Downtown Victoria Tour

Government Street – 1000 Block

1022 Government  Street – the Bank of British Columbia Building

This building was originally built in 1885 for the Bank of British Columbia by architect Warren Heywood Williams (1844-1888), who also designed Craigdarroch Castle.

The building was listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places in 2004.

The main floor of the building is now occupied by the Bard & Banker Pub, which has been here since 2008.

1022 Government Street, built in 1885 for the Bank of British Columbia by Portland, Oregon architect Warren H. Williams, who also designed Craigdarroch Castle. (photo by Victoria Online Sightseeing)

Here’s a map showing the location of 1022 Government Street.

Here are some photos of original 1885 decorative architectural details, designed by architect Warren H. Williams, still in place on 1022 Government Street.

Decorative architectural detail on 1022 Government Street, built in 1885 by architect Warren H. Williams, who also designed Craigdarroch Castle. (photo by Victoria Online Sightseeing)
Decorative architectural detail on 1022 Government Street, built in 1885 by architect Warren H. Williams, who also designed Craigdarroch Castle. (photo by Victoria Online Sightseeing)

Additional Information About 1022 Government Street

A Brief History of 1022 Government Street

Here are some links to historic photos of this building:

1022 Government Street, at the south west corner of Fort Street and Government Street, was built in 1885 for the Bank of British Columbia by Portland, Oregon architect Warren Heywood Williams (1844-1888), who also designed Craigdarroch Castle.

The Bank of British Columbia maintained its downtown Victoria main branch in this building. When the Canadian Bank of Commerce took over the Bank of British Columbia, the Canadian Bank of Commerce kept its main downtown Victoria branch in this building.

One historical claim to fame for this building during the early 20th century was that the poet Robert Service worked here briefly, circa 1903, as a teller for the Canadian Bank of Commerce before transferring to a Canadian Bank of Commerce branch in the Yukon, where he published his first collection of poetry.

When the Canadian Bank of Commerce merged with the Canadian Imperial Bank in 1961 to form the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (C.I.B.C.), this building became a C.I.B.C. branch. It remained a Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce branch until January 1988, when its branch was closed as part of a branch consolidation.

After the C.I.B.C. closed its branch here, the main floor of this building was converted to retail operations. It became the Spirit of Christmas store, which operated here until 2007.

After the Spirit of Christmas store moved, the main floor of 1022 Government Street was converted into the Bard and Banker Pub, which opened in 2008 and still occupies the building.

The name “Bard and Banker” is a tribute to Robert Service, the “Bard of the Yukon” who worked here briefly for the Canadian Bank of Commerce circa 1903 before transferring to a Canadian Bank of Commerce branch in the Yukon.

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