The Metropolitan Building at 809-817 Government Street was built in 1903 by architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins for Joseph Rostein and Lewis Rostein.

The Metropolitan Building, 809-817 Government Street, built in 1903 for Joseph and Lewis Rostein

The Metropolitan Building, 809-817 Government Street, built in 1903 for Joseph and Lewis Rostein

A Brief History of the Metropolitan Building

The Metropolitan Building was built in 1903 by architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins for Joseph Rostein and Lewis Rostein at a construction cost of $14,000. It was was originally called the Rostein Building but was re-named the Metropolitan Building circa 1904.

The Rostein brothers built the Metropolitan Building with the intention of renting space to commercial tenants. Early tenants included the Windsor Grocery, the American Consulate and Thomas Plimley, who ran a bicycle shop at the time he was in this building. Thomas Plimley later branched out into selling motorcycles and cars at other Victoria locations.

1912 advertisement for the Windsor Grocery, which was located in the Metropolitan Building

1912 advertisement for the Windsor Grocery, which was located in the Metropolitan Building

The Gideon Hicks Piano Company occupied space at 811-813 Goverment Street, in the Metropolitan Building, circa 1912-20. This advertisement appeared circa 1914.

The Gideon Hicks Piano Company occupied space at 811-813 Goverment Street, in the Metropolitan Building, circa 1912-20. This advertisement appeared circa 1914.

Alterations were made to the Metropolitan Building in 1946 by the architectal firm of Birley, Wade and Stockdill, which changed the original Douglas Street facade and removed the building’s original cornice.

The Metropolitan Building has always been a commercial building with stores on the main level and office space on the second floor.

The current businesses on the main floor of the Metropolitan Building are Mirage Coffee, 817 Government Street.

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