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Law Block

123 East 3rd Street, North Vancouver, British Columbia, V7L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/07/10

Law Block, exterior view, 2004; City of North Vancouver, 2004
oblique view
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Law Block is a three-storey plus basement wood-frame apartment building located in the Lower Lonsdale area, distinguished by its height and an unusual roofline. The historic place is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Law 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. The Law Block is a surviving example of the mixed use commercial and residential blocks that provided both service retail space and apartments for the local workers.

Constructed in 1913, the Law Block is valued for is association with its architect, Alexander Law, who designed the building for Vancouver Properties Limited. Scottish-born and trained, Law (1874-1956) was a busy architect and builder during North Vancouver's boom period, having arrived on the North Shore by 1907. Vancouver Properties Ltd. was a company registered in Glasgow, Scotland, and Alex Law was their local representative. Primarily engaged in designing and constructing residential homes, often on a speculative basis, this is Law's single known apartment design. This three-storey block is noted for its unique blend of architectural elements. Its richly articulated front facade is broken into bays of varying depth and it is capped by an unusual sloped roof supported by Craftsman style eave brackets.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Law Block include its:
- boxy rectangular plan form, tall vertical scale and symmetrical massing
- built to lot lines at front and sides
- flat roof with hip feature roof structure at front
- two-storey projecting bays at front
- third floor balcony at front
- heavy timber triangular eave brackets in the Craftsman style
- double-hung 1-over-1 wooden-sash windows at side, triple assembly wooden-sash casement windows with transoms at front
- cedar shingle siding at front; narrow lapped wooden siding at sides and rear



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

Function - Category and Type



Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Alexander Law



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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