The Unique Mount Pleasant Triangle Building

Black and white image of the tip of the Triangle Building
Tip of the Triangle Building. Exterior (Bl & Wh) – Christine Hagemoen.

This sound walk is a snapshot of a building, place and community I love, along with recollections of engaging with it for over 40 years and bits and pieces of architectural and historical information. It was put together in May/June of 2022, when things had opened up after just over two years of pandemic times. The Triangle Building has been an independent business and arts hub for decades. Its shops, and especially its restaurants, experienced monumental challenges during the Covid 19 ‘lockdown’ and various phases of health orders. Still, they managed to be incredibly flexible and pivot to take out, sidewalk pick up, and later to the various stages of the province’s restart. They were key, along with other local businesses in the area, to holding the community spirit of the neighbourhood together and providing much needed social connection. These small business entrepreneurs are, for me, local heroes.

If you want to visit the location with your mobile device, download the files from Guidemate using the download arrow below (top right). 

Triangle Building locations

My name is Danielle Peacock and I have lived close to the Triangle Building, at the intersection of Kingsway, Main and 7th Avenue in Mount Pleasant, since 1980. Since being built in 1947, the building has been home to countless independent businesses and many social, cultural and arts groups. It is steeped in the evolving story of the neighbourhood and has a spirit that I love…

Kingsway, which begins on the eastern side of the Triangle Building, and cuts diagonally across Vancouver as it heads south to New Westminster, was originally an ancient indigenous trail. When a wagon road was built over it and opened in 1860, it was known as False Creek Trail and then Westminster Road. When the road was improved and paved, it re-opened in 1913 as Kingsway. The two businesses with storefronts along it are Budgies Burritos, established in 2005, and Dig It Select Vintage…

In Mount Pleasant’s early days in the late 1880s, Main St was known as Westminster Avenue and was the only street heading south to the Fraser River from downtown Vancouver. Its name was changed in 1910 and Main Street probably has more independent businesses along its entirety than any other street in Vancouver. Beyond Gene Coffee Bar there are six…

In between Rath Art Supplies and Midtown Mailbox and Business Centre is the small entryway to the building’s Second floor at 2414 Main. The building’s stainless steel numerals, doors, window frames and simple horizontal overhang to the entryway are indicative of the Streamline Moderne’s affinity for slick, shiny surfaces…

Danielle Peacock

I have worked with Lorna twice now, on projects I would have never have known how to do without her digital storytelling expertise and the opportunity, through grunt gallery, to work with her. I found Lorna so easy and supportive. She gave me guidance in a way that helped the projects manifest but allowed them to remain totally my stories and voice. I was a founding member of grunt gallery in 1984 and have been a patron since the early 1990s, when I began working full-time as a kindergarten teacher for the Vancouver School Board. I am grateful to have been able to do these projects in my retirement and appreciate that community engagement has remained an important focus for grunt.

Danielle, a member of the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group, did an earlier video project with Lorna at a 2018 grunt gallery workshop. ‘Vancouver’s Treasured (And Threatened) Old Mount Pleasant Village’, is a look at the historic commercial/cultural district around Main Street, Broadway and Kingsway, known as the ‘Heritage Heart’, in Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood outside of the downtown. 

Corner of Triangle Building - location of Bain's Chocolates 1981
Bain’s Candies & Fine Chocolates – Heritage West Magazine, Winter, 1981
Benches outside the Triangle Building - people sitting down with back to storefronts, facing trees and the street
Benches on the Main Street side of the Triangle Building
Outside Budgies Burritos and Dig it Looking South, storefronts on the right, sidewalk in the middle and trees beside street on the left
Looking south along Kingsway, view of Budgies Burritos and Dig It select vintage
Black and white photo of the Wosk Block - night show shows bright lights of the building against black sky
Wosk Building, Night Shot by Alvin Armstrong, 1956
Budgies Burritos downstairs, yellow and red stripes table cloths interior shot
Budgies Burritos, downstairs
Man named Stan stands over dog named Levee in 2017 at Rath Art Supplies
Outside Rath Art Supplies, Stan and Levee, 2017. Photo by Jennifer Chernecki
The Wallflower as a lego kit
The Wallflower as a lego set, from Wallflower's Facebook page
The Wallflower and beside it, pulpfiction books, storefronts along Main Street in Vancouver
The Wallflower and pulpfiction books, site of shared patio space, from Wallflower Facebook page
CSA Design Space, green door with green and yellow walls, the entrance
CSA Space, upstairs in Mount Pleasant's Triangle Building

Credits

Research, Writer and Digital Storyteller: Danielle Peacock
Audio Recording, Editing and Geomapping: Lorna Boschman
Additional Architectural, Historical Research: Alyssa Myshok, Christine Hagemoen
Photos Unless Credited: Danielle Peacock

POSTSCRIPT September 2022:  Since this snapshot was made, local artist Kate Metten, whose first connection to the Triangle Building was when she worked for Stan at Rath Art Supplies, has opened Kate Metten Ceramics next to Gene Coffee Bar. After getting renovicted from her place in Mount Pleasant in 2020, she did a residency overseas but has said that the Triangle Block ‘Heart’ is her home. The community is thrilled this is where she has opened her shop/production/pop-ups space. 

Sadly, the Wallflower Diner closed in July. When staff found out, they showered the co-owners Heather Szilagyi and Eric Neilson with appreciation for providing them with such a joyful place to work. Heather and Eric did much for the community by making Wallflower a cultural hub, with art, drag and comedy shows, Hamilton sing-alongs, pop-ups, and they were even open Christmas Day with a special tofurky/turkey menu. Happily, the Wild Thing Snack Bar folks are opening up another restaurant in the Wallflower space and have said they are so glad Eric and Heather have given them their blessing and trust to make sure the space continues to thrive. That’s the Triangle Building community way.

Created during grunt gallery’s 2022 Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen Digital Storytelling workshops. grunt gallery was founded in 1984 in Vancouver, BC with the vision to become an internationally renowned artist-run centre and further the practice of contemporary art. Through the exploration of our diverse Canadian cultural identity, we are able to offer public programming in the form of exhibitions, performances, artist talks, publications, and other special projects in the community. Our mandate is to inspire public dialogue by creating an environment conducive to the emergence of innovative, collaborative, and provocative contemporary art.

We gratefully acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.

1 Comment

1 thought on “The Unique Mount Pleasant Triangle Building”

  1. Thanks for capturing the spirit and history of this unique building in the Heart of the Mount Pleasant village. Having worked as a federal government employee just a few blocks away, the Heart of Village was one of my favorite places to venture over the years during lunch breaks and after work. This soundscape reminded me of many special occasions shared with colleagues and friends which made working in Mount Pleasant such a treat! Sincere thanks for the community spirit and philanthropic love of Danielle, the writer and whole team that created this little gem!

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