Georgia Medical-Dental Building and Cathedral Place

April 22nd, 2015 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Every day the Vancouver skyline seems to change, with new glass walls rising above the rooftops of previous generations. It’s not often that a whole tower is taken down though, and entirely replaced with another. That’s what happened to the Georgia Medical-Dental Building in 1989, when the 17-storey tower was razed and the 23-storey Cathedral Place tower popped up in its place.

View from the Vancouver Art Gallery – Sequence from the demolition video on YouTube

Built in 1927-29, the Medical-Dental Building was the first art deco skyscraper built in Vancouver and was designed by the same architects who did the Marine Building, McCarter and Nairne. “Like the Marine Building it rose in tiers, topped by pale terra cotta that dripped off the brick facade like ice cream,” reported the Vancouver Sun.

January 9, 1929 VPL#: 12145; March 4, 1929 VPL#: 12148; June 15, 1929 VPL#: 12154 by Leonard Frank

Chuck Davis wrote about the features of the building in his History of Metropolitan Vancouver: “[The Medical-Dental Building] was richly embellished with whimsical ornaments like plump little terra cotta owls and other birds, lions and horses. The building was adorned with medical, religious and mythological symbols around the main door. Most of its tenants were doctors, dentists and the like. Easily the most famous distinguishing features on the building were three 11-foot-high terra cotta statues of nursing sisters in First World War uniforms, one perched on each of the building’s three visible corners.”

1950s: Georgia Medical-Dental Building viewed from the Vancouver Art Gallery steps. Archives# 2008-022.040.

At about the 10th-storey level, the building was graced with 11-foot-high, terra cotta statues depicting a Nursing Sister of World War I, one on each of the building’s three visible corners. Architects John Young McCarter (1886-1981) and George Colvil Nairne (1884-1953) had both served overseas during World War I. McCarter was seriously wounded and credited the Nursing Sisters with saving his life. They founded their architectural firm in 1921, and when they obtained the contract for the Medical Dental Building, they decided to honor the Nursing Sisters. The sculptures were designed by Joseph Francis Watson. A local joke among the medical users of the building was that the statues represented the Rhea Sisters – Gono, Dia, and Pyo. [Source: Vancouver’s Monuments To Nurses by Nina Rumen, RN, BScN / RNABC History of Nursing Group]

1969: Looking down West Georgia Street. Hotel Vancouver on the left, Medical-Dental Building on the right. Archives# CVA 780-17.

As a young girl, out on one of our many family Sunday drives, I distinctly recall looking up at the “Nursing Sisters”. In fact, it’s the only building I remember admiring when I was a child, through the window of our van. This memory must have been before I was even 10 years old as the building was imploded in 1989.

Following the public outcry that surrounded the dramatic demolition of the Georgia Medical Dental Building, City Council introduced a policy to prevent the future demolition of “A”-listed heritage buildings.

Council has instructed that prior to consideration of a proposal that includes demolition of an “A” listed building, a formal independent consultant’s report on the physical condition and economic viability of retaining the building be reviewed by the Director of Planning. The report is at the expense of the applicant.” Council reaffirmed this policy on April 18, 1991. [Heritage Vancouver]

2011-2014: Cathedral Place on Google Maps

The Shaw Tower at Cathedral Place is a dramatic postmodern structure designed by Vancouver architect Paul Merrick. Cathedral Place was developed through a joint venture with Sir Run Run Shaw of Hong Kong to realize a long-time dream of Charles Shon to redevelop the Georgia Medical-Dental Building site creating an enduring architectural landmark.

Photo credit: Michael & Philip Tong on Flickr

A public campaign was raised to save the original statues for the new building. However, as these proved both extremely heavy and difficult to remove from the original building, replicas had to be made. When the new tower opened in 1991, the replicas were mounted at about the 3rd-storey level, easily visible from the streets. [Source: Vancouver’s Monuments To Nurses by Nina Rumen, RN, BScN / RNABC History of Nursing Group]

Cathedral Place's Nursing Sister Statue
Photo credit: Swire on Flickr

In 1992, the Museum of Vancouver took the least-damaged head from one of the broken statues for safe-keeping; this was also patched and repaired and is held for display by the Museum. A fibre-glass replica of the head also is on display in the lobby of Cathedral Place.

“I quite like Cathedral Place,” writes Eve Lazarus. “It’s nicely tiered, the roof fits in with the Hotel Vancouver across the street, and it even has a few nurses, gargoyles and lions pasted about as a reminder of the former building. Everyone over 35 likely remembers the three nurses in their starchy World War 1 uniforms looking down from their 11th storey parapets.”

While walking back from the Whitecaps FC 2 match at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium last Sunday I looked up at the corner of the Technology Enterprise Facility III building on campus and spotted some familiar faces. Looking down from fifth floor there they were, the Nursing Sisters! It felt as though I spotted an Expo86 bench in White Rock or a repurposed Vancouver 2010 sign — but I felt 10 times the excitement.

Nursing Sisters statues from the original Medial-Dental Building now at UBC

“A Vancouver landmark, [the Medical-Dental Building] was the focus of an intense public preservation campaign. Although the battle to save the building was lost, Discovery Parks purchased and restored the salvaged terra cotta, with proceeds used to benefit the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.”

Nursing Sisters statues from the original Medial-Dental Building now at UBC

I have yet to confirm whether these are another set of replicas (according the several sources they are) but the plaque on the building seems to imply that they are in fact the original, restored terra-cotta pieces. Either way, if we look close enough, there are pieces of local history all around us, and we just have to keep telling their story.

Got Craft Spring Fair Giveaway

April 21st, 2015 @ 3:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Got Craft? is Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair returns to the Maritime Labour Centre on May 2nd and May 3rd for their 17th show. Find the perfect mother’s day gift, a unique locally-made piece for your home, and get inspired. On top of an impressive lineup of local artisans, artists, designers, crafters Got Craft? is also bringing back some of their most popular workshops such as hand lettering with legendary sign painter, John Lennig of Big Top Sign Arts.


Dates: Saturday, May 2nd to Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Maritime Labour Centre at 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver, BC V5L 4C3
Tickets: $3 at the door and free for children 10 & under

The first 50 people through the door each day will receive a swag bag full of goods from vendors and sponsors. Also, D.I.Y. lovers will have a great time making their own craft projects at the workshops on site.

Got Craft Spring Fair Giveaway

I have an incredibly generous and fully loaded prize pack to give away, thanks to Got Craft? and its partners, valued at over $600! Here’s what is included:

The Uncommon Good – Province of BC Reclaimed Wood Art
East Van Light – 5.5 x 5.5″ block lamp
Jason Blower Illustration – Print of Granville Island
LanaBetty Designs – 3D printed nylon necklace with sterling silver chain
Locomotive Clothing – Life is Rad Baseball hand printed t-shirt
Anonum Design – Handmade iPad mini sleeve made from recycled rubber
RK Designs – Pyrite Cube Necklace Set on Matte Gold Fine Chain
Bueno Style – Classy glass vintage earrings
London Fields Shoppe – Handmade fabric eReader sleeve
The Beautiful Project – A package of assorted greeting cards
C Yarn Hut – Clarissa Amigurumi Keychain
fancypop – Double-sided glitter cube and faux pearl earrings
Green With Envy – Terrarium
Fable Naturals – Set of 3 organic soaps
G & T Design – Screen printed linen tea towel
Light & Lines Studio by Sarah Clement – Set of 4 greeting cards
The Salt Dispensary – Savoury salt sample packs: Toasted onion, spanish rosemary, roasted garlic, smashed peppercorn, and sun ripened tomato.
Strathcona 1890 Urban Seed Collections – Plant Tonic + Easy Peasy flower seeds
Paperbacknote – Up-cycled handcrafted Archie comic notebook
1UP Caramels – Salted butter caramels

Of course tickets are also included in the prize! Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
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  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win #GotCraft tix + an exclusive $600 gift bag from @lfieldsshoppe + @Miss604

Bringing together a community that fosters handmade and DIY culture, Got Craft? was founded in 2007 and is held twice a year in May and December, becoming Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair. Follow Got Craft? on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information and inspiration.

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Monday, April 27, 2015.

604 Corners: 12 Dreamy Photos of Delta

April 21st, 2015 @ 3:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It may often be overlooked but Delta, BC is home to some amazing scenery. There’s Boundary Bay Regional Park, Westham Island, Burns Bog, Watershed Park, Tsawwassen, and the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, along with big skies over farm land and Fraser River sunsets. Delta is today’s 604 Corners photo feature:

12 Dreamy Photos of Delta

Island In The Mist
Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

Waves of Grass, Wind Rises
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Snow Geese Migration
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Blue on blue
Photo credit: Eric Flexyourhead on Flickr

Dead Calm
Photo credit: Chris C on Flickr

Freezing Marsh in Winter
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Winter Marshes at Twilight
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Snowy Owls at Boundary Bay
Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

Tranquility in Winter
Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Have fun in the pumpkin patch
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Dyke Access
Photo credit: Robert W. White on Flickr

Fire in the Sky by the River
Photo credit: Winson Tang on Flickr

604Corners604 Corners Series:
12 Photos of Delta
12 Photos of Steveston
12 Photos of Port Moody
12 Photos of Maple Ridge
12 Photos of Squamish

BC Youth Week 2015

April 21st, 2015 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

BC Youth Week is happening Friday, May 1st until Thursday, May 7th with free/affordable events taking place across the province, from Courtenay, to Abbotsford, and Williams Lake.

This internationally celebrated event aims to recognize the positive contributions youth make in their communities, and to celebrate the valuable work youth do all year round. There are a diverse range of events planned this year and there is sure to be something for absolutely everyone. Random acts of kindness, skateboarding competitions, concerts, sporting events, contests, prizes, and more!


BC Youth Week Events

Check out the full list of events online:

Trades & Technical Career Fair 2015 – Delta
Date & Time: Thursday, April 30, 2015 from 9:00am to 8:00pm
Location: Sungod Recreation Centre (7815 112 Street, Delta)
Cost: Free / Event Link

Youth Week Kickoff Event – Boys & Girls Club of Williams Lake
Date & Time: Friday May 1, 2015 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: Lake City Secondary, Senior Campus (640 Carson Drive)
Cost: Free / Event Link
Events and activities through to Friday, May 8, 2015

BC Youth Week Activities – Port Moody Arts Centre
Date & Time: Friday, May 1, 2015 to Thursday, May 7, 2015
Location: Port Moody Arts Centre (2425 St Johns St, Port Moody)
Event Link
Join the Port Moody Arts Centre for activities including teen open studio, workshops, and classes.

Family Dinner Night – Abbotsford
Date & Time: Friday May 1, 2015 doors at 5:30pm, dinner at 6:00pm
Location: AYC Youth Centre at Matsqui Rec Centre (3106 Clearbrook Rd)
Contact: Christy at AYC 604-854-8785 or
Youth are invited to bring their family and friends to the AYC for a family style dinner. Enjoy a spaghetti dinner and spend some quality time with your family & friends. Youth will help in the dinner prep. View a full list of Abbotsford Youth Commission events online, from May 1st to May 7th.

Youth Week Block Party – Burnaby
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 1:00 to 4:00pm
Location: Edmonds Community Centre (7433 Edmonds St, Burnaby)
Cost: Free / Event Link
Come celebrate Youth Week with sports, activities, fun and games. There will be art and music showcased by Burnaby youth. Ages 10-18.

Youth Week Dance – Coquitlam
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 7:00 to 10:00pm
Location: Pinetree Community Centre (1260 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam)
Cost: $2 presale / $4 at the door
Grab your friends and dance the night away with Deejay Absolute. For youth 14-18 years old. Call 604-927-6924 for more info.

Annual Youth Week Road Hockey Tournament – Courtenay
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2015. Register at 9:30am, games at 10:30am
Location: The LINC Youth Centre (300B Island Hwy N, Courtenay)
Contact 250-334-8138 or 250-338-5371 for more info. Come join in on a fun road hockey tournament. BBQ lunch will be included for all participants.

Youth Fest 2015 – Mission
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 12:00 to 5:00pm
Location: Mission Leisure Centre (7650 Grand St, Mission)
Event Link
Free activities including a bike, skate, and scoot competition

Youth Week’s Poco Pursuit– A Truly Amazing Race- Port Coquitlam
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 12:00 to 5:00pm
Location: Hyde Creek Recreation Centre (1379 Laurier Ave, Port Coquitlam)
Cost: $5/team / Event Link
Families and youth of all ages are invited to register their team of four in the 1st annual Poco Pursuit Race Challenge. Solve riddles, overcome obstacles, and work together to win some great prizes.

Youth Basketball & Breakdance Showcase – Surrey
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Guildford Recreation Centre (15105 105 Ave, Surrey)
Cost: Free / Event Link
Annual event featuring a city wide youth basketball tournament, break-dance battles, youth focused resource tables, hip hop showcase, I Am Game, and more. 2014’s event saw over 2,000 attendees.

Youth Week Event – Vancouver
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Location: Creekside Community Centre (1 Athletes Way, Vancouver)
Event Link
This event will include youth performers on an outdoor stage, card tournaments, 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament, skate park party (DJ & Prizes), info booth, and inflatables.

Saturday Night Silverscreen – West Vancouver
Date & Time: Saturday May 2, 2015 at 7:00pm
Location: Gleneagles Community Centre (6262 Marine Dr, West Vancouver)
Cost: Free / Event Link
An evening of fun with an Indoor Big Screen Movie event featuring BIG HERO 6. Youth entertainers will be on hand for some fun prior to the start of our big show.

Youth Week Dodgeball Extravaganza & BBQ – Place Maillardville
Date & Time: Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Poirier Sports Forum (633 Poirier St, Coquitlam)
Cost: Free
Place Maillardville & Poirier Community Centre present their 1st annual collaborative Youth Week event. Open to youth aged 10-18. Teams consist of 5-8 players or sign up as a single. Showcase dodgeball skills and win cool prizes. BBQ offered for registered teams. Register with Place Maillardville: 604-933-6166.

Youth Talent Show – Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows
Date & Time: Monday, May 4, 2015 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: The ACT Arts Centre & Theatre (11944 Haney Pl, Maple Ridge)
Cost: $7.50 for youth, $9.50 for adults 19+ / Event Link
Celebrate the many talents of our youth. This is a great opportunity for our communities to see our youth shine. For audition or any other information please call 604-465-2442.

Skate Park Jam – Township of Langley
Date & Time: Thursday, May 7, 2015 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Location: Walnut Grove Skate Park (8889 Walnut Grove Dr, Langley)
Event Link
Join us in the Walnut Grove Skate Park for live music, skate demonstrations, free food, and prizes.

Youth Art Festival – City of Langley
Date & Time: Thursday, May 7, 2015 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: Frostings Cupcakery (20411 Fraser Hwy, Langley)
Cost: Free / Event Link
Come on out and show your support for local youth and their talents.

Follow BC Youth Week

Connect with BC Youth Week on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook for more information.

Miss604 is a proud partner of BC Youth Week

New Ride The Beast at Playland This Summer

April 21st, 2015 @ 9:22am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

PNE/Playland announced this morning that its newest ride, The Beast, will be ready to roll when doors open for the season on Saturday, May 16, 2015. This new multi-million dollar extreme ride is the first of its kind in North America and Canada’s most intense pendulum ride.

The Beast boasts a one armed pendulum, swinging 120 degrees in either direction, reaching heights of over 125 feet, all while flying 90km/hr, with seats that spin 360 degrees. The Beast also features a unique multi- directional seating configuration. Ten riders face out towards the park and ten riders face into the centre of the ride.

The ride is being installed where Crazy Beach Party once stood and it looks like a far more menacing, amped up version of that old favourite (which will still also be at Playland).

All the traditional favourites will also be back, from the hair raising Hellevator to the wet and wild Flume to the historic Wooden Coaster – there is something for every adrenaline junkie in the family.

Families will enjoy Kids Playce, which features special grass picnic areas, a wide range of children’s rides and is the perfect setting for families looking to spend some activity time in a safe, kid-friendly environment. Popular Playland food vendors such as Triple-O’s, Cheese Please, Fresh Cut Fries, and the FunDunkers Donut Shop are also back.


Season PlayPasses are currently available online and will give families access to over 30 rides and attractions, including the new thrill ride, The Beast. PlayPasses include unlimited access to over 30 rides and attractions, excluding Revelation, Drop Zone, Haunted Mansion and Pacific Adventure Golf. They will be available at the same promotional rates in Lower Mainland 7-Eleven, Safeway, Save-on-Foods, Urban Fare, PriceSmart Foods and Cooper’s stores this April.

Follow PNE/Playland on Twitter and Facebook for more information about what’s in store this season.