The Maritime Museum of BC has asked the provincial government to conduct a heritage inspection immediately to identify the heritage value of the former Victoria Law Courts at 28 Bastion Square and to determine the need for protection and conservation in compliance with the heritage protection requirements as stipulated under the provincial Heritage Conservation Act. The Museum believes that the former site of the Victoria Law Courts need to be designated as a BC Heritage Site under the Heritage Conservation Act and that the building and land located at 28 Bastion Square should be transferred from the BC Dept. of Citizen Services to the BC Dept. of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development as soon as possible.
Don Prittie, President of the Maritime Museum of BC stated that, “We hope that this request can be dealt with in a timely manner and that this this transfer will be undertaken immediately in order to protect and conserve the heritage values of this important historical building for the benefit of future generations.”
The Victoria Law Court Building was the first major public building constructed by the newly formed Province of British Columbia after joining Confederation and was designated as a National Historic site in 1980. The completion of the Victoria Law Courts designed by architect H.O. Tiedeman represented an important stage in the evolution of British Columbia’s court system and remained in use until 1962. David Leverton, Executive Director of the Maritime Museum indicated that, “This is an very important historic landmark that is older than the BC Legislature and represented the rule of law for common, criminal and maritime court cases for over 70 years and also served as the home of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia for over 50 years.”
The Maritime Museum of British Columbia has applied for funding under the Canada-British Columbia Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to renovate 28 Bastion Square in time to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of British Columbia’s entry into Confederation on July 20, 2021 and as part of a long-term goal of creating a new Canadian Maritime Museum that would be the first national museum west of Winnipeg.