28-38 Water Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Terminus Hotel is a three-storey brick facade, supported by steel braces, located mid-block on the south side of Water Street in the historic district of Gastown.
Gastown is the historic core of Vancouver, and is the city's earliest, most historic area of commercial buildings and warehouses. The Gastown historic district retains a consistent and distinctive built form that is a manifestation of successive economic waves that followed the devastation of the Great Fire in 1886, the arrival of the CPR railway in 1887, the Klondike Gold Rush and the western Canadian boom that occurred prior to the First World War. The area is recognized as the birthplace of Vancouver, and was pivotal in the first twenty-five years of the city's history and represents a formative period in Canada's economic development.
The Terminus Hotel is valued as an early Gastown hotel, representative of the area's seasonal population in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as Vancouver emerged as western Canada's predominant commercial centre. Hotels such as this provided both short and long-term lodging, serving primarily those who worked in the seasonal resource trades such as fishing and logging. Many of these hotels had combined functions of commercial services on the ground floor and lodging rooms on the upper floors, which contributed to the lively street life in Gastown.
The name, Terminus, represents the significance of Gastown as the terminus of the CPR. The current structure is the third at this site named Terminus, which celebrated with its name, the establishment of the new Pacific Coast terminus of Canada's first transcontinental railway.
The Terminus Hotel is also significant as a design by architect Emil Guenther, who had designed the nearby Sherdahl Block/Dominion Hotel the previous year. The facade design is highly eclectic, and marks a transitional point between the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Planning Files
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Terminus Hotel include its:
- mid-block location, near the original shoreline of Burrard Inlet, overlooking the original railyard and harbour
- three storey scale of facade
- three double-height projecting bay windows with flared roofs
- the name 'Terminus Hotel' in the pediment
- sheet metal cornice at the parapet level
- double-hung wooden-sash 1-over-1 windows
- large open storefront openings on the ground floor
- cast iron columns
City of Vancouver
Vancouver Charter, s.593
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Files
Cross-Reference to Collection