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Customs House

1002 Wharf Street, Victoria, Colombie-Britannique, V8W, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 1975/03/13

Exterior view of the Customs House, 2004.; City of Victoria, 2004
southeast elevation
Pas d'image
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Autre nom(s)

Customs House
Old Victoria Custom House
Malahat Building

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction


Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2004/08/17

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

Customs House is a three-storey Second Empire Style brick and stone building situated on Wharf Street, in the Inner Harbour Precinct of Victoria.

Valeur patrimoniale

Customs House (1874) is valued as the first federal building constructed in Victoria after British Columbia entered Confederation; it is the original embodiment of the federal government's presence in the city. The associative value of this place resides in its distinct nineteenth century governmental style - adopted from French and American examples - and its prominent location within Victoria's historic townscape.

This building is significant as one of few remaining works constructed under the tenure of T.S. Scott, Canada's first Chief Architect of Public Works. Customs House is the earliest example in British Columbia of Canada's first distinctive national architectural style - the Second Empire Style elements, such as the mansard roofline of this building are reflective of standard architectural vocabulary of late nineteenth century public works across Canada. Its traditional form is indicative of its regulatory functions within Victoria's harbour; the lower receiving floor and upper offices surmounted by a roof-top viewing deck allowed for convenient physical and visual access to the water.

The prominent position of Customs House on Wharf Street is integral to its historic value. This free-standing building is a surviving testament to the federal desire to control western Canada, and its unmistakable dominance over what was once an active international seaport is representative of its function as a centre for the extension of Dominion law and order over British Columbia's lucrative commercial activities in the late nineteenth century.

Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Éléments caractéristiques

The character-defining elements of the Customs House include:
- the prominent free-standing position of this building on Wharf Street, and the contiguous relationship of the building with the waterfront;
- the unimpeded view of the building from the harbour, and the commanding view from the building of the harbour heads;
- the distinctive silhouette and form of the building, articulated by its three-storey massing and mansard roof;
- the uniform treatment of all four facades of the building;
- the Second Empire Style design elements, such as quoining, dormer windows, hooded windows, bracketed eaves, slate roof, and brick and stone cladding.




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

Gouverner le Canada
Les institutions gouvernementales

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction


Commerce / Services commerciaux
Bureau ou édifice à bureaux


Édifice des douanes

Architecte / Concepteur

T.S. Scott



Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

City of Victoria Planning and Development Department

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




Inscriptions associées

General view

Lieu historique national du Canada de l'Édifice-Malahat / Ancien-Édifice-de-la-Douane-de-Victoria

L'Édifice Malahat / ancien édifice de la douane de Victoria est un bâtiment en brique de trois étages, avec un toit mansardé, construit en 1874 et 1875. Il est situé dans le…


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