When the Canadian Pacific Railway chose to build its western terminus in Vancouver the city was centred in Gastown.
Unfortunately for the C.P.R., its land holdings were further west. So the company built the first Hotel Vancouver at Georgia and Granville in 1886-87, hoping to spur development its way.
In 1890, the railway announced it would add culture to its portfolio with the Vancouver Opera House.
It opened on Feb. 9, 1891 at 731 Granville, next door to the C.P.R.’s hotel. And it was quite the place, a 1,300-seat theatre for a city of only 15,000 people.
The Vancouver World dubbed it “Our New Temple of Thespis,” after the first Greek actor to appear in a drama onstage.