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New Fountain Hotel

36 Blood Alley Square, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/01/14

Exterior view of the New Fountain Hotel; City of Vancouver, 2004
West Cordova Street facade
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Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The New Fountain Hotel is a two storey plus lower level turn-of-the-nineteenth century masonry commercial building on the north side of West Cordova Street in the historic district of Gastown.

Heritage Value

Gastown is the historic core of Vancouver, and is the city's earliest, most historic area of commercial buildings and warehouses. Built in 1899, the New Fountain Hotel is valued as an early Gastown hotel, representative of the area's seasonal population in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as Vancouver emerged as western Canada's predominant commercial centre. Hotels such as this provided both short and long-term lodging, serving primarily those who worked in the seasonal resource trades such as fishing and logging. Many of these hotels had combined functions of commercial services on the ground floor and lodging rooms on the upper floors, which contributed to the lively street life in Gastown. The New Fountain was one of the hotels on Cordova Street developed as part of the investment portfolio of Evans, Coleman and Evans, general merchants and shipping agents, considered at the time a leading commercial firm in the province,

The New Fountain Hotel is valued for its architecture as a fine example of the commercial style of the turn-of-the-nineteenth century, illustrating how popular architectural styles were used by the hotel business to market a progressive image. With its segmental arched windows and elaborate cornice, this building represents a transition point between the more highly articulated decoration of the late Victorian era and the simplified Classical Revival influences of the Edwardian era.

Also significant is the role that this building played in the revitalization of Gastown during the 1970s. The New Fountain and the adjacent Hotel Stanley were renovated in 1971 in a project that combined commercial activity with the city's first privately developed rent-controlled housing. The ancillary space behind the hotel was developed in 1971 as a public courtyard, officially named Blood Alley in 1972.

Source: City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Street Files

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the New Fountain Hotel include:
- location, in close proximity to the waterfront of Burrard Inlet and the Canadian Pacific Railway yard
- spatial relationship to other late Victorian and Edwardian era commercial buildings
- siting on the property lines, with no setbacks at the front or side, and large open space at rear
- form, scale and massing as expressed by its two storey height with lower level exposed at rear, flat roof and rectangular plan
- masonry construction: tan brick front facade with alternating narrow and wide second floor piers and rounded bricks framing the upper floor window openings; continuous rough-dressed sandstone sills and sandstone corner blocks at the upper floor front facade window openings; and common red brick side and rear walls with sandstone sills and lintels;
- segmental arched window openings on the front facade upper storey
- projecting sheet metal cornice at the parapet with repetitive smaller brackets, with an elaborate larger bracket at each end
- continuous sheet metal cornice above storefront



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.593

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Street Files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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