM Place meets False Creek. As with many founders, developers and namesakes, Henry Braithwaite Abbott was an executive with the CPR. He was also present in Craigellachie BC when the last spike was laid. and he was on the first train from Montreal to Port Moody with Lord Strathcona. [read more on VancouverHistory.ca] A house he built in 1889 still stands today at 720 Jervis.
Dunbar Charles Trott Dunbar was a pioneer and real estate who arrived in town and helped with develop what was dubbed the Dunbar Heights area. He planned a logging railway in 1909 and in 1910 he was able to incorporate the Port Moody, Indian Arm & Northern Railway. [read more on VancouverHistory.ca] However, some argue that the Dunbar area was not named for Charles, rather for the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.
Edmonds You may know it as a SkyTrain station or a street near the Burnaby/New Westminster border but Henry Valentine Edmonds was actually the founder (and first developer) of Mount Pleasant in Vancouver. He was a sherriff in New Westminster in 1880 and then mayor of the City in 1883. He also founded Howe Sound Silver Mining and the Fraser River Beet Sugar company. He supported the Interurban project which ran between Vancouver and New Westminster and lost all of his wealth when it went bankrupt [read more on VancouverHistory.ca]
Tatlow John and I often take the Tatlow trail in Stanley Park and you may have also driven down Tatlow in North Vancouver or visited Tatlow Park. All of these are named after Robert Garnett Tatlow who was very successful in real estate and actually married Henry John Cambie’s eldest daughter. He was also a founder of BC Tel and died in a peculiar accident – by falling off a carriage when a car frightened his horse [read more on VancouverHistory.ca]
As a side note, while reading up on Blue Blood Alley (the nickname for the lavish community of mansions in the West End), I discovered that the manor on Nicola at Davie known to many as the home of the Macaroni Grill is called “Gabriola” [source: City of Vancouver].
It was built in 1900-1901 for Benjamin Tingley Rogers (of BC Sugar) and its stones were quarried on Gabriola Island. The mansion also had a series of tunnels used for rum running and to connect it to the manor over on Bidwell, known in the last decade as Balthazar night club. It recently returned to the name “Maxine’s” which is a throw back to Maxine’s College of Beauty Culture in the 1930’s and 40’s (when it used to be a bordello) [source: see the west end].
Gabriola has been re-purposed for over the last few decades as well and recently I noticed that the Macaroni Grill had moved out. If anyone has an update on Gabriola it would be greatly appreciated.
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I read somewhere that Balthazar nightclub used to be a finishing school for young ladies, and “back in the day,” when the school’s headmistress was struggling financially, she’d shuffle some of her girls through the underground tunnels to some of Gabriola‘s patrons in exchange for money. It’s only what I heard – it’s probably not true.
Henry Abbott is also the namesake for Abbotsford. He was good friends with the Maclure family who founded Abbotsford, and he placed a railway station in their new town to ensure it’s success.
I tried to take my wife to the Macaroni Grill for dinner on a trip downtown last year as she had never been inside, but they were shut down for a private function. They gave me a card for a free appetizer for our troubles, I guess I can clean that out of my wallet.
@ Gregg – there’s a Macaroni Grill at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood if you’re down towards Seattle any time soon
I heard The Keg will move into the old Macaroni Grill space.
Found a bit more info! 🙂
@ Sophia – that would be quite the strategic move especially since The Keg is now the sponsor of the Celebration of Light fireworks in English Bay
Yes, it would be a good move. Before I met my wife, I used to take my date to the Macaroni Grill and eat dinner on the lawn before wandering down the road to the fireworks.
[…] of my other favourite houses include the collection in the West End, from Gabriola to Roedde House. I hope to continue this theme as an ongoing series, featuring interesting places […]
[…] moved to Vancouver from Ireland, Tatlow married into the Cambie family, and CPR wealth (as noted in this post). He then served as Park Commissioner from 1888 until […]
The “Gabriola” mansion has been bought by David Aisenstatt of the Keg/Gothams/Shoreclub fame,to become what else,a Keg.
I am writing a book ‘Vancouver Exposed A History in Photographs’ and would like to speak to someone about Gabriola.
Don Waite – 604-812-5114
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