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Occidental Hotel

432 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9R, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2002/10/07

Exterior view of the Occidental Hotel, 2004; City of Nanaimo, Christine Meutzner, 2004
South and west elevations
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Occidental Hotel is a two-story Italianate style building located at a prominent corner on the main street of one of Nanaimo's oldest neighbourhoods. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.

Heritage Value

The Occidental Hotel's value resides in its role as a gateway building. Located at a prominent intersection, the building marks the western entrance to one of Nanaimo's oldest commercial areas. The angled corner entry mirrors the entry on the building directly across the street and creates a visual funnel, reinforcing the impression of entering a new and distinct space.

Tall, imposing and located at a prominent intersection, the Occidental Hotel is a highly visible landmark.

Built in 1886, the Occidental Hotel is very good example of Victorian Italianate architecture, one of the most popular 19th century styles in North America. The Occidental Hotel features the vertical proportions and tall, rounded windows and doors typical of this style.

The Occidental Hotel is significant because of its association with prominent Victoria architect John Teague. Remarkably prolific, Teague designed over 350 buildings and greatly influenced the character of early architecture in Victoria. His buildings include Victoria City Hall, the Freemason's Meeting Hall, the East Block of St. Ann's Academy, Scholefield House and the Church of Our Lord.

The substantial and handsome Occidental Hotel speaks to the mood of prosperity and possibility prevalent in the 1880s by the completion of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway and the expansion of the huge No. 1 Coal Mine. Located one block from the train station, the Occidental Hotel was the first business to take advantage of the opportunities the nearby train station provided. Over time, the area eventually became an important secondary retail district within a predominantly residential neighbourhood.

The Occidental Hotel has been in continuous use as an eating and drinking establishment for over 100 years.

Source: City of Nanaimo, Development Services Department, file #6800-20-H01-02/432 Fitzwilliam Street

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements of the Occidental Hotel include:

-all of the elements of the Italianate style as expressed in the vertical proportions, flat roof with raised parapet, arched window openings with keystones, angled entry and very prominent cornice.

-the building's location at a prominent corner that marks the western entrance to a distinct retail zone.

-the continuous use of the building as an eating and drinking establishment.



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)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn
Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment

Architect / Designer

John Teague



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Nanaimo, Development Services Department, file #6800-20-H01-02/432 Fitzwilliam Street

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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