Photo Credit: Rick Horne
1306 Bidwell St, Vancouver BC
The English Bay Mansions are a 17-unit apartment building designed by the architecture firm Townsend & Townsend for two brothers named Stevenson.
This is actually the second building on this site, which was originally occupied by three cottages built by the bricklayer James Jeffrey in 1899, the same year that streetcar services began along Denman Street between the Davie and Robson lines. Streetcar service brought rapid change to the area between 1899 and 1910, reflecting the popularity of English Bay, not only as a summertime destination but as a place to live.
Joseph Townsend, along with his son Alfred Townsend, were active in Vancouver between 1909 to 1913. Both from London, England, they employed an eclectic mix of Queen Anne and Edwardian motifs to their designs. Many of the multi-storey apartment blocks designed by the duo utilized a heavy brick
diamond patterning that is easy to recognize in their other works, for instance at Mount Stephen Apartments (now called Quebec Manor). Notably, the English Bay Mansions is one of the few buildings by the duo that does not incorporate this patterning.
Dictionary of Architects in Canada, Heritage Vancouver Historical Permits Database