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Greenwood Building

1009 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1975/11/27

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

Greenwood Building
Brand Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Greenwood Building is a two-storey brick commercial building which occupies two commercial city lots on Government Street in Victoria's historic Old Town District. It can be identified by its symmetrical façade, with a bracketed cornice and five round-headed arched windows on the upper floor.

Heritage Value

The Greenwood Building (1884) is valued as a good example of the type of late nineteenth-century commercial building that gives Victoria's Old Town District its historic character. This building is an integral part of a collection of stylistically similar buildings, all constructed within a few years of each other, on the east side of this block. It helps maintain 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.

This building's associations with both civic engineer Dennis Harris, who designed the four buildings between 1001 and 1021 Government Street, and C.E. Redfern, a former mayor of Victoria who operated businesses here and in other buildings nearby, are an important part of its heritage value. The connections and relationships between this building, its designer, and early tenants and owners provide valuable insight into the early development and commercial growth of the city during the 1880s.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Dept.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Greenwood Building include:
- The contribution it makes to the historic street wall.
- The architectural continuity with 1007, 1017-1021 and 1001-1005 Government Street, seen in such design elements as the second storey round-headed arched wood-framed windows, cornice detailing, and dentil moulding.
- The two storey scale and massing, and lack of setback.
- Design elements relevant to its 1884 design, including the two chimneys, a missing cornice bracket which once accommodated a two-sided clock, and the bilateral symmetry of the façade.
- The integrity of the building envelope, which identifies it as a nineteenth century commercial building.
- The commercial use of the building, seen in such elements as the two street-level storefronts.
- Interior elements which support the heritage character of its original design by Harris.



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)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


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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