Heather Heritage Society

The society was formed in 1994 to raise awareness and lobby for the protection of the historic Heather Pavilion, which opened on January 8, 1906, as the first building on the Vancouver General Hospital Fairview campus.

Vancouver General Hospital, circa 1908

Vancouver Public Library 5187

The Past

In 1906, the Vancouver General Hospital opened the Heather Pavilion to serve the health care needs of a growing city. For several generations, the health care services provided in this building touched the lives of most Vancouverites. At the time it was built, the Heather Pavilion was one of Vancouver’s most prominent landmarks.

Designed by prominent local architects, Grant & Henderson, the Heather Pavilion’s formal and imposing granite structure is one of the best examples of Romanesque Revival style in Western Canada. Originally sited with a circular drive and formally landscaped front entrance, the building had an air of elegance and dignity. At the time it was built, the Heather Pavilion was the largest and most up-to date hospital in western Canada. The new hospital became a model for hospital organization, and also played a critical role in the development of the nursing profession.

The Present

A Hidden Jewel in the Hospital Landscape

Where is the Heather Pavilion today? It is still there! It is over 90% intact, buried under a series of additions that are currently being removed, revealing the original form and intact early structure. The building is now municipally designated and is an important and significant heritage asset.

Exterior with newer annex

Northwest quadrant with later annex, May 26, 2019

Photography by Jodi Wigmore

The Future

The beauty and stateliness of the Heather Pavilion has been lost to Vancouver for over seventy years. As our city grows, we are increasingly aware of the importance of Vancouver’s remaining historic buildings. Fully restored, the Heather Pavilion will create much needed space for associated hospital and neighbourhood uses such as conference and meeting space, classrooms, community learning, and other opportunities.

The restored grounds and rose garden will provide patients and staff with a haven of beauty and respite from the bustle of the modern hospital. With the restoration of its imposing facade in a lush garden setting, the Heather Pavilion will, once again, be the heart of the Vancouver General Hospital campus.

The conservation of the Heather Pavilion is enshrined in the current hospital zoning, and this remarkable structure was designated as a heritage site by the City of Vancouver in 2002. This is a good start, but a detailed restoration plan and additional funding is required to bring the Heather Pavilion back to life.

The Heather Pavilion has served the community since 1906, and with your help and support, we will continue to work toward the restoration of this prominent civic landmark.