Date of construction: 1889
Erected by the Canadian Pacific Land & Mortgage Company
The design featured brick masonry and plaster ornamentation, classic detailing, a large traditional storefront and upper storey windows with stained glass, a built-up parapet and pediments, a prominent corner tower with curving glazing, and relatively ornate decoration such as iron fencing. The storefront, cornice, parapet, top of the tower and ornate details have been removed and the brick and plaster have been painted in an unsympathetic color.
The first tenant in the main ground floor space was druggist E. C. Kellogg. Other tenants included R. A. Brown Hardware and H.A. Potts, Merchant Tailor. A series of druggists occupied the main floor including Cochrane and Munn.
The tower was removed some time between the 1920s and 1940s, although the exact date is unknown. In 1907, the tenants were John Cochrane – druggist, Postgate Fowler – fancy goods store, R A Brown and Co Hardware, James L. Forrester – paints, William Russell- dentist, Dr. A E McMicking – physician, and Mrs. C. Cameron – lodgings (upstairs).
Every upstairs room had its own fireplace, accounting for the seven chimneys seen on old photographs.
The building was occupied by Coles Books, Cunningham Drugs and a leather ware store for many years in the 1980s but was left vacant in 1990. At one point the City of Victoria was considering suing the absentee owner for the condition of his “filthy heritage building.” One City Councillor noted that: ” Paper coverings over the windows often fell down revealing the filthy interior.” Eventually the building was rehabilitated and is now open for business again.
The main store space is occupied by Mac’s convenience store with a language training school on the upper storey. Smaller businesses use the remaining street level retail.
Project manager and researcher: Helen Edwards
Principal Photography & Consultant: Ron Bukta, West Ventures Photography