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Archives Photos of the Day: Ghost Signs

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 — 1:34pm PDT
Comments 5

Painted on the sides of brick buildings that lined Hastings and other downtown thoroughfares that have existed for the better part of the last century, there was obviously a time when Vancouver’s ghost signs were just signs. Thanks to the Vancouver Archives, here’s a quick look at these painted adverts in their heyday.

1917 – Powell Street. Archives item# CVA 99-185.

1929 – Granville, looking north from Helmcken. Archives item# CVA 99-1964. Photographer: Stuart Thomson.

1932 – East Hastings. Archives item# CVA 20-51.

1945 – Archives item# CVA 586-4089. Photographer: Steffens Colmer.

1946 – Carrall Street. Archives item# CVA 586-4594. Photographer: Steffens Colmer.

1951 – Granville at Georgia. Archives item# CVA 772-7.

1932 – Granville. Archives item# CVA 20-109.

1974 – Homer Street. Archives item# CVA 778-194.

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  1. Deb Hope says:

    Love the look back. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful signs; thanks for your post, B!

  3. Cool!

    The thing that strikes me most about these photos has nothing to do with signs, though. It’s the lack of tall buildings. The Vancouver skyline was definitely very different 60 years ago.

  4. Mike says:


    You are very correct. Back then there were rules that prevented certain elements from blocking the view of the mountains, etc. Seems we no longer pay attention to it.

  5. Louise says:

    Thanks for posting. Very interesting.

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