Created By: SFU
This building is named after its owner John Leckie, a Scottish immigrant, who came to Vancouver around 1886. Occasionally Leckie designed commercial buildings, but he worked primarily as a contractor and founded the Leckie Boot and Shoe company. It was housed in this building, the J Leckie and Co. Factory and Warehouse, a seven-storey Edwardian era building located on Cambie Street in the heart of the historic district of Gastown. Leckie supplied industrial footwear aimed at logging, fishing, and mining workers throughout Canada, as well as the Canadian Armed forces. His business quickly prospered and was considered “The Best in the West” for producing high quality boots.
The J Leckie and Co. Factory and Warehouse was designed by local architects, S.M. Eveleigh and W.T. Dalton, who were well-known for the quality of their institutional and commercial buildings. The building design has an intricate brick pattern and elaborate carved granite that surrounds the two main entries, making this design more sophisticated than merely practical for commercial needs. It was constructed in two parts: the first was completed in 1908; then an addition to the east side was built in 1913 in response to the business boom that occurred during Gastown’s peak growth. The building’s prominent location is symbolic of the significance of Gastown as a trans-shipment area between the end of the Canadian Pacific Railway and shipping routes. When Vancouver overtook Victoria as B.C’s central trading centre around 1900, the J Leckie and Co. Factory and Warehouse became an important symbol of that commerce. Canneries, logging operations, and mineral strikes were supplied from and manufactured here. The building’s notable height, high density, large clear-span floor-plate, and cubic form makes it a landmark in the area and one of the biggest warehouses in Gastown.
Bibliography: Kalman, Harold and Robin Ward. “Leckie Building.” Exploring Vancouver: The Architectural Guide. Ed. Iva Cheung. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2012. Google Scholar. Web. 19 May 2017.
“Leckie Building.” Canada’s Historic Places. Retrieved from http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=2509
This point of interest is part of the tour: Scotland Walks Vancouver