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Our History

The West End Seniors’ Network become an incorporated society in BC in October 1982, and has been a registered charity since July 1984.

Our History

On August 15, 1979, a meeting was held at the local office of the Provincial Ministry of Human Resources, comprised of representatives of government, the Vancouver Health Department and West End older adults. In this meeting, they examined the findings of a field-study conducted by the undergraduates of UBC’s School of Social Work on the needs of senior citizens. As a result, the West End Seniors’ Council selected an executive body to discuss and find solutions to the current needs of this community.

Funded by a Federal New Horizons Program grant, an Information and Referral Centre was opened in 1982, operating 3 days a week and staffed by older adult volunteers with support from a paid, part-time Coordinator.

 

The West End Seniors’ Network become an incorporated society in BC in October 1982, and has been a registered charity since July 1984. Currently, there are over 950 members of the Network, 15 paid staff members and more than 250 active volunteers who contribute over 20,000 hours a year.

The West End Seniors’ Network now operates from three different locations. In Denman Place Mall we run a thrift boutique, Clothes and Collectibles, and an Information and Referral centre, Kay’s Place. WESN’s main offices are located in Barclay Manor, a space dedicated by the City of Vancouver for older adults, where we work co-operatively with the West End Community Center Association to provide a variety of programs and activities.

 

The History of Barclay Manor

In 1890, the property at 1447 Barclay Street was owned by Sir Donald Smith and Richard Angus. Later that year, Lucy A. Tetley and Charles Tetley, a mining engineer and chief accountant for Vancouver bought the property for $650 and became the block’s first residents. The Tetleys built an original green and white house on the lot and lived there until 1902, when they sold the house to Edgar Bayliss for $3,500.

Next, Bayliss sold the house and property to Francis (Frank) and Emily Baynes in 1903. They lived in the house until they tore it down and rebuilt it in 1905. Francis Baynes was the manager of the Dominion Hotel in Gastown, which was owned by his wife’s family, the Sherdahls.

In 1909, the Baynes family added a large three-storey addition to the rear of the house at the cost of approximately $10,000. This addition briefly served as hotel until it was rented by Lena M. Clermont later that year.

Miss Clermont was listed as superintendent (or matron) of Barclay Manor from 1909 through 1916. The West End Hospital moved from 1357 Barclay Street to 1447 Barclay Street in 1910, and the directories sometimes referred to the building as “Miss Clermont’s Private Hospital”. From 1916 to 1918, Helen G. Tolmie was listed in the directories as matron.

The hospital ceased operation in 1919 and the building became a residence for young Catholic working women called “Rosary Hall” and was run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.

In 1925, the property became a boarding house called Barclay Manor. It served as a place for officers from naval ships to use when in port and helped thousands of young individuals seek their way in the world over the years. At that time, the rent included two meals a day with maid service from $23 a week shared, to $30 a week for a single room.

In 1970, Barclay Manor was purchased by the City of Vancouver and ceased to be a boarding house. The 1909 three-storey addition was demolished in 1988 and the rear of the house was reconstructed to a design appropriate to Edwardian times. The remainder of the house was faithfully restored to its pre-1909 condition.

In 1990, Barclay Manor was reopened and became one of the locations of the West End Seniors’ Network in an agreement with the West End Community Centre Association and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.