Gabriola House is a beautiful Mansion house just a few short blocks away on Davie Street (As you head towards English Bay at Davie and Nicola).
This Mansion House was designed by the famous Industrialist Mr Benjamin T Rogers who is the founder of The B.C. Sugar Refinery that is located at The Port of Vancouver in East Vancouver.
Both buildings are quite an impressive sight and have a look that harks back to the old English style buildings of the Industrial revolution (for the Refinery) and a Quaint English Style Country house (For the Mansion). The British influence on the architectural design were no accident as when Mr Rogers was visiting Britain in the late 1800s he fell in love with the English style Mansions and wanted to have one for himself.
At the turn of the century there were many Mansion houses like these dotted all around the West End all built by wealthy industrialists that were mainly in the logging industry. Mr Rogers made his fortune at the age of 22 by becoming the manager of the B.C’s Sugar refinery, his mansion house was used as living quarters for his small group of staff for personal use and some that worked at the refinery itself.
In modern times the Mansion has been used as a restaurant (formerly run as the Romano’s Macaroni Grill) and as it stands today it is empty but has been bought out by The Keg Steakhouse.
The Gardens are certainly a place to visit in high summer and still well kept even if the building is derelict at the moment, we do encourage that you head down there to look at the grounds and the beautiful building, it is a perfect setting for a warm summers evening.
The mansion is called Gabriola as the Stones were all carved from the sandstones of Gabriola Island under the design of architect Samuel Maclure – it was known as the most Lavish home of its day. The Windows are gorgeously glass stained too and were designed by the Bloomfield Brothers.
In the 1970s the building was in very poor state at that time and was very close to being demolished, but thankfully, other people saw the light and saved the day, it was then under some major reconstruction to refurbish and renovate the building close to its former glory.
Below is link on the Mansion and some spooky extras to go with it!
The Sugar refinery building really stands out on its own down in the middle of the Port of Vancouver, it has a look that resembles the Industrial revolution of the late 1700s and 1800s in the UK. The Refinery opened in the late 1800s just 4 years after the city of Vancouver was born – and it still makes the Rogers brand of sugar to this day.
The complex itself was built in 1980 and at the time it had employed between 12 to 15 staff, by 1901, the monies that Mr Rogers had made enabled him to build his dream mansion. In modern times, the refinery is still running well and now employs up to 300 staff.
We also recommend that you take a long meander around the West End district, as there are some really stunning buildings still in existence from the turn of the century – Barclay Square and The Roedde House Museum is certainly worth a look, and also check out the gorgeous red brick buildings that resemble the Manhattan style Mansions of its day, the West End Architecture is really steeped in history – there will be future blogs about these buildings.