This historic place was built in 1908 and is 51 West Hastings, Vancouver. Its value lies in its association with French immigrant Jean-Pierre Paris, who arrived in Canada from the Saint Pée sur Nivelle, in the southern Basque region of France.
Paris chose to build his business in footwear retail and podiatry services sector. With Woodward’s General Store and the nearby Army & Navy emporium, Pierre Paris Shoes was part of this trio of businesses which bolstered the economic development of Vancouver. The work boots designed by Pierre Paris were renowned in the logging, mining and other resource industries. When the Paris store closed during the 1970s, their design was bought by Dayton Boots, which still manufactures shoes based on the original design under the original name.
Pierre regarded himself as Basque, rather than French, but the Paris family were Francophones, and they very influential in the city’s French community.
The recent re-use of the building with the installation of new condos and luxury offices, as well as the retention of its name for the new complex, highlight the importance and the building, and the Paris family in the development of the City of Vancouver.