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Aberdeen Block

90 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver, British Columbia, V7L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/07/10

Exterior of the Aberdeen Block, 2004; City of North Vancouver
Oblique view
Exterior of the Aberdeen Block, 2004; City of North Vancouver, 2004
Front elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1911/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Aberdeen Block is a three-storey Edwardian era brick and sandstone building, located in the commercial district of Lower Lonsdale. The historic place is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Aberdeen Block is associated with its location in Lower Lonsdale, the commercial core of North Vancouver, and the earliest, most historic area of commercial buildings on the North Shore of Burrard Inlet. Lower Lonsdale grew explosively from the turn of the twentieth century until the general financial depression in 1913 halted the ambitious construction of the previous years. The streetcar, ferry to Vancouver and the Pacific Great Eastern railway converged at the south foot of Lonsdale Avenue, the major transportation hub on the North Shore. The area represents a formative period in B.C.'s economy, driven at the time by major industries including logging and shipbuilding.

Built in 1910-11, the Aberdeen Block is valued as one of the early prominent buildings from the boom era in North Vancouver. It reflects the architecture of the Chicago School in its tripartite arrangement and symmetrical composition. Influenced by Classical design ideals, the façade conveys an order and composition common in this type of architecture. During construction, the building was known as the Keith Block, as evidenced by the initial K carved onto a shield above the entry to the upper floors. By 1912 it was known as the Aberdeen Block.

The Aberdeen Block is also significant for its associations with the architectural firm of Mills and Hutton. Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Charles Mills (1860-1934) and his partner Gordon Hutton (1881-1942) designed two adjacent extant buildings, the Bank of Hamilton Chambers and the Aberdeen Block, in the City of North Vancouver. These brick-faced structures, both with sandstone trim and projecting metal cornices, form a substantial grouping on Lonsdale Avenue, and help define the historic character of Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver's original commercial spine.

The building is valued for its long-term and well-known tenants, including Paine's Hardware, which occupied the first floor from 1911 until 1998, when it was destroyed by fire. Other businesses and organizations have been associated with the building over its history, including the B.C. Electric Railway Co.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Aberdeen Block include its:
- form, scale and massing
- orientation of the front facade to Lonsdale Avenue and the side facade to the alley
- location at the streetline, with no setback
- brick and sandstone construction
- tripartite composition with projecting end bays, with central entry to the upper floors
- elaborately carved entry with carved stone-shield with ¿K¿ above door
- raised parapets
- third floor metal cornice
- regular fenestration, with sandstone trim around window openings
- 1910 date plaque at cornice



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)

1998/01/01 to 1998/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

Mills and Hutton



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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