Heritage Register

2101-11 Government Street

Built 1913
Heritage-Designated 2004/Commercial

For: Albion Stove Works

Architect: J.C.M. Keith

2101 Government


This 2-storey brick commercial building has a recessed central entrance and show windows either side. The second storey has three evenly spaced double windows with cement sills and caps. The front façade is framed by a plain brickwork pilaster on each side and the effect is carried round to the Pembroke St façade. On Pembroke, the upper-storey windows are uniform with the front while the lower storey shows later changes.


The building, which cost $7000 to construct, was a showroom and warehouse for Albion Stove Works, a division of Albion Iron Works. This company was established in Victoria in 1861 by Joseph Spratt (548 Lotbinière Av, Rockland) and was reputedly the largest such company north of San Francisco. The business was re-organized in 1882 with a board of directors that included Robert Dunsmuir, R.P. Rithet, Robert Ward, Joseph Trutch and Joseph Spratt. Albion built cars for the E&N railway, and steam engines, ship boilers, wood stoves and decorative ironwork for the many new commercial buildings in Victoria. An important contract in 1890 was for the 400-horsepower steam engine for the new streetcar system. Bagster R. Seabrook (721 Linden St, Rockland), engineer and inventor, became manager of Albion Iron Works about then, and in 1893 won the contract to supply the iron and steel for the new BC Parliament buildings. Albion Stove Works offered as many as 30 types of wood stoves, still being sold in 1928 when the company was dissolved.


Enamel & Heating Products Ltd began operations in the building in 1931, under the management of Robert S.R. Whyte. The company remained at this address for many years. After a couple of short term occupants the next business in the building was Owen Sons & Richardson in 1969. This family business sold cash registers and other office machinery and the president was Samuel Owen. The name changed to Owen Business Systems in the mid-1990s by which time John R. Owen was the president. In the late 1990s they moved to Tennyson Av.

New owners Hartwig Industries moved into the top floor in 2001, with The Finishing Room, furniture makers and retailers, at street level. It is now occupied by the Autonomous Furniture Collective furniture designers.


• Map of Victoria Heritage Register Properties

• Burnside History

• Burnside Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Three: Rockland, Burnside, Harris Green,
Hillside-Quadra, North Park & Oaklands

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