Moving a little west on Robson Street from The Orillia, David Banks submits some images of the northwest corner at Granville:

The northwest corner of Granville/Robson  April 13 1969.   The closing out sign on the East/West Gift Centre suggests the end is near for the 1906 Granville Mansions.

Granville Mansions was also the home of Vancouver’s longest serving mayor at the end of his life: Louis (L.D.) Taylor. 

Another shot, with the Orpheum Theatre (not the current one) next door:


An earlier shot with the whole of the west-side of the 700 block can be found at here at Changing Vancouver.  You’ll notice in the above image from May 4, 1969 that all the shops are vacant, awaiting demolition – to be replaced by this:


Unfondly know as The Urinal, this blank white box designed by Cesar Pelli was originally home to Eaton’s.  It and the underground mall at Pacific Centre contributed to the failure of Granville Mall in the 1970s – while the department store itself would eventually become a victim of changing retail patterns.

Good news: the blank walls are comin’ down, to be replaced by this, as part of the refit for a Nordstroms:


The original box did serve a useful function, even as a helpful bad example of what not to do.  From then on, the City’s designers were adamant that there be no blank walls on major commercial streets and that awnings and canopies for rain-protection be required above storefronts.