Michael Levenston: Vancouver's West End

Posted by jyuhasz


Pier at English Bay, Sylvia Hotel in background
Rights - JMABC
Interviewee: 
Levenston, Michael
Interviewer: 
Shapiro, Catherine
Date: 
Sunday, December 7, 2008
ID: 
Digital audio recording #: 20.08-33
 
 
 
 
 
CS:         I was just gonna go back for a second to your grandfather.
 
ML:        My great-grandfather or the grandfather? Jake was the great-grandfather.
 
CS:         Okay, Jake. Okay, when he came here do you know if he lived in the Jewish community which was down in Strathcona in the early days?
 
ML:        You see my feeling is, and I haven’t really done a history and people would know, the Jewish community in Strathcona was a later visitation and I think that Jake’s group and Jake’s family they were moving up. They were, I mean I would think that Cyril [Leonoff] would call them, they were part of the West End Jews, they were on the West End of Vancouver and they had a different location for services and they moved through the community in a different way. And probably just because every different generation coming here, economically, etcetera, moves in a different direction through the community. Because the Strathcona group, which, it’s funny—I lived in Strathcona when I came here in ‘76, which happened to be that part of the history where the Jewish community came from—but my mother’s side, they were well established in the community by the ‘teens and earlier and didn’t go through Strathcona at all. In fact when my Mum left here in the ‘40s she was living on Nanton in Shaughnessy area, so I think their jump was downtown, you know, when Jake was here probably, for the Cordova, Carroll Street, right in the centre near Gastown where they’d live near where their store was at that point, to the West End. The West End was the huge step up for people and that’s where Jake and those guys lived, and my mom grew up just off Denman on Comox so her world was the West End of Vancouver and then when they moved even wealthier I guess they moved up to Shaughnessy area and had a house there.

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