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Templeton Building

9 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/01/14

Templeton Building; City of Vancouver 2004
Hastings Street facade
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/11/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Templeton Building is a two-storey masonry Edwardian commercial building at the northeast corner of East Hastings and Carrall Streets within the historic Gastown district of Vancouver.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Templeton Building lies in the historic relationship between this area and the economy of early Vancouver. The Klondike gold rush of 1898-1900 heralded a boom that lasted with minor interruptions until the First World War. When Vancouver became the entrepot between the Canadian Pacific Railway and trans-Pacific shipping in 1887, Gastown was its hub.

The Templeton Building is associated with Gastown’s history as a mixed-use district. As the young city grew, so did its commercial district. While the retail district was expanding south and west along Granville Street, East Hastings Street was the home of a second retail and commercial strip. In the late nineteenth century, this area of town was, for the most part, populated by unattached males of working age, largely employed in seasonal resource industries. While they generally lived in hotels, they relied on small commercial enterprises for their personal needs.

Built c. 1895 as a grocery store for William Templeton (later to become Vancouver’s sixth mayor), the building was enlarged early in the 1900s by Mrs. Templeton (her husband died in 1898) to increase commercial space. Over the early decades it accommodated a range of uses including bakers, harness makers, tailors, shoemakers, building societies, real estate agents, and associations. In the early twentieth century, the upstairs offices were occupied by physicians, dentists, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Shipmasters Association, signalling a change to a more professional class of tenants as the Vancouver grew in importance in the commerce of the region. E.S. Knowlton moved his drug store to the Templeton Building from 4 East Hastings Street in 1910. The business continues to the present day and the interior retains its 1910 shelves and display cases.

There is also value in the architectural design, which reflects the changing public taste from the highly ornate decoration of the Victorian period to the more refined detailing of the Edwardian era. The building’s placement is also of significance as it plays a key role in visually and functionally anchoring and defining the corner opposite the open space created by the intersection of Carrall Street, Hastings Street and the historic CPR right of way. The Carrall Street facade’s more ornate decoration indicates that Carrall, not Hastings Street, was the more important thoroughfare in the 1890s.

In 2001, a large portion of the building was renovated by the Portland Hotel Society to provide an arts and crafts space - The Interurban - for the Downtown Eastside community. Significant artifacts were found during the rehabilitation of the old storefronts; these have been documented and retained.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Templeton Building include:
- location at the intersection of Hastings and Carrall Streets with the historic CPR right of way
- the functional relationship between this building and its neighbours within the Gastown historic district
- its siting on the property line, with no setbacks
- form, scale and massing
- Edwardian architectural features, including a sheet metal cornice below the brick parapet, stepped brick detail under the metal cornice on the Carrall Street facade, quoins in brick at the corner entry to both ground and second floor levels, pattern of fenestration (one-over-one double-hung sash) on the second storey, rusticated stone window sills on second floor, and the deep-pointed rusticated stone band across the building at the head of second-storey windows
- retail use of main floor
- long term use as a drug store
- interior shelves and display cases



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.593

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

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

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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