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Time Traveller: This 'ghost sign' was painted some time before 1910

Surprise discovery revealed during demolition of a North Vancouver building
Ghost sign
Ghost sign: A Nabob ad, seen here in this 1975 photo, was uncovered when Central Block was demolished on the northwest corner of 15th and Lonsdale in North Vancouver.

This Don Bourdon photo from ca. 1975 shows a Nabob Tea and Coffee “ghost sign” that was uncovered when Central Block was demolished on the northwest corner of 15th and Lonsdale. Central Block was built in 1910, so the sign on the building next door would have been painted pre-1910.

Ghost signs are remnants of an old advertisement painted on the side of a building in the pre-billboard era. They are typically discovered upon demolition of later-built adjoining structures. Once revealed, they are often hidden again when construction of the new adjoining building continues.

You can see the sign for Big John's Restaurant, 1525 Lonsdale, at the right. The ghost sign building was demolished around 2008.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley is open by appointment only. Contact: archives@monova.ca

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.