Capitol Residences

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833 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC

Capitol Residences
Capitol-Residences-Van-Exterior.jpg

Capitol Residences - Exterior
Building Information
Developer Wall Financial Corporation
Architect Howard Bingham-Hill
Management Company Crosby Property Management
Number of Units 372
Number of Floors 43
Year Built 2011
Construction Method Steel
Type of Roof PMR
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833 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit More than 50 options nearby
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning DD
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

Vancouver's original Capitol Theater - Circa 1920


Most Vancouverites remember the site of The Capitol Residences as the former home of the Capitol 6 Multiplex, a six-screen cinema that operated for 30 years, between 1977 and 2007. Three decades of multiplex movies is an impressive history in itself. But that’s not where the history of the Capitol Residences really begins.

The five staff lines that figure prominently in the Capitol logo take residents back even further – to 1921 and Vancouver’s original Capitol Theater. It was a monster for its time, seating 2500, with a stage set for either live music and theater, or the biggest (silent) films of the era. The theater, which was owned and operated by Famous Players, even had an original 1927 Wurlitzer organ installed to accompany special performances.

The handful of people old enough to remember might recall the Capitol as the site of Famous Players’ biggest promotional stunt of the time. During a screening of a silent film starring Wallace Reid, who was known as the silver screen’s “most perfect kisser,” Reid himself burst through the screen smoking a cigarette. And proceeded to get in a staged punch-up with Vancouver Mayor R.H. Gale –- because smoking wasn't allowed on the premises.

Today, the Capitol Residences are a towering salute to the elegance and the roots of the original Capitol. The ground floor features a 15,000 square foot theater rehearsal space, and a 25,000 square foot music school.[1]


Location

At 833 Seymour Street, the Capitol Residences are just one block away from the heart of Vancouver’s downtown core at the intersection of Robson and Granville. For the shopper, there’s an entire spectrum of price tags: from Winners to Holt Renfrew. To eat, there are the more common chains, as well as numerous locally owned and operated spots that have something for every palate, especially if one has taste for sushi.

A nighttime look down Granville from Robson Street.

Sushi is to Vancouver what Starbucks is to the rest of the world. Which makes it sound like Vancouver has no Starbucks. But rest assured ... they're on other corner.

As for venturing a little farther afield, there are over 50 public transit options within easy walking distance of the building. Five minutes on the bus, in almost any direction, will land a traveler in city hotspots like Stanley Park, Granville Island, or the beaches at English Bay. [2]

Construction

At 43 stories high, the Capitol Residences tower in one of downtown Vancouver’s tallest residential buildings. Its sleek elliptical facing is mirrored to reflect, rather than overpower the city around it. Numerous over sized windows allow for plenty of natural light and make the incredible views of the city, the water, and the mountains seem as though they feature in the decoration of each of Capitol’s 372 individual suites.

When it comes to its clean lines and undeniable presence against the Vancouver skyline, building architect Howard Bingham-Hill notes that his goal was to honor and modernize some of the original Capitol Theater’s elegance and grandeur. In a structure that’s quite unlike anything in the neighborhood, or anywhere else in the city, many would say that he succeeded.

Even those who were sad to see the site of the original Capitol Theater redeveloped as condos, in a city where high-rises can sometimes go up in packs and virtually overnight, can’t deny that the Capitol Residences offer something that’s both lasting and genuinely different.[3]

Layout and Features

Suites at the Capitol Residences are available with one to three bedrooms. All units feature stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, granite worktops, and marble tiling on entry. Over sized windows are a commanding feature and come equipped with discreet roller blinds.

Note in the floor plans below that the building’s exterior curvature features in select areas of the suites themselves. This is both a unique design element and a more practical maximization of available living space.

Many of the suites come with landscaped terraces.

At ground level, there is an impressive glass lobby with over-height ceilings and four dedicated elevators. Also on site, there are two commercial units available for use by the public: a 14,000 square foot rehearsal space, and a 25,000 square foot music school.

Floor Plans

A selection of unique floor plans from The Capitol Residences. Readers should note that a more complete collection is available in the reference section at the end of this article.[4]

Amenities

A look at the Capitol Residences' lounge/common area.

Amenities at the Capitol Residences include:

  • Concierge
  • Landscaped residential terraces
  • Fitness Center
  • Common Area (TV lounge, pool table and reading room)
  • Meeting rooms
  • Eco co-op auto network

Bylaws

Capitol Residences Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No


  • The Capitol Residences are pet-friendly.
  • Suites are available for purchase, as well as rental.
  • There are no age restrictions on either tenancy, or residency.

Sustainability

The Capitol Residences feature over sized energy-efficient windows and the roller blinds that cover them are designed to maximize heat management. If the building designers were willing to pay that much attention to the windows alone, then the standard list of top-end low flow/low energy appliances and "green" fixtures should come as no surprise. Add to that, the building's Eco Co-op Car Program and prospective residents should have a sense of the kind of attention that the minds behind The Capitol Residences have paid to sustainability.

And rightly so, since the whole of Vancouver is poised to become the "World's Greenest City" by 2020. With city officials limiting the amount of parking in the downtown core in order to encourage the use of public transit - not to mention the institution of a recycling program that's capable of reducing and reusing almost anything - Vancouverites present and future can expect the Capitol Residences (and the rest of the city) to remain efficient and sustainable well into the future. [5]

Trivia

1920s silent film star Wallace Reid.
  • Over his 13-year career, the original Capitol Theater's most famous visitor, Wallace Reid, made a staggering 214 films. Reid reportedly died of influenza at age 31 - and at the peak of his career. Others think differently. While working on the 1919 film The Valley of the Giants, Reid was in a train crash. His resulting injury left him with a morphine addiction that some say was the real end of his career ... and of him.[6]
  • In 1965, when the Capitol Theater's famous Wurlitzer organ was on its way out, no one seemed to want it. Finally, Burnaby native Jim Tarling took it, cleaned it, reassembled it, and found it a home in a specially built addition to his house.[7]


References

  1. Cineplex - This Week in Film History
  2. Walk Score
  3. Vancouver Condos
  4. Top City - Capitol Residences, floor plans
  5. City of Vancouver - Green 2020
  6. Wallace Reid on IMDB
  7. Puget Sound Pipeline


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