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Queen Mary School

230 Keith Road West, North Vancouver, British Columbia, V7M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/07/10

Exterior view of Queen Mary School, 2004; City of North Vancouver, 2004
Oblique view
Queen Mary School, circa 1915; North Vancouver Museum and Archives, #4704
Front elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1914/01/01 to 1915/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Queen Mary School is a prominent two-storey with full basement masonry institutional building with a pedimented central bay and bell tower. The school stands on a rise of land, surrounded by playing fields, on Keith Road West in North Vancouver.

Heritage Value

Queen Mary School is important as an indication of the social and economic conditions in North Vancouver, which resulted in rapid population growth. The establishment of the North Vancouver Ferry and Power Company in 1903, a building boom in North Vancouver, and the opening of the Wallace Shipyards, all brought substantial migration to the North Shore of Burrard Inlet. By 1906, the North Vancouver Land and Improvement Company was clearing land for substantial new residential developments. The population increase was substantial enough that construction of this school proceeded despite the outbreak of the First World War, indicating the value of education to the local community.

Symbolic of the importance of the school to the community, the architecture is imposing, conveying a sense of permanence and order. There is an eclectic mix of classical references, reflective of the Edwardian Baroque movement popular in England at the time, including Greek pediments, Baroque broken pediments, quoining and a variety of decorative windows. The ribbons of sash windows are characteristic of the requirements of the provincial authorities, allowing abundant natural light into the classrooms.

Queen Mary School is valued as a significant example of the work of English-born and trained architect William Charles Frederick Gillam (1867-1962), an expert in school planning and also the architect of Ridgeway School in North Vancouver and the Provincial Normal School in Victoria.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Queen Mary School include its:
- landmark location on a rise at the convergence of Keith Road and 13th Street
- articulated form, monumental scale and symmetrical massing
- brick cladding on the first and second floors
- reinforced concrete construction
- random ashlar stone foundations
- design elements of the Edwardian Baroque style, with a free interpretation of Classical elements such as quoining and a variety of pediments
- double front entries, each with its own flights of steps
- cut-stone ornament such as the window surrounds and quoins
- tall belltower
- regular and decorative fenestration, such as: multi-paned double-hung wooden-sash windows with transoms, many in multiple assembly; a central Palladian window at the entry; and round-headed windows on the end facades
- surrounding landscape, including grassed school yard and rubble stone retaining wall



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

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Primary or Secondary School


Composite School

Architect / Designer

William Charles Frederick Gillam



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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