The impressive Canadian Pacific Railway Steamship Terminal building is a testament of the past importance of Victoria’s Inner Harbour as the gateway to the city and, indeed, to western Canada.
The original terminal, only 20 years old at the time, was torn down in 1924 to make room for this imposing structure designed and built by architects P.L. James and Francis.M. Rattenbury.
Built in a neo-classical architectural style with Beaux Arts influence, the massive Ionic columns on the north and south facades of the building accent its status as one of the Inner Harbour’s most visible and significant buildings.The design is intended to playfully reflect a temple of Poseidon, the Greek God of the sea, whose likeness adorns the exterior.
The building was acquired by the Provincial Capital Commission and is on Victoria’s Registry of Historic Buildings.
In 2009, the PCC was successful in obtaining $1.5 million each from the provincial and federal governments under Canada’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to begin a major seismic and mechanical upgrade to this iconic heritage building. An additional $1.5 million from the province and $0.5 million from the PCC were later added to the reconstruction budget to address an expanded scope of work.
The project was completed in October, 2011. Following an extensive process to re-tenant the building, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority was the successful applicant chosen to enter into lease negotiations. Click for excerpts of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s proposal or visit GVHA’s website.