HELP please with this photo.

If anyone knows where this photo was taken can you let me know please. It would have been taken in 1957 so not sure if the sign is still standing or not. I did a bit of google research on Bowell-McLean and as far as I can see they were only in Vancouver. So I’m guessing this is in Vancouver as well?? I know Nan and Papa did go to Vancouver but not sure if Bowell-McLean had branches in the USA as well.

So has anyone just been driving down the street and seen it? Because that’d be handy.

Weather Forecast Sign

I’d also just like to say that in the morning I plan on running my 10kms in just under 58 minutes. Just want to put that out there so now I have to do it. Otherwise I might feel the urge to slow down.

So I’m going to bed to rest up and when I get up in the morning you’ll have given me the answer.


10 thoughts on “HELP please with this photo.

  1. i live in the NWUS, and used to go up to various parts of VancouverBC often. (drinking age was lower in Canada, and liquor was stronger, god love’em all)

    Maybe this would be something in Gas Town in downtown VancouverBC? It seems like something they would save in GasTown, but I don’t know for sure. They always had retro landmarks in GT when I used to go there every weekend in the 90s… maybe this was one of them.

    Im sorry I can’t be of more help.

      • Search for “Gas Town” photos in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, or a historical society in that area. I can imagine one would be present, since they LOVE their history. 🙂 They might be able to show you some helpful photos.

        Present day: “Gas Town” is now a tourist gimmick for people who want to go visit (Altho, I’ve no idea if any of this still holds true after the Winter Olympics of 09?.)

        They had a lot of the old signs displayed on that little stretch of road with cobblestones…the key way back when I paraded thru these parts…. old gaslights were displayed and you knew what they were…,

        it’s south of the chinatown area, but that’s all I remember.

        They cleaned up the cobblestones and the zoning so it would be better for tourists around the 90s. It may be totally different now, after the 2010 Winter Olympics. I haven’t been up there since before then. I fear anything I tell you will be null and void, all in the name of progress.

        Anyway… “Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,” might be a good place to start for your research? I hope?

      • In Canada, the drinking age is 19. In the US it’s 21.

        I went to college/university 20 minutes from the border. Obviously I went up into Canada a lot to drink, and that’s where I made friends w/a group of Canucks in Vancouver and learned about these various places like Gas Town.

  2. I checked into the Vancouver Historical Society ( to find out some info on Bowell-McLean. The signage requested would require permission from the city to erect. I came across some info and it was from 1958, but is only available on microfilm at their location.

    City Council Minutes Index (1958-2008)

    Nov. 18, 1958. – Delegations – proposed sign for Bowell McLean, 1174 West Broadway.
    vol. 69, p. 585

    Dec. 30, 1958. – Delegations – proposed sign: Bowell McLean.
    vol. 69, p. 759-760

    Dec. 30, 1958. – Building and planning matters – Council consideration – proposed sign for Bowell-McLean 1174 West Broadway.
    vol. 69, p. 761, 770

  3. There was also some later stuff that seems to me to look like the site was razed for a park in 1978/1979. If it was in Vancouver, it’s gone from here. there was also the other address that I’m looking for which was 615 Burrard Street. Nothing yet on that one…

  4. Bowell-McLean is still in business, in the commercial district of Vancouver! My brother used to buy hard-to-find car parts from them, before the internet and eBay came along. But I doubt if that sign is in the too-tasteful Gastown district. Back in the 70s Bowell-McLean was assailed for its “tacky” billboards and signs, and guardians of public taste tried to have them all taken down.

    In an ironic turnabout, the signs are now consider collectors’ items and bring a hefty price at auctions and antique stores, if you can find them at all. Like Kzinti said, the sign probably no longer exists, but it was likely in the commercial district, which has been razed to make way for shiny office towers.

    If you are feeling really ambitious, you could send a copy to the Vancouver Public Library and ask if anyone knows of the location of the sign. But don’t be surprised if they ask you for the original photo. They’re cheeky that way.

    • Yeah, everyone loves the retro stuff now. I just wanted to make sure they weren’t in the USA as well as Vancouver really. I might try the library, I don’t mind if they have the photo. Considering mum was going to throw them all in the bin anyway.

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