Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Vancouver in Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia — The Canadian Pacific
 

Dominion Building

City of Vancouver Heritage Building

 

—Architects: J.S. Helyer & Son —

 
Dominion Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 8, 2010
1. Dominion Building Marker
Inscription. This ornate Beaux-Arts skyscraper was commissioned by Imperial Trust in 1906 but opened in 1910 as the Dominion Trust Building after this company assumed the debt and completed construction. It was the tallest building in the British Empire at that time, topped out at 18 storeys. The striking red and yellow terracotta exterior is capped by a three-storey Mansard roof reminiscent of late 19th Century Parisian townhouses. It was the finest building of the architects' careers and a major city landmark for decades. With the other Edwardian-era buildings rimming 'Government Square,' it formed Vancouver's commercial centre before World War I. The building was to be remodeled in the 1940s to accommodate the Army & Navy store: the plan never materialized, and its interior features of marble wainscoting, terrazzo flooring, oak woodwork and a decorative ten-storey spiral staircase remain intact.
 
Location. 49° 16.966′ N, 123° 6.586′ W. Marker is in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Greater Vancouver Regional District. Marker is at the intersection of West Hastings Street and Cambie Street, on the right when traveling west on West Hastings Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 207 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1H7, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least
Dominion Building Marker - wide view (looking across West Hastings) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 8, 2010
2. Dominion Building Marker - wide view (looking across West Hastings)
The marker is visible here just to the left of the tree in the right-hand side of the picture.
8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Here Stood Hamilton (within shouting distance of this marker); Flack Block (within shouting distance of this marker); 326 West Pender Street (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); BC Permanent Building (about 120 meters away); 64 Pounder Guns (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Sherman (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Drill Hall (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Ram Mk II (approx. 0.4 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vancouver.
 
Also see . . .
1. Dominion Building. HistoricPlaces.ca's page for the Dominion Building. On the building's heritage value: "... Designed in 1908-1910 by architect J. S. Helyer, it was, at the time, the highest building in the British Empire with a height of 147 feet, 6 inches, until the nearby Sun Tower (100 West Pender Street) rose in 1911-1912. To a steel-framed Chicago-style high rise, Helyer added classical columns, Sullivanesque detailing above the tenth floor, and a Second Empire curved mansard roof. The interior design was even more unusual: a central core design with a ten-storey spiral staircase." (Submitted on April 13, 2012.) 

2. Haunts of Vancouver: The Dominion Building. Vancouver Streetblog (amongst others) on the haunting of the Dominion Building: "...Urban legend has it that the architect of the Dominion Building,
Ornamentation above the corner entrance image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, June 8, 2010
3. Ornamentation above the corner entrance
John Helyer, died at the opening party of this heritage building. Built in 1909, this 14-storey building was the first steel framed high rise to be built in Vancouver....Ever since that opening night party over 100 years ago, rumor has it that John Helyer's ghost can be seen on the staircase between the seventh and eighth floors. Even creepier is that many have reported hearing his footsteps in the stairway. It has never been clear how he came to tumble down the stairs. Did he fall, did he jump or was he pushed? Only the ghosts of the Dominion Building really know."
(Submitted on April 13, 2012.) 

3. Helyer, John Shaw. The Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada notes that Helyer died on October 29, 1919 after several years of deteriorating health. This being 10 years after the urban legend's opening party for the building at which Helyer supposedly fell and died. (Submitted on April 13, 2012.) 
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Dominion Building under construction (looking northeast up Hamilton Street) image. Click for full size.
Philip Timms (image courtesy of the Vancouver Public Library), 1909
4. Dominion Building under construction (looking northeast up Hamilton Street)
Dominion Building, looking northeast up Hamilton Street image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 1, 2011
5. Dominion Building, looking northeast up Hamilton Street
Dominion Building, 1915 image. Click for full size.
R. Broadbridge (image courtesy of Vancouver Public Library), 1915
6. Dominion Building, 1915
Dominion Building today, view from southeast image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 1, 2011
7. Dominion Building today, view from southeast
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 13, 2012, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 506 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 13, 2012, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement