538 and 536 Yates Street

Date of construction: 1880s; 1860s?


The buildings at 538 and 536 Yates have now been legally consolidated, but were separate entities in the early days. 538 Yates was built by A. Gilmore in 1888. T. B. Pearson & Coy Wholesale Woollens” were the tenants by 1892. The building was vacant in 1907. A striking feature of the building is the decorative work over the windows, the metal cornice and brackets, and the iron pillars at the entrance. Its neighbour at 536 Yates was first mentioned in an 1860 city directory listing for Webster & Co. Wholesale and Retail Dealers in Boots, Shoes, Leather and Findings. It was the first brick building on Yates Street. James Webster was murdered in 1862 in a case of mistaken identity that was the talk of the town for several days and was front page news in the Daily Colonist. The buildings have been recently restored to bring them up to modern codes and to highlight the historic architectural features.


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