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Granville Hotel

24-26 Water Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/01/14

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Other Name(s)

Granville Hotel
Grand Hotel

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1889/01/01 to 1890/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Granville Hotel is a three-storey late Victorian hotel constructed of brick, with a four-storey brick rear extension. It is located mid-block on the south side of Water Street the historic district of Gastown.

Heritage Value

Gastown is the historic core of Vancouver, and is the city's earliest, most historic area of commercial buildings and warehouses. The Gastown historic district retains a consistent and distinctive built form that is a manifestation of successive economic waves that followed the devastation of the Great Fire in 1886, the arrival of the CPR railway in 1887, the Klondike Gold Rush and the western Canadian boom that occurred prior to the First World War. The area is recognized as the birthplace of Vancouver, and was pivotal in the first twenty-five years of the city's history and represents a formative period in Canada's economic development.

The Granville Hotel is valued as an early Gastown hotel, representative of the area's seasonal population in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as Vancouver emerged as western Canada's predominant commercial centre. Hotels such as this provided both short and long-term lodging, serving primarily those who worked in the seasonal resource trades such as fishing and logging. Many of these hotels had combined functions of commercial services on the ground floor and lodging rooms on the upper floors, which contributed to the lively street life in Gastown.

The Granville Hotel is valued for its architecture as a fine example of the Victorian Italianate style from the late nineteenth century, illustrating how popular architectural styles were used by the hotel business to market a progressive image. The Granville Hotel is significant as an early surviving work by Noble Stonestreet Hoffar (1843-1907), a prolific architect in early Vancouver. Built in 1889-1890, just a few years after the Great Fire, the Granville displays the same facade that Hoffar used for his design of the first Whetham Block, later known as the Arlington Hotel and still extant on West Cordova Street.

The name of the Granville Hotel also celebrated its location in the original Old Granville Townsite. When the hotel was expanded with a rear addition in 1903-04, its name was changed to the Grand Hotel, an indication of how the settlement of Granville had evolved into the City of Vancouver.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Planning Files

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Granville Hotel include its:
- mid-block location, near the original shoreline of Burrard Inlet, overlooking the original railyard and harbour
- form, scale and massing
- architectural elements of the Victorian Italianate style as displayed on the front facade, such as the running corbels that connect the second and third floor window sills and heads
- fenestration including segmental arched openings on the second floor and round-headed openings on the third floor
- vertical pilasters that frame each side of the front facade, punctuated with sheet metal brackets
- decorative sheet metal cornice at parapet level
- horizontal cornice at the storefront level
- use of brick cladding on facades
- flush-struck mortar joints on the front facade
- double-hung wooden-sash 1-over-1 windows at the second and third floor levels
- large open storefront openings on the ground floor
- two types of cast iron columns from the Vancouver City Foundry



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.593

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1903/01/01 to 1904/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer

Noble Stonestreet Hoffar



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver, Heritage Planning Files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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