Archives Photos of the Day: Ghost Signs

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

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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5 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Deb HopeWednesday, February 29th, 2012 — 1:42pm PST

    Love the look back. Thanks for sharing.

  2. fotoeins | HenryWednesday, February 29th, 2012 — 5:53pm PST

    Beautiful signs; thanks for your post, B!

  3. Amber @ Vancouver MomThursday, March 1st, 2012 — 10:27am PST


    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. MikeThursday, March 1st, 2012 — 1:02pm PST


    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. LouiseWednesday, March 7th, 2012 — 8:07am PST

    Thanks for posting. Very interesting.

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