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Time Traveller: The house of Count Gustav Constantin Alvo von Alvensleben

This house in North Vancouver was owned by a German businessman, with rumoured ties to Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was forced to flee when the First World War broke out

October is German Heritage Month in Canada. Here is a photograph taken in 1916 of a house at 437 Somerset St. in North Vancouver, owned at one point by Count Gustav Constantin Alvo von Alvensleben, a German businessman who helped found the Vancouver Stock Exchange.

The Count arrived in Vancouver in 1904, and later formed a real estate and finance company, which was rumoured to be supported by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

His success abruptly ended with the arrival of the First World War, when his assets were seized as “enemy property” and he was forced to flee to Seattle. He died there in 1965.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver, at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open by appointment only. Contact:

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.