Downtown Victoria Tour
Herald Street – 500 Block
532 Herald Street – the Biggerstaff

This building at 532 Herald Street was built circa 1909, possibly in conjunction with the adjacent building at 536 Herald Street.

It was originally built by Wilson Brothers, a wholesale grocery firm and was used as a grocery wholesaling facility for several decades. It has recently been re-developed into an apartment building, called The Biggerstaff, by Victoria developer Lefevre & Co.

532 Herald Street, built circa 1909 as an office and warehouse for Wilson Brothers Wholesale Grocers.

532 Herald Street, built circa 1909 as an office and warehouse for Wilson Brothers Wholesale Grocers.

532 Herald Street, built circa 1909 as an office and warehouse for Wilson Brothers Wholesale Grocers.

532 Herald Street, built circa 1909 as an office and warehouse for Wilson Brothers Wholesale Grocers.

Additional Information About 532 Herald Street

  • Assessed Value (July 2016): $5,978,000; Land $2,377,000 Buildings $3,601,000
  • Assessed Value (July 2015): $5,559,000; Land $2,064,000 Buildings $3,495,000
  • Assessed Value (July 2014): $5,237,000; Land $1,769,000 Buildings $3,468,000

A Brief History of 532 Herald Street

532 Herald Street was built for Wilson Brothers, a wholesale grocery company. We believe that 532 Herald Street was designed and built in 1908-09, in conjunction with the adjacent building at 536 Herald Street, in 1908-09 by architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins.

While this building and the adjacent structure at 536 Herald Street certainly appear to be part of the same design, the original building permit, issued by the City of Victoria to “B. Wilson” in November 1908, describes a “two storey”, 14 room building, to be used for “cold storage” with an estimated construction cost of $25,000.

The B. Wilson Company owned the adjacent structure at 536 Herald Street but its principal, Richard Biggerstaff Wilson, also owned part of Wilson Brothers so it is quite possible that the two adjacent buildings were part of the same 1908 design by Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins.  We are currently researching this further before we state conclusively that 532 Herald Street and 536 Herald Street were part of the same design.

Wilson Brothers Wholesale Grocers sign, possibly dating as early as 1909, is still visible on the west side of 532 Herald Street.

Wilson Brothers Wholesale Grocers sign, possibly dating as early as 1909, is still visible on the west side of 532 Herald Street.

Wilson Brothers operated until until the 1920’s, when it was taken over by MacDonalds Consolidated, which continued to operate from this building as a wholesale grocery. until the 1960’s, when this building became a warehouse for Capital Iron, which is still in business at 1900 Store Street, one block northwest.

The building was vacant for extended periods in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

It has been re-developed by Victoria developer Lefevre & Co. into an apartment building called The Biggerstaff, named for Richard Biggerstaff Wilson (died 1925), one of the owners of Wilson Brothers, which originally built this building.

Richard Biggerstaff Wilson is also remembered for his home at 1770 Rockland Avenue, designed by renowned Victoria architect Samuel Maclure.

Here are links to some historic photos of 532 Herald Street:

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