Downtown Victoria Tour

Herald Street – 500 Block

536 Herald Street

This two storey building at 536 Herald Street was built in 1908-1909 by architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins for the B. Wilson Company, which used it as the office and warehouse for its cold storage business.

It has now been re-developed into a mixed used building with commercial space on the main level and apartments on the second floor.

536 Herald Street, originally built in 1908-09 by architect Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins for the B. Wilson Company, a cold storage firm.

536 Herald Street, originally built in 1908-09 by architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins for the the B. Wilson Company, a cold storage firm.

Here is a map showing the location of 536 Herald Street:

Here is a Google Street View image of 536 Herald Street:

Additional Information About 536 Herald Street

  • Assessed Value (July 2018): $7,719,000; Land $5,336,000 Buildings $2,383,000
  • Assessed Value (July 2017): $6,217,000; Land $3,790,000 Buildings $2,427,000
  • Assessed Value (July 2016): $5,590,000; Land $3,130,000 Buildings $2,460,000
  • Assessed Value (July 2015): $5,125,000; Land $2,730,000 Buildings $2,395,000
  • Assessed Value (July 2014): $4,607,000; Land $2,251,000 Buildings $2,356,000

A Brief History of 536 Herald Street

This two storey building at 536 Herald Street was built in 1908-1909 by architect Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins for the B. Wilson Company, which used it as the office and warehouse for its cold storage business.

One of the principals of Wilson Brothers was Biggerstaff Wilson (died June 1925, aged 51) whose house at 1770 Rockland Avenue is now on Victoria’s Heritage Registry. Biggerstaff Wilson was also involved in Wilson Brothers, a wholesale grocers, which owned the adjacent building at 532 Herald Street, which has recently been converted into an apartment building known as The Biggerstaff, after Biggerstaff Wilson.

The buildings at 532 Herald Street and 536 Herald Street appear to be part of the same design. But the original building permit, issued by the City of Victoria to “B. Wilson” in November 1908, describes a “new brick building”, “two storey, 14 rooms” for the purpose of “cold storage”, with an estimated construction cost of $25,000. From this description, it appears that this building permit only refers to 536 Herald Street and not to the adjacent building at 532 Herald Street. We will do more research to clarify this.

The B. Wilson Company operated from this building at 536 Herald Street until the early 1970’s. In the 1950’s it also began operating other businesses here, including Wilson Frozen Foods and the Ice Delivery Company. Records for the 1960’s show a Canada Packers branch operating here along with the B. Wilson Company.

Here are some historic photos of the B. Wilson Company’s ice making operations in 1947:

Here are links to some historic photographs of 536 Herald Street:

In the 1970’s, Gainer’s Meats took over the building, operating a wholesale meat business. By the 1980’s this building was no longer being used for cold storage and was vacant for lengthy periods.

It has now been re-developed into a mixed used building with commercial space on the main level and apartments on the second floor.

Here are some other buildings associated with Biggerstaff Wilson:

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 – the Biggerstaff

532 Herald Street was built circa 1909 as an office and warehouse for Wilson Brothers Wholesale Grocers. Biggerstaff Wilson was also involved in Wilson Brothers Wholesale Grocers.

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1770 Rockland Avenue, built in 1905 by architect Samuel Maclure for Richard Biggerstaff Wilson

1770 Rockland Avenue, built in 1905 by architect Samuel Maclure for Richard Biggerstaff Wilson

1770 Rockland Avenue

Biggerstaff Wilson’s house, designed and built in 1905 by architect Samuel Maclure, is still standing at 1770 Rockland Avenue.

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