Historic Yates Block Reno

Breathing a renewed sense of life into a heritage landmark located in Victoria, BC.

Historic Yates Block Reno

Originally commissioned for local businessman James Yates at the end of the nineteenth century and built by architect John Teague, the Yates Block expressed decades of local commercial prosperity that fuelled the growth of Victoria.




Schematic Design Process


The Salient Group


Victoria, Canada


1,327 sqm (14,283 sqf), 5 storeys


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Restoration of the building facades to the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.

Re-creation of missing ornamental cornice, pediment, and balcony elements on the Wharf Street Facade.

Addition of 22 residential units at the upper floors.

Reinvigorated restaurant uses at the commercial levels will bring new vitality to the building.

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Weaving the past into the future.

As a landmark building, and one of a few surviving reminders of the Victorian-era commercial warehouses that once lined the Inner Harbour, our goal for the Yates Block project is to preserve and restore the character and heritage of the building, while reinvigorating the spaces with new purpose and activity that will bring it back to life for the 21st century.

Over the past 130 years the building has evolved in form and function, reflecting the city's changing reliance on the harbour from shipping-based to tourism-based industry.

Situated at the western foot of Yates Street, within Victoria's Old Town, the historic Yates Block has overlooked the inner harbour since the early 1800's. The masonry building presents as three-storeys on Wharf Street, and five-storeys on its waterside elevation.

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A redevelopment scheme for the Yates Block, located at 1244 Wharf Street, was prepared with the primary intent being to preserve the majority of the character-defining elements, while restoring missing, extensively altered, or deteriorated portions of the building. The conservation project also includes rehabilitation of aspects of the exterior and interior, as well as upgrading its structure and services to increase functionality for continued use.

Our design includes new elements on the exterior facade that support the spirit of the historic structure, but are distinctly modern in their detailing and architectural language. These additions are subtle, but clearly record a new layer of the building, adding to its character and documenting another story in the history of the building.

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The palette includes the use of rusted steel at all new exterior interventions, a material with a timeless quality and patina, that blends well with existing rusticated finishes. It also can be manufactured with sharp precision, inserting a lean and light structural expression that is distinct from the heavy brick masonry of the building's exterior envelope.

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The Team

Client The Salient Group

Architect Cascadia Architects Inc.

Interior Design Cascadia Architects

Structural Engineer and Building Envelope RJC Engineers

Electrical Engineer AES Eng

Civil Engineer JE Anderson

Mechanical Engineer Avalon Mechanical Eng

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