Meeting under the Birks clock is as “Vancouver” as whistling the $1.49 Day Woodward’s jingle or stampeding through Army & Navy on shoe sale day.
The iconic timepiece stood outside Birks’ flagship store on Granville and Hastings and was moved to Georgia and Granville – spending time at town major downtown intersections over the years. It was then safely removed during Canada Line construction in about 2006 and today it was unveiled once more back at Granville and Hastings.
The clock however, once went by another name. Jeweler and Diamond Merchant George E. Trorey was the official Watch Inspector for the CPR back in the early days of Vancouver.
The timepiece stood outside his shop on Granville and Hastings until Henry Birks & Sons of Montreal came to town and bought him out.
In 1907 they renamed the Trorey Clock to the Birks Clock, keeping Trorey on hand as a Manager of the company (source: VancouverHistory).
In 1913 when Birks opened up a new store on Granville and Georgia, the clock followed and stayed there until 1994, it was then sent back down the road where it sat until two years ago.
The clock’s name is actually so legendary that many know of “The Birks Clock” but some often confuse it for the Vancouver Block Clock Tower on Granville.
You can check out this slice of Vancouver history for yourself any time of day as it stands once again at the corner of Granville and Hastings.