Captain Henry Pybus, the founder of the St Clair Hotel!
Updated: Feb 4
The St Clair Hotel Hostel is a heritage building originally built in 1911, by architect Samuel B Birds for Captain Henry Pybus, the commander of the R.M.S. Empress of Japan, blue ribbon holder of trans pacific crossings.
Henry Pybus was born in South Africa, but relocating to Vancouver and captaining the empress of japan that was used during World War 1 as an Armed Merchant Crusier. During the war years, SS Empress of Japan was also refitted as an Armed Auxiliary Cruiser
The Empress of Japan was decommissioned in 1922 until being scrapped and salvaged in 1926 and placed on display in Stanley park. That was then replaced by replica in 1960 and the original was placed in the Vancouver Maritime Museum as part of its permanent collection.
The Captain invested in real estate building the St Clair (orignally called Dunsmuir Rooms) which was the first concrete building in Vancouver. Originally built for sea and rail workers but now serves as the hostel hotel located inside the heritage building known as the St Clair.
Hon, Henry Pybus Bell-Irving, the former lieutenant Govern of BC (1978-1983) is his grandson.