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Heritage Register

About the Community Heritage Register

In 1994, the Province of BC passed legislation to allow local governments to better integrate heritage conservation activities into the mainstream of development and community planning. The legislation gave municipalities new tools and more powerful incentives to encourage conservation. One of the key planning tools was the “Community Heritage Register”. The idea behind the register was that if a community identified it's most significant heritage properties, it could better target its conservation efforts. In 2002, the City of Nanaimo created a Community Heritage Register. The Community Heritage Register is an official list of properties identified by the City of Nanaimo as having heritage value. Updates are made to the register periodically to add newly recognized buildings, structures and sites; and in some cases to remove buildings that have been destroyed through fire, neglect or demolition.  The purpose of the Community Heritage Register is to:

  • officially list heritage resources of Nanaimo;
  • give notice to property owners, and potential buyers) of heritage factors (e.g. architectural, cultural, aesthetic) which may affect development options for a listed property; and
  • enable monitoring of proposed changes to properties through the local government heritage alteration and building permit process.

Inclusion of a property on the Community Heritage Register does not itself constitute permanent heritage protection. The register may, however, be used to ‘flag' properties for possible future protection. Buildings on the register can take advantage of special “equivalency” provisions contained in the BC Building Code Heritage Building Supplement and can be used as a criterion for municipal grants (such as the Heritage Facade Grant and Heritage Home Grant programs), property tax exemptions, and non-monetary incentives (such as land use regulations relaxation and development bonuses).

Building Details
Name Fourth Street Store
Address: 423 Fourth Street
Architectural Style: Boomtown False Front
Building Use: Commercial
Year of Construction: 1910
Builder or Architect: Unknown
Protected Heritage Property: No

Heritage Value Statement
Built around 1910, the Fourth Street Store Building represents a type of building that was once common throughout the city but had all but disappeared by the 1950s. By that time, the small corner store, typically staffed by a family who also lived in the building, was in decline and would soon be almost wholly replaced by supermarkets, shopping centres and chain outlets. In substantially original condition, this building is the most intact early commercial-residential building in the Harewood area.



The Fourth Street Store Building is an excellent example of a simple, vernacular Boomtown or False-Front style structure. The false front facade increased the apparent size of the building and provided ample space for a large painted sign while the large windows at the ground level provided a showcase for goods display.



The height of the Fourth Street Store Building, particularly in relation to the smaller residential buildings that surround it, and its siting very close to the street make it a neighbourhood landmark.


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