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6481 West Blvd

David Sencer
Vancouver Province
Nov 5 2006

The neon apple sign out front of Magee Grocery is a Kerrisdale landmark, but the store started life without the sign, a block away at 49th and Maple. Eddie Lex was there the day it moved to its current location. "1944 on the first of July. It was a weekend. The first of July was on Saturday. Safeway moved out, Magee moved in."

Lex, 85, had been discharged from the Royal Canadian Air Force at Boundary Bay and found work at the grocery store. "I was the meat cutter till 2003." He's done pretty much everything at this store, including own the place for a couple of decades, during his 59 years of involvement.

Despite its vintage look, Magee has undergone some changes. "The meat used to be on the other side and we used to do a lot of deliveries, in the '40s and early '50s. At one time it was the best independent grocery store in the city of Vancouver. It used to do between $2 and $3 million a year."

Lex recalls when East and West boulevards were completed in the 1950s. "We had a big parade when the road was upgraded and made into what it is now. Before when you got off the pavement there was no curb. It was just dirt." The apple? "That sign went up in 1948. I think it's great."



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