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Regent Hotel

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

Formally Recognized: 1994/11/21

Regent Hotel; City of Vancouver 2004
front facade
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Other Name(s)

Clemes Block
Regent Hotel

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/11/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Regent Hotel is an eight-storey Chicago-style early skyscraper on the south side of East Hastings Street in Vancouver.

Heritage Value

At the turn of the twentieth century, this area of Vancouver developed as a shopping area as commercial activity spread outward from its early roots in Gastown. As the young city grew, so did its commercial district. It was the home of several hotels, lodgings, and small retail outlets, which were established to serve the growing blue-collar population.

Built in 1913 for Art Clemes by architect Emil G. Guenther, the building is significant because it is one of two adjacent buildings from the same era with arched windows. Art Clemes was a partner in Alexander Pantages' theatre next door, which explains the similarities in their construction and some of the window design. The Regent Hotel's fine finishes would indicate that it catered to tourists and business travelers, who were expected to arrive after the completion of the Canadian Northern Railway and the Panama Canal. In addition to providing accommodation, the Regent also offered services, including a barber shop, cigar store, and shoe shine stand, all catering to the largely male travelling public.

The Chicago-style grid - including the Louis Sullivan-inspired decorated spandrels - presents a symmetrical face to the street, while the pilasters emphasize the verticality of the structure. The building illustrates the increasing use of technology; buildings of this height were only possible with the use of steel frames, concrete and the development of the elevator.

The Regent Hotel has been renovated by the Downtown Eastside Residents' Association as affordable social housing. It therefore continues the transient nature of accommodation in the Hastings Street area.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Regent Hotel include:
- its early skyscraper form, scale and massing
- built right to the lot line with no setbacks
- its functional relationship with other buildings within the Hastings Street strip and adjoining neighbourhoods
- characteristics of the Chicago style including: pilasters which terminate in arches, indented spandrels with decoration, pattern of fenestration including a single one-over-one double-hung sash flanked by two sets of three one-over-one double hung windows, the overhanging metal cornice on the front of the building with its brackets and dentils
- continued use as accommodation



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

Emil G. Guenther



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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