The Templeton: quality food, snappy service

by Leslie Hossack

Milkshake Maker, The Templeton, Vancouver 2007

© Leslie Hossack

The Templeton Diner is located in Vancouver at 1087 Granville Street, where Adele’s Cafe operated in 1934. In 1956 it was sold to Top Chef Cafe and renamed Top Tops. Forty years later, in 1996, it was sold once again and renamed The Templeton, a diner with the slogan: quality food, snappy service.

The interior design has been largely preserved. Many of the furnishings, such as the booths, the stools, and the jukeboxes at individual tables, date back to 1950’s or earlier, while the mural on the end wall by Bruce Eriksen dates from the late 1960’s. The milkshake maker in this photograph, patched together with adhesive tape, appears to be from the same era. The Templeton today reminds me of Fred Herzog’s photographs of Vancouver in the 1950s and 60s. To view his images visit http://www.equinoxgallery.com/artists/portfolio/fred-herzog

In 2007, I photographed more than 30 diners, both vintage and contemporary. These include classics such as The Templeton in Vancouver, and lost icons such as The Canary in Toronto and Bens in Montreal. This is a study of retro diners from Atlantic Canada to Vancouver.

Public spaces and familiar items from previous generations fascinate me. I don’t live in the past, but I do feel a strong sense of time running through my photographs. I hear a narrative in every series and I see a story in every image.

Throughout my life I’ve had a tendency to eschew conventional status symbols. Consequently, I love the way the camera allows me to attribute elevated status to everyday objects and places, to portray the inclusive as exclusive – even diners.

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