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Beasley Block

101 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver, British Columbia, V7M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/07/10

Exterior view of the Beasley Block, 2004; City of North Vancouver, 2004
Oblique view
Historic exterior view of the Beasley Block; North Vancouver Museum and Archives, 286
Front and side elevations
Historic interior view of the Beasley Block; North Vancouver Museum and Archives, 228
Interior view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Beasley Block is an early false-fronted two-storey wood-frame commercial building located on a corner lot in the commercial district of Lower Lonsdale. Built in 1904, it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in North Vancouver.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Beasley 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 1904, the Beasley Block is valued as one of the earliest buildings from the boom era in the City of North Vancouver. It was designed and built by the Western Corporation, early land developers and speculators. Corner lots were developed first to take advantage of two street fronts. This mixed-use building provided retail sales on the first floor, and office space on the second floor, which contributed to the vibrancy of the street.

The Beasley Block is of value as a rare surviving example of a ""Boomtown"" or false-front commercial building. Built with an extended front parapet to increase the apparent size of the building and to provide increased opportunity for signage, these vernacular structures proliferated in early communities throughout the west. The large storefront opening provided the maximum amount of glazing to increase display space and to take advantage of natural lighting.

The Beasley Block is valued for its association with pharmacist Marcus Servius McDowell (1874-1959). McDowell's Drugstore, which operated in this location from 1904 to 1973, was a landmark in the community.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Beasley Block include its:
- simple rectangular form, modest scale and regular massing
- location at the streetline, with no setback
- orientation facing Lonsdale Avenue
- prominent corner location
- chamfered entry to ground floor retail
- small cornice brackets
- raised front parapet with gable roof behind
- rectangular store front opening on the ground floor
- wooden drop siding behind a later application of stucco
- double-hung wooden-sash 1-over-1windows on the second floor



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)

1904/01/01 to 1973/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Architect / Designer




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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