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Photo: Before it was demolished, this Chinatown building was home to several food businesses

The Ah Mew Company was a long-standing tenant at the Wallace Block, which stood from 1910 to 1985 on Georgia Street.
ah-mew-chinatown-vancouver-archives-1933
The Ah Mew Co. on East Georgia Street.

One of the first things to strike the viewer in this July 1933 photograph is the crisp sign “AH MEW CO. Wholesale fruits & vegetables.” It is in contrast to the ironically faded “Bapco Pure Paint” two doors down.

The freshness was likely owing to the recent move of the Ah Mew Company from 221 East Georgia (to the left of the house-like structure, but not captured in the photograph), where it had started in 1916, to 243 East Georgia, pictured here.

The Wallace Block, as this building was known, was designed by E.E. Blackmore for Samuel T. Wallace in 1910. Wallace operated a number of businesses, including a grocery business that occupied this building until about 1917.

In the years before Ah Mew Co. moved in until the time the building was demolished in 1985, the main floor was devoted almost exclusively to food-related businesses. The Ah Mew Co., however, called this building home the longest of all those businesses and did so until 1959 when the then owners Kim Young and Bing Lume Young, dissolved their partnership.

Interested in finding more archival photographs of Vancouver? Search the City of Vancouver Archives’ online database. For more information about the Archives, its holdings, and how to research, visit the Archives’ website.