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E & N Roundhouse

251-253 Esquimalt Road, Victoria, British Columbia, V9A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/03/11

View of the locomotive turntable, E&N Roundhouse, 2004.; City of Victoria, Steve Barber, 2004.
Locomotive turntable
Aerial view of the E&N Roundhouse, 2004.; City of Victoria, Steve Barber, 2004.
Aerial view from the east.
Exterior view of the car shop, E&N Roundhouse, 2004.; City of Victoria, Steve Barber, 2004.
northeast elevation

Other Name(s)

E & N Roundhouse
Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway Roundhouse
Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Roundhouse and Associated Out Buildings

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/10/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Esquimalt and Nanaimo Roundhouse is comprised of a collection of brick and wood industrial buildings, and a locomotive turntable, on Esquimalt Road in Victoria West.

Heritage Value

The Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) Railway Roundhouse is valued as one of the finest, and most intact examples of industrial heritage railway architecture in British Columbia. Constructed in 1912, this rare integrated assemblage of buildings and functional features provide valuable insight into the primary roles of industry and the railway in the burgeoning period of economic prosperity before the First World War. The E&N - originally built and operated by the wealthy Dunsmuir family - was a local extension of the transcontinental railway, which had unified Canada's western provinces and promoted confederation of the country. As the maintenance centre for the E&N Railway line - which significantly influenced local industrial and commercial growth - this Roundhouse site played an integral role in the facilitation of twentieth century development and economic prosperity on Vancouver Island.

The physical value of this place resides in the understated detailing and the utilitarian forms of the brick and wood purpose-built architecture, and the relationship between the buildings and mechanical facilities such as the locomotive turntable, and nearby rail lines.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the E&N Roundhouse include:
- the situation of the buildings on the site, and the relationship of buildings such as the roundhouse, the machine shop, the car shops, and the stores building, with the locomotive turntable, and the nearby railway lines;
-the utilitarian industrial, purpose-built forms of the buildings, such as the semi-circular shape of the roundhouse, and the gable roofed shape of the stores building;
-the brick and wood elements of the buildings, such as masonry walls, timber framing, and wooden doors, and the patina of industrial use evident on these elements;
-the simple Romanesque architectural detailing such as rounded windows and doors, exterior pilasters, and understated cornices;
-the fenestration detailing, such as treble-sash twelve-over-twelve-over-twelve windows, arranged in ranks to allow maximum amounts of natural light to permeate internal spaces.



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering

Function - Category and Type



Station or Other Rail Facility

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Victoria Planning and Development Department.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

General view

Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Roundhouse National Historic Site of Canada

Designed in 1912 and completed in October 1913, the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Roundhouse is located in Victoria, British Columbia. The site is comprised of three sections: the…


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