UBC Undergraduate Research

Around the corner : the life and death of Grandview's corner grocery stores Shackles, Kevin R.

Abstract

The corner grocery store stands as a venerable urban landmark in cities across North America yet the history of these businesses is often absent from the stories of our cities. The neighbourhood of Grandview in Vancouver, Canada’s east side was, at varying points in time, the site of many corner grocery stores. While some research has been conducted on Grandview’s main street (Commercial Drive), a thorough investigation into the corner grocery stores of “back-street” Grandview is needed. This paper attempts to map out the neighbourhood’s old corner grocery stores and seeks to reveal the multiple layers of history that lie beneath each building. To do so, the paper discusses the changing pattern of grocery retailing in Vancouver from small independent corner stores to large ‘modern’ supermarkets to argue that the demise of the corner grocery is a result of these shifting consumer patterns. By investigating the history of these often-neglected businesses, this paper argues that we can begin to see the changing shifts in demographics that characterize Grandview today.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

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