A luminary in the business community, Charles Woodward promoted commercial interests while maintaining a reputation as the workingman’s friend. He opened the first Woodwards store at the corner of Main and Georgia Streets in 1892, just three months after arriving in Vancouver. A decade later, the store moved to its legendary location at Hastings and Abbot and soon became a Vancouver institution. As more stores opened across British Columbia and Alberta, Woodwards became the largest department store chain in western Canada.
Charles Woodward was one of the first Canadian employers to offer profit sharing and group insurance to his staff. He donated a considerable amount of time and money to his church and community and was the Liberal MLA for Vancouver from 1924 to 1928. Charles Woodward was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1986.