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108 West Esplanade, Vancouver, BC


Tradewinds building at the corner of Esplanade and Lonsdale Avenue
Building Information
Developer Redekop Properties
Architect Creekside Architects and Allan Diamond Architects
Management Company Strataco Management
Number of Units 61
Number of Floors 4
Year Built 1998
Construction Method Wood Frame
Type of Roof Torch on
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108 West Esplanade, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit within one block
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning HRA
Title of Land Strata



Tradewinds as Syndicate Block 1903

The Tradewinds building on the corner of Esplanade Avenue and Lonsdale Avenue is a 1998 reconstruction of the original Syndicate Block built in 1903. When the Western Corporation built the Syndicate Block, it was one of the first buildings in the area and is believed to have been home to the North Shore's first grocery store.

McMillan Grocers was one of the first tenants along with the North Vancouver Post Office and in 1905, the Express which was North Vancouver’s first newspaper. For a period of time, a dance hall and meeting hall operated upstairs.

Logging was a big industry in North Vancouver during these times. In 1903, due to the active logging business, a real estate boom was in full bloom and the Western Corporation was one of the main development companies in Vancouver with its offices in the Syndicate Block.

The Syndicate Block was designated as a heritage building and when redeveloped in 1996, this made it necessary by law to retain certain features and parts of the original building. By 1998, the Tradewinds building was ready for occupancy for 51 residential units and ten commercial addresses. [1]


In 1958 the ferry that had been in operation since the early 1900s made its last trip from the foot of Lonsdale across to Vancouver. When the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge opened, the ferry service was no longer a popular way to travel to Vancouver. Lower Lonsdale suffered economically as a result of the loss of traffic and the area remained in decline until the 1970s.

At the foot of Lonsdale Avenue, the new ferry terminal for the Seabus was constructed in 1977 creating a foot passenger crossing to Vancouver, in 1981 the corporate offices for ICBC was built in front of the Seabus terminal and the Lonsdale Quay Hotel and market opened in 1986. The wartime houses that were constructed during World War II were eventually replaced by low rise wood frame apartment buildings and mid rise concrete apartments.[2]

Tradewinds is located at the foot of Lonsdale, just one block north of Lonsdale Quay market, the Seabus and bus exchange, Waterfront Park, across from the new Pinnacle Hotel and a couple blocks east of the Cineplex Odeon Theatre. Downtown Vancouver is accessible by a 12 minute ride on the SeaBus, and the Lonsdale Quay bus depot provides transportation to all other bus routes in North Vancouver and connections beyond.

This prime location has the address of 108 West Esplanade and the business units fronting Lonsdale Avenue have addresses from 51 Lonsdale to 69 Lonsdale Avenue. The John Braithwaite Community Center is just two blocks away and restaurants, IGA Marketplace, all major banks and independent retailers are all found in a two block radius. Parking is available on the street, in the ICBC parking lot, at the Lonsdale Quay parking area and underground, mid block by the Shoppers Drug Mart.


Tradewinds is a wood frame building with a combination of exterior veneers comprising EIFS stucco, brick and wood siding. Tradewinds was built to capitalize and accentuate the historic importance of the buildings location, and in fact the exterior of the commercial suite on the corner of Lonsdale and Esplanade was rebuilt to emulate the original Syndicate Building built at the same location in 1903.

Keeping with its historic form, original decorative and structural wood elements were included in the redevelopment that started in 1996 and was completed in 1998.

Creekside Architects worked alongside Allan Diamond Architects and Redekop Developments to complete the reconstruction and won the Heritage Award of Honour in 1999. Allan Diamond Architects specialized in the restoration and rehabilitation of the existing building while Creekside completed the design of the new construction. [3]

Layout and Features

Private inner courtyard at Tradewinds

Tradewinds consists of 51 residential units built around a central courtyard with 4 live/work studios, 9 one bedroom units, 31 two bedroom units and 7 two bedroom and den units. The inner courtyard provides respite from the busy streets of Lonsdale and West Esplanade.

Many of the one and two bedroom units have enclosed sun rooms which can also be used as a den, and all units feature natural gas fireplaces and in-suite laundry. All of the residential units are above ground level retail units fronting Lonsdale and Esplanade and many of the suites have water views. There is also an exercise room for the residents located off the courtyard.

Floor Plans

Suites are centered around the inner courtyard and range in size from one bedroom to two bedroom and den. Some units have sun rooms and there are balconies with views of the water.

Here are a couple examples of the two bedroom layouts:


Amenities include:

  • Secure entrance
  • Gym
  • Bike room
  • Underground parking
  • Inner courtyard
  • In-suite laundry


Tradewinds Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes

Tradewinds allows rentals, but restricts them to five of the 51 units at a time, although it can be noted that this rental restriction specifically excludes four live/work spaces. Essentially allowing for up to nine rentals at a time.

Dogs and cats are both permitted but limited to a total of two, there are no age restrictions, and barbecues are permitted on outdoor patios. There is no restriction against hardwood or laminate flooring, provided that any such installation is done with sufficient underlay.


Tradewinds residents can participate fully in Metro Vancouver's recycling program which separates mixed paper, newsprint, plastic, metal, cardboard and glass.

With a walk score of 95, Tradewinds' residents have most necessities close by. Transit options are enormous at this location. The Seabus connects to the SkyTrain on the Vancouver side and biking to either bridge or the Seabus is convenient. It is a flat ride to either bridge and if desired, the Seabus and the buses will transport bicycles.[4]

Summer markets abound with local produce at the Quay and the ever popular thrift store two blocks away makes Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce a convenient choice.


New Zealand's Te Kaha docked at the modern day Pier that was once Burrard Dry Dock

In 1906 Andy Wallace opened his ship building business at the foot of Lonsdale. By 1914 Wallace Shipyards was contracted to build ships and artillery for the First World War efforts and the first deep sea steel hulled ships to be built in Canada. By 1925 the first floating dry dock was in place and Wallace Shipyards was operating as the Burrard Dry Docks.

In 1928 Burrard Drydocks constructed the St Roch which was the first ship to travel the Northwest Passage, and the first ship to circumnavigate North America. During the Second World War the Drydocks was the busiest shipyard in Canada and employed 14,000 people including as many as 1000 women.[5]

With ship building no longer operational in this location, North Vancouver celebrated the areas rich marine heritage in reopening the 700 foot long pier to the public and there are efforts in place for it to be part of a Marine Museum.


  1. North Vancouver history
  2. John Jennings web site
  3. Historic Places
  4. Walk Score
  5. Wikipedia-Burrard Dry Dock

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