British Columbia’s earliest legislative building, known as "The Birdcages," was destroyed by fire in 1895. Francis Rattenbury, a recent English immigrant, entered a competition with drawings using a pseudonym "A BC Architect" and eventually won the competition, despite being only 25 years old.
The main block of the Parliament Buildings combines Baroque details with Romanesque Revival rustication.
Despite many problems, including going over budget by $400,000, the British Columbia Legislative Building was officially opened in 1898.
The Parliament Buildings were completed in 1897 and opened in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, At night the scene becomes totally enchanting as the 3,300 light bulbs which bedeck the buildings (and were part of the original architectural design) are lit, casting a glow over the area. These small globes were initially turned on in June 1887, and their first major replacement didn't take place until 1976...things were built to last in those old days!”
BC Mills was a large Lower Mainland sawmill company that also built prefabricated housing, schools, banks, and other buildings, initially to make use of scrap materials at their mills. During a period of rapid growth and railway development in Western Canada, these prefabs could be shipped quickly to new communities, particularly in the Prairies.