5 impressive historic buildings in Vancouver
1) Hotel Europe
This six-story heritage building was designed by Parr and Fee Architects and built in 1909. Designed in the Flatiron style to fit the triangular lot, it was the first reinforced concrete structure built in Canada. The building can be seen in many films including The Changeling and Legends of the Fall and still has its original Italian tile floors and lead glass windows.
2) Rogers Sugar Factory
Dating back to 1890 when Vancouver was only four years old, the factory is the oldest industrial site in the city and has been integral to the local economy. The property, built along the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks, is 13,5 acres (54.632 square metres) and comprised of 20 buildings, including a couple built in 1940s art deco style. The factory still is a functioning refinery, producing almost 10% of Canada’s sugar output.
3) The Sylvia Hotel
Designed as an apartment building by W.P. White, the building was constructed in 1912 for Mr. Goldstein, named after his daughter Sylvia. Following the Depression, the transition was made into full-service hotel. The hotel is known for the Virginia creeper vines that cover one side of the building and as the first pet-friendly hotel in the city; the resident cat Mr. Got To Go inspired three popular children’s books by Lois Simmie.
4) Holy Rosary Cathedral
Built in the French Gothic style, the cathedral first opened its doors in December 1900. The most prominent feature of the cathedral is its two asymmetric bell towers, which hold its eight bells. There are 21 stained-glass windows, the most notable being the five made by Canadian artist Guido Nincheri. The exterior walls are made of sandstone from Gabriola Island.
5) Vancouver Art Gallery
Once the main courthouse for Vancouver until 1979, the building that now houses the Gallery was designed in 1905 by Francis Rattenbury, who also designed the B.C. Parliament Buildings. Named a National Historic Site of Canada, the neoclassical building features iconic columns, a central dome and ornate stonework. Due to its central location and large lawn, it is often used as a gathering spot for demonstrations and protests.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Vancouver reveals off-the-beaten track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Vancouver's best-kept secrets.
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