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Victoria House

514 Homer Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/09/23

Exterior view of the Victoria House; City of Vancouver, 2005
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/08/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Victoria House is a Klondike-era, three-storey rooming house, identifiable for its grid of bay windows and an above ground basement, resulting in an elevated first storey. This building is located mid-block on the east side of Homer Street, within the context of other commercial buildings of a compatible age and scale in downtown Vancouver. It is connected internally to the later Victoria Block.

Heritage Value

Built in 1897, Victoria House is valued as a fine example of turn-of-the-century architecture typical of rooming houses and apartment buildings. The exterior, in largely original condition, is defined by its grid of bay windows, serving the practical purpose of allowing for maximum light and ventilation. The tall, narrow windows and the segmental arched window openings with their decorative hoods on the first storey demonstrate the influence of the Victorian Italianate style.

Victoria House is evidence of the area's transient population in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, during which time the city served as a transportation hub for the Klondike gold-seekers, and as a major outfitting and supply centre. Apartments and rooming houses such as this provided both short and long-term lodging, in relative proximity of the Canadian Pacific Railway station and piers. Notably, Victoria House remains in use as a hotel, and the continuation of its original function has allowed the retention of its interior configuration.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of Victoria House include its:
- mid-block location, built to north sloping grade with minimal setback from the street
- commercial form, scale and massing, as expressed by its three-storey (plus above ground, 'English' basement) height and regular, rectangular plan
- flat roof with raised parapets
- masonry construction, with brick cladding with flush-struck mortar joints, rubble-stone foundation with raised pointing, sandstone sills, and a heavy timber internal structure
- exterior features, such as its projecting sheet metal cornice and recessed central entry with tongue-and-groove paneled ceiling
- regular fenestration: tall and narrow ground level segmental arched windows, crowned with decorated brick hoods, and rough dressed sandstone sills, second and third-storey double-height bay windows, clad in sheet metal, decorated with starburst panels, and segmental arched window openings at the side and rear elevations



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.582

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
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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