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Island Hotel

440 First Avenue, Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/03/01

Island Hotel; Town of Ladysmith, 2009
Front façade
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Other Name(s)

Island Hotel
Europe Hotel

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/04/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Island Hotel is a three-storey brick-faced Edwardian commercial building located on the west side of the main commercial corridor in Ladysmith, British Columbia. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.

Heritage Value

The Island Hotel is a very good example of an Edwardian commercial façade. Originally built in 1900 as the Europe Hotel, the building underwent substantial renovations in 1913. The hotel was raised, a floor was added and a brick façade was applied. These changes were the result of new laws that required a hotel to have a certain number of rooms in order to hold a liquor license. The restrained, symmetrical style reflects a shift from the more eclectic and elaborate styles of the Victorian era that preceded it. Although some later alterations were made to the building to accommodate changing street grades, the Island Hotel is substantially intact.

The Island Hotel is a tangible reminder of the social and economic importance of hotels in Ladysmith’s history. Like most mining communities, early Ladysmith had a large population of single, often transient, men. As affordable housing alternatives, these hotels functioned as living quarters, and the saloons and restaurants located on the ground floors functioned as social centres. The Island Hotel contributes significantly to the understanding of our working-class male history.

The Island Hotel is part of a grouping of largely intact historic buildings in Ladysmith’s commercial core. Situated mid-block, the building is part of an almost continuous city block of similarly scaled historic buildings that collectively create a cohesive streetscape.

Associated with Ladysmith’s earliest commercial development, the Island Hotel has operated continuously in Ladysmith since 1900 and is a significant contributor to the heritage character of the area.

Source: Town of Ladysmith, Development Services Department, File #6800-40f

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Island Hotel include:
- all the elements of a modest Edwardian commercial building including the simple form and massing, symmetrical façade, brick facing, flat roof, simple one-over-one wood-framed windows, cornices at roof line and between the first and second storeys, and arrangement of doors and windows at the street level
- the building’s location within a group of similarly proportioned historic commercial buildings on the town’s main commercial street
- the building’s continuous commercial use



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

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Ladysmith, Development Services Department, File #6800-40f

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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