Heritage Research: Bank of Commerce (2199 West 4th Avenue)

When streetcars were introduced on West 4th Avenue, the Canadian Bank of Commerce took advantage of the emerging shopping district by building a brick and stone building to function as one of their branches. The building is notable for its neoclassical style as evident by its columns and basic geometrical shapes. Smith and Sherborne General Contractors were commissioned to construct the building and it was completed in 1912. The building went through a minor renovation in 2001 when a mezzanine was added to the building by Formwerks Architectural.

It is not known when the bank ceased its operations however, it is not a surprise to see that it has been converted into retail outlets to accommodate the neighbourhood’s demand for upscale shopping. Prior to the current tenants, apparel company Le Chateau occupied the building and since 2012, the building has been taken over by the clothing retail company Urban Outfitters.

Source: City of Vancouver Archives


Michelle de Silva, ‘Urban Outfitters store takes over historic West 4th building,’ The Georgia Straight, 2012.

Crystal Kwon, ‘Urban Outfitters Kitsilano Store Opens May 10, 2012,’ Vancity Buzz, 2012.

Harold Kalman and Robin Ward, ‘Former Canadian Bank of Commerce,’ Exploring Vancouver: The Architectural Guide, 2012.

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