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Vancouver Icons: The Sun Tower

May 10th, 2011 @ 11:54am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

For the Vancouver Icons series I have been profiling buildings, statues, and landmarks that we see every day in Vancouver but are perhaps unaware of their history. The posts are photo-heavy, peppered with tidbits of information about the selected icon. When looking for ideas for this week’s subject I put the call out on Twitter and @leighe suggested the Sun Tower.


Pender, East of Cambie. Archives Item# Str N164. Photographer: W.J. Moore

Completed in 1912, the 17-storey Sun Tower on the East side of downtown Vancouver has dotted the skyline with its iconic green dome. Louis Denison Taylor (who became Mayor LD Taylor in 1909) owned The World newspaper for which the building was built to house.

Sun Tower, Vancouver
Photo credit: Hyougushi on Flickr

Upon completion, the World Building took over the title of “Tallest Building in the British Empire” from the Dominion Trust Building, also in Vancouver and just up the street.
[Read more: VancouverHistory].

The Vancouver Sun bought the building in 1937, which then changed its name, and occupied it for the next 30 years. It’s still called the Sun Tower to this day even though the paper has been headquartered at Granville Square since the 1970s.

Sun Tower IMG_8031
Photo credit: jevanshead & Patrick Denker on Flickr

Sun on the Tower 07:37 Sept 30
Photo credit: John Allison & Jody Taylor on Flickr

Sun Tower
Photo credit: Steve Jin on Flickr

It lay vacant for several years and has since been restored, even making a few appearances in a few Hollywood North productions.

Other Vancouver Icons posts: Cleveland Dam, Heritage Hall, School of Theology Building at UBC, Gate to the Northwest Passage, St Paul’s Hospital, Capilano Lake, Stawamus Chief, Nine O’Clock Gun, Malkin Bowl, Search, Vancouver Rowing Club, Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.

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One comment

  1. Gleydson says:

    Smallville’s Watchtower. :-)

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