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1238 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC


A snapshot of Metropolis in Vancouver
Building Information
Developer Rize Alliance Properties Ltd.
Architect Stuart Howard Architects
Management Company Awm Alliance
Number of Units 100
Year Built 1998
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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1238 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Bus stops nearby, Skytrain accessible
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning DD
Title of Land Strata



The building's entrance

Metropolis, a condominium standing in the middle of Vancouver's West End, seems like a microcosm of everything appealing about the West Coast. Formerly the Canadian Linen Building, the heritage structure was heavily renovated in 1998 into a hip, trendy place to live. This was done by adding on a residential tower to the preexisting base structure. Architect Stuart Howard made sure to keep much of the 1920's charm whilst still giving the former Linen Building a modern touch, resulting in Metropolis possessing an elegant, handsome exterior that draws heavily from two distinct eras of design.[1]

Metropolis has 100 units split up among 28 floors. All the residences are within the tower, with the original building containing retail businesses and a restaurant at street level. Residents have a wide variety of amenities to enjoy, and a myriad of sights to see; with Metropolis so close to Yaletown, there is easy access to plenty of shopping and attractions, and one would be remiss to leave Downtown's Vancouver's legendary nightlife unmentioned.

Residences along Richards Street are enviable properties for the above reasons, and are coveted places to live. Metropolis can proudly count itself among this number, and would make an excellent choice for anyone who wants to experience true West Coast living in one of Vancouver's most vibrant neighbourhoods.


A shot of the surrounding neighbourhood

Located on Richards Street, residents of Metropolis have the luxury of being close to Downtown Vancouver, and all the sights and sounds that come with it. Avid shoppers will be eager to peruse the many shops and boutiques nearby, and likewise avid foodies will be thrilled to sample the creations at one of the many nearby eateries, with all types of cuisine being represented. Other notable hot spots include the Seawall at Stanley Park, the Yaletown district, and Pacific Centre Mall. Rogers Arena also makes for an excellent night out during hockey season if the hometown Canucks happen to be playing that night.

Residents living at Metropolis will be glad to know that owning a car is unnecessary as virtually all errands that one might have to take care of over the course of a typical day, can be done on foot. Alternatively, a bike works just as well, with Vancouver's terrain being fairly flat and level, with many bike lanes present. There is also, of course, Vancouver's formidable transit system to take into account as well. Metropolis has over 40 bus stops nearby, and there is also a SkyTrain (the city's elevated light rail system) station roughly five minutes away. Indeed, the veritable smorgasbord of easily accessible public transit may very well be an amenity in itself.[2]


A one bedroom, two floor loft

A building with one foot in the late 1920's and the other in the late 1990's, Metropolis somehow manages to come out with a timelessness about it. As the original structure was originally built in 1928, Stuart Howard made the decision to not only keep many of the original heritage settings, but also complement them with Russian Constructivist styling and art deco architecture. The exterior is finished with concrete, and has a full rain screen set up for inclement weather.

The interior is built much to the same standards, though it bears noting that all the residences were new and did not make use of the existing Linen Building space; thus, no retrofitting or renovation was needed.[3]

Layout and Features

Metropolis' 100 units come in a variety of configurations, ranging from studio, one bedroom, one bedroom + den, two bedroom + den, and three bedroom + den. Many of these units are two level lofts or town-homes, with only the studio units being one floor. For comparison purposes, the smallest studio residence is 393 square feet while the largest three bedroom unit is 2361 square feet.[4]

The residences fare generously equipment wise, with hardwood floors, copper finished counter tops, 16 foot ceilings and stainless steel appliances being only some of the standard features. Other features include fireplaces, balconies on selected units, and a rooftop garden.

Floor Plans

A small selection of Metropolis floor plans are below:


Some amenities offered by Metropolis include:

  • Ground floor retail
  • Underground parking
  • Bike room
  • Hot tub
  • Fitness centre
  • Rooftop garden


Metropolis Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes

  • Rentals are permitted
  • Metropolis is pet friendly
  • There is no age restriction
  • Barbecues are allowed


As the original building was built in the late 1920s and the renovations took place in 1998, the green phenomenon had not quite hit in full force by the time Metropolis was up and running.

However, it is highly unlikely that Metropolis fares any worse than its contemporaries.

Residents do their part to reduce the impact on the environment by recycling, taking public transit, and monitoring electricity and water use.


  • Metropolis was built under a heritage agreement that permitted the addition of added floor area while protecting the pre-existing heritage structure
  • Stuart Howard Architects are experts in heritage adaptive re-use
  • Howard also designed the BMW Store on Burrard Street and the Vancouver Yacht Club[5]
  • Metropolis' predecessor, the Canadian Linen Building, was first erected in 1928
  • Shares its name with Metropolis at Metrotown, the second largest mall in Canada


  1. Metropolis on Stuart Howard's site
  2. Walk Score
  3. Metropolis on
  4. Metropolis listings on
  5. Stuart Howard Architects official site

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