|Virtual Walking Tour (Downtown Core)
310 Ward Street
Nelson's courthouse was designed by F.M. Rattenbury, the famous architect of British Columbia's Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel in Victoria. This building was completed at a cost of $109,145.88 in 1909 (the 1908 date stone is correct). It is a fine example of Beaux Arts Chateau style architecture with its high pitched roof, towers and conical caps, gables and paired windows.
502 Vernon Street
Spokane pink brick and Kaslo Marble provide an interesting and picturesque mixture of textures and patterns to this building. Originally a Post Office and Customs House, Nelsonites, particularly the local architects, were furious that the contracts for this Chateau style building were awarded to Eastern Canadian Firms.
Vernon and Ward streets
Nelson's first mayor, John "Truth" Houston established Nelson's first newspaper, the Miner, in 1890. Two years later he sold the Miner and started a second newspaper the Tribune. Houston developed the province's first hydro electric plant on Cottonwood creek (February 1896) which he later sold to the city much to the objection of the taxpayers.