534 Yates Street

Date of construction: 1896


The Smith, Davidson and Lecky Building at 534 Yates Street was built for Thomas Earle’s firm of wholesale grocers in 1896. Architect Thomas Hooper’s design features two large bullet-like finals on the upper edges of the upper storey. The high arched front facade allowed the maximum penetration of light into the work spaces. The building illustrates the introduction of steel technology to building technology and the new commercial styles gaining popularity in Chicago and the American mid-west. In 1907, it was the home of Cammel Laird & Co of Sheffield who were steel manufacturers specializing in mining drill and tool steel, steel rails, shoes, and dies. In 1909 the firm, the British Columbia branch of a well-established Sheffield, England enterprise gained an licence to “To carry on business as builders of ships and vessels of all kinds, whether for warlike purposes or for other purposes whatsoever; to carry on business as manufacturers of armour plates and all other descriptions of armour and all accessories thereto and of ordnance of all kinds , including guns, gun carriages, torpedoes and of ammunition , missiles and explosives of all kinds , and all kinds of apparatus for use in connection with the same.” This building was restored in 2008 and converted to residential units with retail on the main floor.


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