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Bank of British Columbia

1020-1022 Government Street, Victoria, Colombie-Britannique, V8W, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 1975/11/27

Exterior view of the Bank of B.C., 2004.; City of Victoria, Liberty Walton, 2004.
Northeast elevation.
Pas d'image
Pas d'image

Autre nom(s)

Bank of British Columbia
Spirit of Christmas
Bank of B.C. Building

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction


Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2004/08/17

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

The Bank of British Columbia is a three storey Italianate Style building on the corner of Government and Fort Streets.

Valeur patrimoniale

The Bank of British Columbia (1885-86) is valued as an architectural gem reminiscent of Victoria's late-nineteenth century economic prosperity. As the Canadian headquarters of the Bank of British Columbia, and the most sophisticated and costly structure of its kind in the province at the time of its construction, this bank reflects the economic optimism which assumed that Victoria would become the western terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and would continue to prosper as the centre of west coast commerce.

Designed by architect W.H. Williams to make ideal use of this prominent corner lot, this building epitomizes the image of nineteenth-century banking, and is an excellent example of the detailed use of the Classical idiom favoured for commercial architecture in that time period. The location of this building is significant, as it reflects the early grandeur of Government Street as a major commercial and financial artery of the city. It is a prominent landmark, and its composition of local building materials and distinctive decorative elements - such as cast-iron features made locally by the historic Albion Iron Works - makes it significant to the continuity of the historic streetscape in the Old Town district.

The Bank of British Columbia has an interesting historic association with noted Canadian poet and novelist, Robert Service, who worked for the Bank and occupied one of the upstairs apartments in the building.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Éléments caractéristiques

The character-defining elements of the Bank of British Columbia building include:
-the prominent position of the building on its corner lot, its faceted corner facade, and the use of its authentic corner entrance;
-the sophisticated use of cast-iron elements such as pilasters, sills, and lintels, and the identification of these elements with the Albion Iron Works;
-the Renaissance Revival elements, such as symmetrical fenestration, arched pediments, balconies with decorative brackets, and the pediment above the cornice;
-the decorative elements such as friezes with sunflower motif, roundels depicting Mercury, and crests of the Bank of British Columbia;
-authentic interior elements dating to the time of construction, such as cast iron columns and woodwork
- interior spatial configurations which relate to its original design, such as the large open floor plan of the first floor.




Autorité de reconnaissance

Administrations locales (C.-B.)

Loi habilitante

Local Government Act, art.967

Type de reconnaissance

Désignation patrimoniale

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Économies en développement
Commerce et affaires

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction


Commerce / Services commerciaux
Bureau ou édifice à bureaux


Commerce / Services commerciaux
Banque ou bourse

Architecte / Concepteur

Warren H. Williams


Smith and Clark

Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




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