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1919::Produce Wholesalers A.P. Slade & Co. of British Columbia

Updated: Feb 26

One of British Columbia's first produce wholesalers with big delivery trucks.


1919::A.P. Slade & Co. on the Corner of Yates at Wharf Street in Victoria, British Columbia

"1919::A.P. Slade & Co. on the Corner of Yates at Wharf Street in Victoria, British Columbia"

Photo: BC Archives (D-03422)


Modern Day::Corner of Yates at Wharf Street in Victoria, British Columbia

In 1912, Vancouver produce wholesaler A.P. Slade and Co. was at the top of its game. Its success was partly due to purchasing two large Albion trucks, which it used to reach customers in neighbourhoods where rails didn't go. Customers on the outskirts of Vancouver knew Slade's name and came to depend on its motor truck delivery service for fresh produce. As business boomed, the company expanded east to Kamloops and west to Victoria on Vancouver Island, where it set up shop on the corner of Yates at Wharf Street. A.P. Slade became such a success in Victoria that it was soon forced to expand its store and occupy the entire bottom section of Yates Street.


1919::The Envy of Victoria Merchants

"1919::The Envy of Victoria Merchants"

Clip: Victoria Daily Times (1919) Victoria, British Columbia


In 1919, Slade's business had doubled after the company purchased a new Commerce truck with big, flashy tires. They looked sharp, and its new air-filled pneumatic tires enabled the two-ton truck to drive over the city's roughest roads and speedily reach customers all over the island's south end. The truck was the first of its kind in the city and was the envy of the business community with its nimbleness and overhead lamp in the carrier section. Within a year, the island business had again outgrown its premises at the bottom of Yates Street. To keep up with demand, it purchased and occupied the 4-storey building at 535 Yates Street, previously built and occupied by local wine & spirit wholesale merchants at the turn of the century.


1929::A.P. Slade Trucks

"1929::A.P. Slade Trucks"

Photo: BC Archives (C-02446)


By the mid-1920s, A.P. Slade was a household name throughout British Columbia. Its trucks continued to be the envy of Victoria until 1929 when the company and several of its competitors amalgamated to form one company. British Columbia's pioneer wholesale merchant and the company's namesake, Arthur P. Slade, died in 1975 at 95 years old.


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