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998 Gorge Road West

998 Gorge Road West, Saanich, British Columbia, V9A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/01/01

Exterior view of garage, 998 Gorge Rd. West, 2004; District of Saanich, 2004
oblique view
Exterior view of apartments, 998 Gorge Road West, 2004; District of Saanich, 2004
oblique view
Exterior view of store, 998 Gorge Road West, 2004; District of Saanich, 2004
oblique view

Other Name(s)

998 Gorge Road West
Saanich Auto Repair
2803 Admirals Road
Craigflower Bridge Store
Brookman's Grocery

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/10/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

This commercial complex is comprised of a two storey, gable-roofed corner store, with an attached one storey, flat roofed service station with a projecting canopy over the gas pumps, and an adjacent two storey, flat roofed apartment / retail building with full basement. The complex occupies a corner site; the store and service station front onto Gorge Road West and are set back from the lot line to provide parking and a forecourt. The apartment / retail building has minimal setback from the lot line on Admirals Road. The complex overlooks the Gorge waterway near the Craigflower Bridge.

Heritage Value

This site is of heritage value as a reflection of the importance of the Gorge waterway as a popular local, summertime destination. Portage Inlet and the Gorge provided substantial fishing and marine recreational opportunities. Over time, the popularity of the automobile for recreational use created the demand for roadside tourist facilities such as this motel, service station, and supply store.

Additionally, this site is valued for its vernacular commercial architecture. The original store, opened in 1930 as the Craigflower Bridge Store, displays typical features of a small commercial building of the era, with a residential suite upstairs. The two adjacent buildings were built in 1949 using the 'Pan-Abode' prefabricated log construction system, and are unusual and early examples of this method adapted for commercial, rather than residential purposes. Pan-Abode International, located in Richmond, British Columbia, began offering its unique system of engineered Western Red Cedar logs in 1948. The logs were supplied in shipments that contained all the pre-cut logs for the required building, initially offered for the simple construction of cottages, cabins and other rustic recreational facilities; the system was easy to assemble and did not require nails.

The site is important for its association with the Brookman family, which still owns the store. William S.A. Brookman, known as Arthur, was born in England and immigrated to Ontario, then settled in Saanich in 1928, where he became a well-known local character and businessman. This small commercial complex has been important to the local residential neighbourhood, and includes one of the last neighbourhood garages in Saanich. Students from Craigflower School across Admirals Road have used the store as a tuck shop for decades and summer visitors to the Gorge have found the facilities convenient for their supplies.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, District of Saanich

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of 2803 Admirals Road / 998 Gorge Road West
include its:
- location at the intersection of Gorge Road West and Admirals Road, overlooking the Gorge waterway and in close proximity to Craigflower Bridge and School
- Rustic style 'Pan-Abode' prefabricated log construction of the service station and apartment/retail building
- elements of the original store building such as its 10-over-1, 8-over-2 and 5-over-1 double-hung wooden-sash windows with simple board surrounds: seven-pane transom over front door; side-gabled roof; narrow drop siding on the gable end walls; brick chimney; double wooden and bevelled glazed entrance doors with original copper hardware
- elements of the apartment building such as its irregular fenestration of multiple-assembly casement windows, all multi-paned with horizontally-proportioned panes; simple wooden window surrounds; flat roof with deep cornice; original storefront elements including doors and hardware; interior features such as original wooden flooring; and exterior access from rear balconies
- elements of the garage such as its flat roof; large projecting flat canopy supported on two steel pipe columns; structure of 'Pan-Abode' log siding visible on the exterior and interior; large structural openings with overhead garage doors; indoor customer bathrooms accessed from exterior side elevation; and loading bay, overhead metal works and hardware to enable its original function as a marine shop
- informal arrangement of the three buildings on an irregular corner lot, with paved parking area facing the Gorge



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
Service Station
Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, District of Saanich

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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