Downtown Victoria, BC, next door to the Inner Harbor, the demolition crew provides grand entertainment for locals and tourists on a sunny Saturday. But why are they tearing down this old building?
Customs House, which takes up an entire city block framed by Government, Wharf and Courtney streets, was built on the harbour between 1894 and 1898. It has been variously known as the Federal Building, Post Office and Customs House, the latter for its role in processing goods leaving and entering the country. Its important historical features include the façade’s sandstone walls, quarried from nearby islands in Georgia Strait.
It also has what might be considered an eminently forgettable element — the addition of a post office, built in 1952 in a drab post-war style. It’s this not so pretty bit that is being torn down before construction begins on a project that will incorporate the original building to become a commercial/condo complex.
A week later it looks like this: