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Bank of Hamilton Chambers

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

Formally Recognized: 1995/01/01

Exterior historic view of the Bank of Hamilton Chambers; North Vancouver Museum and Archives #4353
Oblique view
Exterior view of the Bank of Hamilton Chambers, 2004; City of North Vancouver, 2004
Oblique view
No Image

Other Name(s)

Bank of Commerce Block
Bank of Hamilton Chambers

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1911/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bank of Hamilton Chambers is a three-storey plus basement brick and sandstone Edwardian era commercial building, with chamfered corner entry, located in North Vancouver's commercial district of Lower Lonsdale.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Bank of Hamilton Chambers 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 Bank of Hamilton Chambers is valued as one of the early prominent buildings from the boom era in the City of North Vancouver. The investment in, and construction of, the Bank of Hamilton illustrates the speculation and prosperity in North Vancouver during the Edwardian era.

The Bank of Hamilton Chambers is also valued for its elegant architecture, which displays Classical Revival and Chicago School influences. The tripartite arrangement gives a formal appearance with a sense of permanence and security. There are two primary facades with regular fenestration and ground floor commercial space. The passenger elevator, added in 1933, was one of the earliest on the North Shore.

The Bank of Hamilton 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 North Vancouver's original commercial spine. Mills and Hutton designed the majority of the Bank of Hamilton branches in Canada between 1905-10. The Bank of Hamilton merged with the Union Bank after the financial collapse of 1913.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of Bank of Hamilton Chambers include its:
- cubic form, monumental scale and symmetrical massing
- location at the streetline, with no setback
- prominent corner location with chamfered corner entry
- orientation of two main facades to Lonsdale Avenue and East 1st Street
- flat roof with raised parapets
- two identical main facades with highly articulated surfaces and giant Ionic order pilasters
- elaborated entry with classical portico, arched pediment and flanking torch lamps
- horizontal banding at the ground floor with incised voussoir lines above ground floor windows
- double-hung 1-over-1 wooden-sash windows, arranged in triple assembly on the second and third floors
- Classical Revival detailing, such as Ionic capitals, decorative string courses and keystones
- projecting copper cornice at parapet level
- original interior features such as tilework at ground floor entry, elements of the banking hall including plaster ceilings and oak partitions, and upper floor wood trim and plaster walls
- 1933 passenger elevator



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
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Bank or Stock Exchange

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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