Electra Building (Vancouver)

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Electra Building.jpg

The Electra Building in Vancouver, British Columbia was built in 1957 as the new headquarters for the BC Electric Company, under its president Dal Grauer. A few days after Grauer's death in 1961, it became part of a new provincial crown corporation named BC Hydro. The 21 story, 89 m (293 ft), building was designed by architect, Ronald Thom. At the time it was claimed to be the tallest building in the Commonwealth, although this was not true. After BC Hydro moved to new offices in Vancouver and Burnaby in the late 1990s, the building was sold, and in 1998, was renovated and converted primarily into residential condo space.


Click play to hear horns
  • For many years the corporation left all the lights on to create a city icon.
  • While BC Electric's offices were in the building ten large air horns on top of the structure played the first four notes of O Canada at noon every day. The horns have since been moved to the Pan Pacific Vancouver roof. They are owned and managed by Canada Place.[1]
  • The lower floors of the building are covered in tiled mosaic conceived of by B.C. Binning.
  • On September 18, 2010 the building was evacuated due to a chemical spill after workers from True North Concrete injected high density polyurethane foam under the floor to raise some of the building's sunken tiles. While firefighters were called to the building four times between September 16th and September 18th in response to reports of noxious fumes, it is only on the fourth visit (after the fumes escalated into flames) that residents were prohibited from remaining in their suites, the HazMat and Emergency Social Services teams were called in, and Nelson Street below was closed to traffic. Residents were cleared to return to their homes on September 23, 2010.


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Coordinates: 49°16′51.85″N 123°7′30.67″W / 49.2810694°N 123.1251861°W / 49.2810694; -123.1251861