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Hamley Building

1001 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1975/11/27

Exterior view of the Hamley Building; City of Victoria, Berdine J. Jonker, 2005.
Government Street elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Hamley Building is a four-storey brick commercial building on the corner of Government Street and Broughton Streets. It is characterized by a beveled corner, and round-headed arched windows on its second storey, which correspond with the windows of its contiguous neighbours to the north.

Heritage Value

The Hamley Building is of value to Victoria's Old Town District because it chronicles the development and evolution of the city in both the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The evolution of the Hamley building can be seen in the original three 1885 storeys, attributed to civil engineer Dennis Harris, who also designed the three buildings between 1007 and 1021 Government Street during Victoria's boom period in the 1880s. The fourth floor, added by architect William Ridgeway Wilson in 1912, speaks to changes in architectural styles and the large-scale speculative development which arose in Victoria during the years immediately preceding World War One.

This prominent corner building forms a visual bookend for the stylistically continuous collection of buildings on this block. Together, this group of commercial buildings maintains the continuity of the historic street wall and the heritage character of Government Street, which was at the time of this building's construction the main commercial artery in Victoria.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that this building was named after it first owner, the Honourable Wymond Hamley, collector of customs from 1864 to 1871 and former member of the Legislative Assembly.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Dept.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Hamley Building include:
- Its four storey form, with a clear stylistic distinction between its original three 1885 storeys and the 1912 fourth storey.
- Its prominent location, accentuated by its beveled corner.
- The architectural continuity with 1007, 1009-1013, and 1017-1021 Government Street, seen in such design elements as the second storey round-headed arched wood-framed windows, cornice detailing, and dentil moulding.
- Its commercial use.
- The integrity of the building envelope, supported by construction methods and materials used to carry out its 1885 and 1912 designs.
- Interior spaces which support the heritage character of its 1885 and 1912 designs.



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1912/01/01 to 1912/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Architect / Designer

Dennis Harris



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Victoria Planning and Development Dept.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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