535 Yates Street

Date of construction: 1900


The Pither and Leiser Building at 535 Yates was built by John Hepburn in 1900. Hepburn was a successful Klondiker who invested in property development. The Victoria Daily Colonist of January 13, 1900 notes that: “the rapidly increasing business of Messrs Pither & Leiser necessitated a larger premises and work will be at once commenced on a modern warehouse and office building for them on the premises immediately adjoining their present quarters, now occupied by the old American hotel and smaller wooden stores. The property on which these buildings stand was recently purchased by Mr. John Hepburn. The contract for the new building has already been let by the architect, Thos.Hooper, and as stated before “work will be commenced at once and pushed to early completion. The brick and stone work will be in the hands of Messrs Elford and Smith.” By 1908, Pither and Leiser had moved their main office to the corner of Wharf and Fort Street. Although the building has lost its cornice and pediment with name plate, it is still a handsome structure. It was restored in 2009.


This Hallmark Heritage Society project was funded by the HBC Foundation and the BC150-Heritage Legacy Fund

Project manager and researcher: Helen Edwards

Principal Photography & Consultant: Ron Bukta, West Ventures Photography