Nelson Fire Hall - Nelson, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 29.306 W 117° 17.442
11U E 478946 N 5481795
Quick Description: At 919 Ward Street in Nelson, one will find the the oldest operating firehall in British Columbia. Not only is it a gorgeous old fire hall, but it encloses a museum, as well.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 3/24/2014 1:53:42 PM
Waymark Code: WMKDAB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 1

Long Description:
Two years in the making, the fire hall entered service on May 21, 1913, nearly 101 years ago as of today. It was built by John Burns & Son to replace the previous fire hall, which served the city from 1894. The location is up the hill, further from downtown than the old one. It was felt that because of much residential construction to the south of downtown, up the hill, this would be a more suitable location.

For the restoration efforts that went into the building, the Fire Hall won the City of Nelson's "Heritage Building of the Year" award in 1984, making it the fifth recipient of the award, the first being awarded in 1980.


The Nelson Fire Hall is a landmark brick building with a tall hose tower located on the north-eastern corner of Ward and Latimer streets in Nelson, B.C.


The Nelson Fire Hall is important for its historical and continued use as a fire hall combined with the aesthetic value of its striking architectural design.

The Nelson Fire Hall is representative of the ongoing efforts of the city and its citizens to prevent and fight fires. Since 1890, the city of Nelson was conscious of the threat of fire and took steps to prevent it. In March of 1897 one of the first by-laws passed by the newly incorporated city was to prohibit the construction of wood frame buildings in the downtown core. Early precautions to prevent fires included bringing water from Ward Creek to tanks on Baker and Vernon streets and water tanks built by owners of adjacent buildings. Beginning with the Deluge Hook and Ladder Company, the city has had an official fire brigade since 1891, and it continues to this day.

Completed in 1813 by John Burns & Son on the corner of Ward and Latimer streets, the building is designed in an Italian Villa style, modified to accommodate motorized fire vehicles. Its brick construction, belfry, hose tower and formal facade give it a sense of both strength and design, an architecturally important building designed specifically to house the fire hall functions.

The location of the present fire hall at Ward and Latimer streets is significant as its construction moved the fire fighting facility out of the downtown core from its location at Victoria and Josephine Streets and into the residential district due to the expansion of suburban residential lots. Initially rejected as a suitable location, the site was selected for its proximity to increasingly dense residential areas and a number of local schools. A new fire hall was needed to accommodate the purchase of a 1918 American La France Pumper truck, the city’s first motorized fire vehicle.

The building is culturally valuable as a testament to a long history of carefully considered alterations to historic buildings in the city. Over the years, the building has had three separate sympathetic additions by different architects, as the fire service adapted to the needs of a growing city. A local landmark, the building has been in continuous use as a fire hall since its construction in 1912 and received a heritage building of the year award in 1984.
From the Nelson Heritage Register, 2011, number 59

Award Collection:
1984 - Heritage Building of the Year -

Number of award plaques:: 1

Sites web address: [Web Link]

Type of awarded site: Single building

Other type. Please explain: Not listed

Visit Instructions:

Tell us about your visit and take at least one picture of the site.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Historic Preservation Awards
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.