(#19) 631-637 Yates Street

Date of construction: 1878

Additions 1890, 1906, and 1912


Originally built as a two-storey structure for Burns and Edwards, this building has undergone many renovations. James Burns, a hardware merchant, operated his business from here for four years. In 1884, the building was purchased by Thomas Dixon Galpin, an important British investor, through the B.C. Land and Investment Agency of which he was the Chairman. Nicholles and Renouf rented the premises as a hardware warehouse from approximately 1885 to 1904. One floor was added in 1906 to the design of Francis Mawson Rattenbury.

By 1907, the tenants were Robert Watson – boots and shoes and British Columbia Hardware Co. In 1912 the storefronts were altered by James and James architects. At some point, the corner entrance was changed from rounded to angled.

In 1977, this building was consolidated with its neighbor to the east, 639-641 Yates, by A. & B. Sound who undertook massive renovations then and also in 1979 and 1982.  With the demise of the business in 2008, the building is undergoing further modifications. In 2009, it was the home of Atmosphere Рsports equipment and clothing.


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