Man with generator laying streetcar tracks for reconstruction of Hastings and Main lines
Here’s another great photo from the Vancouver Archives found by Diane Sampson. The generator on the wagon has a sign that reads “Danger 600 Volts Do not Touch Do Not Watch Flame”. In the foreground a man is welding tracks. He is wearing button up spat boot coverings and has steel wool for soldering close by.
The man at the wagon with the generator looks exactly like former Vancouver School Board groundskeeper Chris Foxon. The wagon is set up with a two horse hitch, and there are two workhorses complete with harness tied up in the right hand upper corner of the photo. There is another horse harnessed up and standing in front of the Timothy Hay sign in the upper left corner of the photo.
From 1886 to 1914 Hastings Street between Granville Street and Cambie was Vancouver’s downtown, with most of the city’s banks located on Hastings. The streetcar was operated by the B.C. Electric Railway Company who had been in operation since 1897. Since 1900, the company had increased their rails from 21 kilometers in 1900 to 170 kilometers by 1912, allowing access to large areas of land that could be developed for single family housing.
Take a look at this YouTube video below that shows Victoria and Vancouver from a streetcar in 1907. You can see The Empress Hotel being built and the Legislative Buildings in Victoria, and in Vancouver you can see the old Hotel Vancouver and the streetcars serving Howe, Robson, Powell Streets and Kitsilano.