Photo Credit: Alex Ramon
1081 Burrard St, Vancouver BC
Built for the Sisters of Charity of Providence, who have operated the hospital at this site since 1894, the first St. Paul’s Hospital was a 25-patient, three-storey wooden building by architect manquée Mother Joseph Pariseau of the Sisters of Providence. It started by serving Vancouver’s growing community during the Klondike Gold Rush and expanded as Vancouver’s population grew through the 1900s.
The main structure was altered in 1913 to a brick and terracotta Italianate design by Portland-based architect, Robert F. Tegen. Design firm Gardiner & Mercer added the north wing in 1931. The south wing was added in 1940 and later modern tower additions were completed in 1983 and 1991. The hospital was named after Saint Paul and Bishop Paul Durieu, OMI, of New Westminster.
St. Paul’s has evolved along with developing medical technology and needs. In 1906, it become one of the first hospitals to have an X-ray machine and was known for innovative research and treatments during the HIV/AIDS crisis beginning in the 1980s. St. Paul’s is also a highly regarded teaching hospital. Located in Downtown Vancouver, the hospital cares for residents in the nearby community as well as providing medical services to patients from across BC.
In 2019, it was announced that St. Paul’s Hospital would officially be moving locations after over 125 years at the site on Burrard Street. The new hospital site on the False Creek Flats is adjacent to the historic Pacific Central Station and was the former location of the Great Northern Railway terminus.
Exploring Vancouver The Architectural Guide by Harold Kalman & Robin Ward, Vancouver Heritage Inventory Phase II 1986 Summary Report and Providence Health Care website