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Mable Carriage Works

713 Johnson Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/01/19

Exterior view of the Mable Carriage Works; City of Victoria, Berdine J. Jonker, 2005.
Johnson Street facade
Exterior view of the Mable Carriage Works; City of Victoria, Berdine J. Jonker, 2005.
Detail of cornice line
Exterior view of the Mable Carriage Works; City of Victoria, Berdine J. Jonker, 2005.
Painted sign on east façade

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Mable Carriage Works is a three-storey brick commercial building located on Johnson Street in the commercial core of Victoria's downtown. It can be identified by Edwardian architectural features, such as double-hung shallow arched and transom windows, brick detailing, and a protruding cornice, and by a painted sign advertising the carriage works on its east facade.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of Mable Carriage Works lies in the contribution it makes to the continuity of the historic streetscape, and in its association with the carriage construction and importation business of W.J. Mable.

Constructed in 1908 and designed by architects Hooper and Watkins, this building is a product of the redevelopment that occurred in Victoria during the prosperous Edwardian era. It is a valuable example of the type of building constructed during the period of transition which moved Victoria from a nineteenth century supply town to a twentieth century modern centre of commerce. Mable Carriage Works is significant to Victoria's heritage because it retains evidence of nineteenth century norms in both the signage advertising its original purpose as a carriage factory, and in its architectural design, while demonstrating a clear shift toward the architectural idiom that would soon produce even more modern commercial blocks of a similar scale, such as the 1912 Scott Building, its adjacent neighbour to the west, with which it shares a common cornice line. Mable Carriage Works reinforces the historic character of the south side of this block of Johnson Street, and maintains the heritage of Victoria's commercial core.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Dept.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of Mable Carriage Works include:
- Its three storey massing and flat-roofed form.
- Its contribution to the urban fabric of the street wall, seen in the lack of set backs.
- The sense of continuity it adds to the historic street wall and streetscape, by forming a cohesive unit with the Scott Building to the west.
- Elements of its 1908 design by architects Hooper and Watkins, including the regular rhythm of shallow arched third storey windows, deeply recessed second storey windows, projecting cornice, and corbelled brick detailing.
- Its clear identification with Mable Carriage Works, seen in the painted sign on its east façade.
- Its commercial use.
- Methods of construction used to carry out its original 1908 design.
- The integrity of the early twentieth-century building envelope.
- Interior elements which support the heritage character of its 1908 design.



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


Machinery or Other Equipment Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer

Hooper and Watkins



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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