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Kane Block

50 Water Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/01/14

Exterior view of the Kane Block; City of Vancouver, 2004
oblique view, 2004
Exterior view of the Kane Block; City of Vancouver, 2007
Front elevation, 2007
No Image

Other Name(s)

Beulah Mission
Kane Block
Tomlinson and Cook Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/02/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Kane Block is a two-storey mixed-use masonry commercial building on the south side of Water Street in the historic Gastown district of Vancouver.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Kane Block lies in the historic relationship between Gastown and the economy of early Vancouver. The Kane Block is an early Gastown commercial building, representative of the area’s activity in the first decade of the twentieth century, as Vancouver emerged as western Canada’s predominant commercial centre. It housed a number of early businesses, including small scale manufacturing, and was adapted over time to suit the needs of different types of commercial enterprises.

Built in 1906 for owner Jacob Sam Kane, it is also representative of the design and construction of the Edwardian era, and is an unusual example of the use of pre-cast concrete blocks for the second floor cladding, supported on an exposed iron I-beam.

By 1942, this was the home of the Beulah Rescue Mission, located here for over thirty years and an indication of the deteriorating economy of the area that exacerbated joblessness and homelessness. The Kane Block’s current adaptation as commercial space marks an economic renewal of the area.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the historic place include its:
- location, in close proximity to the waterfront of Burrard Inlet and the Canadian Pacific Railway yard
- low-scale, two-storey massing
- siting on the property lines, with no setbacks
- front facade articulation typical of the Edwardian era, displaying symmetry, rectangular structural openings, and alternating smooth and rough-dressed textures of the masonry units
- masonry construction, such as the use of pre-cast concrete blocks on the front facade
- eleven double-hung 1-over-1 wood-sash windows on the front facade second floor
- elaborate projecting sheet metal cornice that runs the full width of the front facade
- exposed iron I-beam storefront lintels, with decorative rosettes
- original cast iron storefront columns on sandstone bases, two of which flank the central entry
- large rectangular glazed store fronts



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.593

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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