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Northern Bank

3811 Moncton Street, Richmond, British Columbia, V7E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/06/08

Exterior view of the Northern Bank, on Moncton Street in Steveston, 2001; Denise Cook Design 2001
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)

Northern Bank
Ransford House
Royal Bank of Canada
Steveston Museum

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Northern Bank is a two storey, pre-fabricated, gable roofed structure situated on the main street of the Steveston area of Richmond. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.

Heritage Value

The Northern Bank has been recognized as one of the earliest surviving structures along Moncton Street in Steveston, and as one of the first financial operations in the area.

The Northern Bank was constructed on Moncton Street in downtown Steveston in 1906 to house a branch of the Winnipeg-based Northern Bank. Absorbed by the Royal Bank in 1918, the building continued to be used as a financial institution until 1963. The Northern Bank illustrates the rise of Steveston as a commercial and industrial centre in the early part of the twentieth century, reflecting the growth of monopoly capitalism in the banking world in the west, as well as the rise of financial institutions parallel to the rise of prosperity in the agricultural and resource industries.

The building has value as Steveston's original and only bank, and as part of the pattern of commercial development along the main street. It is a reminder of the once thriving commerce in Steveston in the early part of the twentieth century when fishing, canning and agriculture were creating a boom in the local economy. The bank is an example of a prefabricated construction process developed by the B.C. Mills Timber and Trading Company and patented in 1904. The competitive nature of the banking industry meant that the early banks had to build quickly to capture local business. The prefabricated building has had turned columns added to present a classical facade to the street.

Source: City of Richmond Clerk's Department File #4200-02.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements of the Northern Bank include:
- Characteristic details of a modified Townhouse Series building from the B.C. Mills catalogue, including a steep pitched front gable bell cast roof, hip dormers with bell cast roof, wooden shingles in the gable ends and in the dormer, and beveled siding on the first floor
- Turned columns at the street edge which give the building a classical façade and create an open front verandah
- The nature of its construction, as a prefabricated building ordered and assembled on site, which includes short ends of beveled siding assembled into panels and bolted together
- The windows, which are double hung wooden sash, 1/1 on the first floor and 12/1 in the gables
- Its continued use as a public space
- The relationship of the building to its site and the street, and its landmark status in a prominent corner location
- Its part of the historical development form of Moncton street which creates an articulated edge and contributes to the liveliness and diversity of the area



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
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type




Commerce / Commercial Services
Bank or Stock Exchange

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Richmond Clerk's Department File #4200-02. See also: City of Richmond Archives.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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