Home / Accueil

Fairfield Block

1601 Douglas Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/01/19

Exterior view of the Fairfield Block; City of Victoria, Berdine J. Jonker, 2005.
west and south elevations
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Fairfield Block is a large, three storey Commercial Style tan and cream coloured brick building prominently located on the northeast corner of Douglas and Cormorant Streets in the commercial core of downtown Victoria.

Heritage Value

The Fairfield Block possesses heritage value as a solid example of the type of large scale commercial building constructed in Victoria during the prosperous years prior to the First World War. Constructed in 1912 for local businessmen Mr. Grant and Arthur Lineham, who was the manager of the B.C. Light and Power Company and a city alderman, this building - which is one of the few surviving works of architect H.S. Griffith - is representative of the substantial real estate speculation associated with commercial wealth that occurred in Victoria during the boom period between 1908 and 1913.

This building is valued for its handsome Edwardian detailing, articulated by tan brickwork and cream coloured terra cotta ornamentation, which reinforces the heritage character of the commercial streetscape of North Douglas Street. In partnership with nearby buildings of similar vintage such as the Hudson's Bay Company Department Store (1914) and Hotel Douglas (1911), it is a good representation of the larger scale commercial buildings which transformed the City from a Victorian supply town to a modern Edwardian urban centre.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Dept.

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements of the Fairfield Block include:
- Its prominent corner location.
- Its bulk, and the size of its large floor plate.
- The relationship and sense of continuity with other historic commercial buildings in the area, such as the Hudson's Bay Company Department Store and the Hotel Douglas.
- The commercial use of the building, in particular the variety of storefronts at street level.
- The Commercial Style architectural elements relevant to its 1912 construction, including the brick cladding, terra cotta decorative elements, prominent cornice, and grid-like fenestration pattern.
- Paired double-hung wooden sash windows in the upper storeys.
- Interior elements which support the heritage character of its original design by architect Griffith.
- Construction methods used in its 1912 design.
- The integrity of the building envelope, which identifies it as a 1912 commercial building.



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
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Architect / Designer

H. S. Griffith



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Victoria Planning and Development Dept.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places