This circa 1970 photo shows the Brier Block, a landmark that used to stand on the north west corner of Mountain Highway and Lynn Valley Road.
In 1972, it was torn down to make way for a Gulf gas station (now Petro-Canada). It was built by Louis Brier, an early Jewish settler in Lynn Valley.
Brier was born in Romania.
He came to Canada and went to the gold fields of the Yukon shortly after the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896. According to Cyril E. Leonoff’s book Pioneers, Pedlars, and Prayer Shawls, while Brier was in the Yukon “he engaged in general supplies for the miners, and also grubstaked prospectors on a percentage basis.”
He must have been quite successful because after making a “rather bulging bankroll” he settled with his wife in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley and built the Brier Block.
Brier was virtually unknown to the Jewish Community in Vancouver, so imagine the surprise when he left a large legacy after he died in 1936. In 1968, the Louis Brier Home for the Aged was dedicated.
Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to learn about MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver opening in Fall 2021.
Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver at 3203 Institute Rd. in Lynn Valley is open by appointment only. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.