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535 Yates Street

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

Formally Recognized: 1995/01/19

Exterior view of 535 Yates Street, February 2006; City of Victoria, Berdine J. Jonker, 2006
Front elevation
Exterior view of 535 Yates Street, February 2006; City of Victoria, Berdine J. Jonker, 2006
Rear elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)

535 Yates Street
Pither and Leiser Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/10/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

535 Yates Street is a four-storey commercial building located on the south side of lower Yates Street. Its unique facade is articulated into three bays, with rusticated masonry at street level, and topped by three large fluted window arches.

Heritage Value

This historic place is valued as a one of the few remaining historic commercial buildings on the south side of lower Yates Street. Designed by architect Thomas Hooper and constructed in 1900, this four-storey brick and stone Richardsonian Style commercial building reflects the optimism with which the City of Victoria met the twentieth century. Pither & Leiser, the largest grocery concern in the province in the 1890s, had this building constructed to house their expanding business, which had outgrown its facilities next door at 533 Yates Street. Together, these two buildings tell a story of how one successful business benefited from Victoria's financial prosperity in the late nineteenth century and contributed to the development and transformation of the city into the primary urban centre of British Columbia.

Although surrounded by a majority of modern buildings, 535 Yates Street continues to preserve and reflect the heritage character of this area, seen primarily in the row of historic structures directly across the street. Its commanding physical presence and its relationship to both Yates Street and the alleyway at the rear provide a contextual reminder of what was at one time considered to be the wholesale district of the city.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of 535 Yates Street include:
- Its commanding presence on the south side of lower Yates Street.
- Its physical relationship to the alleyway at rear.
- Its contiguous relationship to 533 Yates Street.
- Its four-storey scale.
- Its Richardsonian Style design elements, including the combined use of sandstone, granite, and brick masonry on its facade
- The high quality of the buff colour upper storey brick.
- The articulation of the facade into three bays, accentuated by the three large fluted arches.
- Its wood-framed windows at street level and at the upper storeys, both on its street facade and rear elevation.
- Decorative wood mullions.



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
Office or Office Building


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

Architect / Designer

Thomas Hooper



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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