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News-Advertiser Building

303 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/09/23

Exterior view of the News-Advertiser Building; City of Vancouver, 2005
Oblique view
Exterior view of the News-Advertiser Building, c. 1908; H.J. Boam, British Columbia, 1912, p. 456
Oblique view
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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

The News-Advertiser Building is an Edwardian era, three-storey, masonry commercial building, now clad in stucco over its original brick. It is located on a north sloping site on a prominent lot at the northwest corner of West Pender and Hamilton Streets, across the street from historic Victory Square Park, within the context of other commercial buildings of similar scale and age in central downtown Vancouver.

Heritage Value

The News-Advertiser Building a progressive example of Edwardian-era commercial architecture. Without stylistic pretensions, this substantial structure is distinguished by a smooth, plain, brick facade (now covered in stucco) with running horizontal banding, punctuated by a regular grid of substantial, symmetrically-placed windows. Such a plain design was indicative of the utilitarian purpose of the building, which contained both newspaper offices and printing equipment.

The building is additionally valued for its association with prominent pioneer, Francis Lovett Carter-Cotton (1847-1919), who arrived in Vancouver in 1886, bought two of the local newspapers and merged them as the News-Advertiser. Under Carter-Cotton's direction, this became the first paper in North America with an electric-powered printing press. The News-Advertiser grew with the city, and occupied successively larger premises until it moved into this large, new structure in March 1907. Among his many public offices and postings, Carter-Cotton served as an MLA, was in provincial cabinet as Minister of Finance and was the first chancellor of the University of British Columbia.

The News-Advertiser Building is also valued for its role in the neighbourhood, adjacent to Victory Square Park, the location of Vancouver's first courthouse, and as a strong contributor to the historic streetscape of West Pender Street, as one of a series of Edwardian-era commercial buildings. The central location of the News-Advertiser Building placed it within the hub of commercial activity, which was at the time shifting south from Gastown to West Pender and West Hastings Street. The building is an important component of the early commercial fabric that made West Pender one of the prominent commercial streets in Vancouver's early history. Most of Vancouver's early newspapers were clustered close to this location, adjacent to the original site of the courthouse. This building's continuous commercial use over its lifetime is a reflection of the successive waves of economic forces that played a pivotal role in the city's early development.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the News-Advertiser Building include its:
- location at the corner of West Pender and Hamilton Streets, flush with other buildings and to the alley in the rear, on a north sloping site adjacent to Victory Square Park
- commercial form, scale and massing, as expressed by its three-storey height (with partial above ground basement) and regular, rectangular plan
- flat roof with horizontal raised parapets
- masonry construction, with brick facade (now covered with stucco) and a continuous rough-dressed horizontal sandstone course on each floor
- additional exterior elements, such as its early fire escape at the rear, and the recessed main entrance
- regular, symmetrical fenestration: double assembly wooden-sash windows with three-part transom light on the first storey; double assembly, double-hung, wooden-sash windows in the second and third storeys; large ground floor display windows within the raised basement; original, wooden window frame on the northeast ground level corner; and segmental arch windows on the rear elevation, incorporating transom lights within the first storey windows;
- interior features, such as its tongue-and-groove panelling at the entrance to upper storeys



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
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type


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


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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