As part of our series on Historic Victoria Advertisements, Beer, Wine & Liquor, 1910-1919, here is a 1912 advertisement by Pither & Leiser, “Wholesale Wine and Spirits Merchants” for Whyte & Mackay Special Selected Highland Whisky [note: Whyte & Mackay is still in business]. In 1912, Pither & Leiser was operating its Victoria business from its warehouse and offices at 1019 Wharf Street.
Pither & Leiser has the historical distinction of having operated from three separate downtown Victoria Heritage Buildings and having built two of those downtown Victoria Heritage Buildings. As far as we are aware, it is the only company with that track record.
Here are the three downtown Victoria Heritage Buildings associated with Pither & Leiser:
Pither & Leiser began its Victoria operation in the 1890’s in 533 Yates Street. Its business soon outgrew 533 Yates Street so, in 1900, Pither & Leiser retained architect Thomas Hooper to build a new, and larger, office and warehouse on the adjacent lot to the east at 535 Yates Street.
By 1904 Pither & Leiser had increased to the point of outgrowing 535 Yates Street so the company retained architects Thomas Hooper, who had designed 535 Yates Street, and his partner C. Elwood Watkins, to design and build a new, and larger, office and warehouse a few blocks west at 1019 Wharf Street.
Max Leiser, one of the principals of Pither & Leiser, also retained Thomas Hooper in 1913 to design and build 1320-1324 Blanshard Street, which Max Leiser opened in 1913 as the Kaiserhof Hotel. 1320-1324 Blanshard Street is also a Victoria Heritage Building.
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