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Globe Hotel

25 Front Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9R, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2002/10/07

Exterior view of the Globe Hotel, 2004; City of Nanaimo, Christine Meutzner, 2004
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/07/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Globe Hotel consists of a two and one-half storey late Victorian building with two subsequent two-storey additions located on the only downtown thoroughfare parallel to the waterfront. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.

Heritage Value

Built in 1887, the Globe Hotel is a very good example of the stylistic evolution of a building over time. The original portion of the hotel was predominantly Italianate in style with Second Empire influences evident in the mansard roof and arched dormers. The 1916 addition at the rear was fairly plain in detailing and did not actively impact the overall appearance. The 1936 north side addition echoed the building's original detailing, including a new datestone and extending its decorative cornice line. A new dimension was added with the application of multi-coloured Art Deco tilework across the front of the ground floor. Although some of the building's character was compromised by the replacement of the original windows, it retains much of its original character.

The Globe Hotel is significant because of its association with two prominent Nanaimo architects. Alexander Forrester, a local contractor and designer, drew the plans for the 1916 workmanlike addition. Typical of many men of his time, Forrester, in addition to his construction business, was very active in civic affairs, serving both as alderman and school trustee for many years. Thomas McArravy, Nanaimo's most prominent mid-20th century architect, designed the 1936 addition. Although most of the addition mirrors the architecture of the older building, it was typical of modernist McArravy, to apply a more contemporary element, in this case the decorative tilework that runs across the entire bottom front of the building.

The Globe Hotel has been an important part of Nanaimo's social history for over a century. Like other hotels built during this period, the Globe provided an affordable housing option for the many single men that came to the City to work in the coalmines.

The Globe Hotel, part of a grouping of historic buildings, is very prominent on the street and is an important downtown landmark.

Source: City of Nanaimo, Development Services Department, file #6800-20-H01-02/25 Front Street

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements of the Globe Hotel include:

-all of the elements of the original Italianate and Second Empire influenced styles as expressed in the mass and form of the oldest portion of the building, the mansard roof and arched third floor dormers, heavy cornice with large brackets and carved window heads

-all of the elements of the 1916 addition as expressed in the simple form and massing and minimal ornamentation.

-all of the elements of the 1936 addition as expressed in the mirroring of the original architecture and the Art Deco tilework

-the location of the building on a major downtown street within a grouping of historic buildings.



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1916/01/01 to 1916/01/01
1936/01/01 to 1936/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment
Multiple Dwelling


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer

Alexander Forrester



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Nanaimo, Development Services Department, file #6800-20-H01-02/25 Front Street

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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