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533 Yates Street

533 Yates Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/01/19

Exterior view of 533 Yates Street, February 2006; City of Victoria, Berdine J. Jonker, 2006
North and west elevations
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Other Name(s)

533 Yates Street
Boucherat and Company Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/10/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

533 Yates Street is a two-storey brick commercial building located at the eastern side of the Yates Street entrance to Commercial Alley. It has a metal railing at its roofline, and a modern rooftop addition set back from the original building perimeter.

Heritage Value

Constructed in 1887 as a warehouse and retail outlet for Boucherat & Co., Liquor Merchants, 533 Yates Street is a good example of the type of commercial building that established this area of town as an early wholesale district. Situated next to Commercial Alley, this building is of value to Victoria's Old Town District because it helps to retain and define the network of passageways which provided service spaces, stable areas, and secondary access for the city's early commercial businesses. The design of the building is a key aspect of its heritage value. The articulation of elements such as windows and doors along its secondary facade reflects a desire to draw people into the alleyway, and is also indicative of the value of this type of corner lot, which allowed for more street-front exposure and a better-lit and more functional commercial building.

533 Yates Street shares an important part of its history with its contiguous neighbour, 535 Yates Street. Both buildings were at one time occupied by the company of Pither & Leiser, the largest grocery concern in the province in the 1890s. Although surrounded by a majority of modern buildings, these two buildings continue to preserve and reflect the heritage character of this area, seen primarily in the row of historic structures directly across the street.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of 533 Yates Street include:
- Its situation at the corner of Yates Street and Commercial Alley.
- The appearance of its two-storey scale from street level.
- Its contiguous relationship to 535 Yates Street.
- Its relationship to the alleyway at the rear of the building.
- The brickwork on its front, side, and rear facades.
- The articulation of key decorative elements of the facade fronting Commercial Alley, such as the decorative cornice, dentillated stringcourse, and windows and doorways.
- Evidence of former historic window and door openings seen in differentiated masonry patterns on the exterior walls of the Yates Street and Commercial Alley facades.
- Any surviving elements of the original storefront which may be obscured by later modifications.



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
Eating or Drinking Establishment
Multiple Dwelling


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

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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