Located at 1612 Store Street, the Janion Building was built in 1891 and his been boarded up since the 1960’s. Despite objections from some neighbouring residents, a proposal by Reliance Properties has been approved to convert the former hotel into micro -condos
The Janion Hotel was built for $25,000, opened in October 1891 as a railroad hotel with 48 bedrooms. A Daily Colonist ad introduced the hotel by stating “…electric light in every room, water view from every window, washrooms on every floor and all white cooks in the (restaurant) kitchen”. The Daily Colonist pronounced it a “creditable and commodious hotel,” noting every room was to be lit by electricity. The proprietors offered Sunday chicken dinners for 25 cents, promising in paid advertisements “only white cooks employed.”
The hotel lacked a liquor licence, limiting prospects in rough-and-tumble Victoria, and shut down less than a year after the first guest checked in. The Victoria sheriff held a cash auction at the hotel to disperse carpets, stoves and the contents of bedroom suites.
By 1895 the E&N Railway had purchased it and used the south west corner of the building for its station and offices. Later the building was used as a warehouse for B. Wilson & Co. Storage, a cold storage facility for the B.C. Cold Storage, Ice and Produce Company, and the facility for Lake of the Woods Milling Company. The building also housed an assayer’s office, and, briefly, the bottling plant for Pacific Beer.
The Northern Junk Company bought the building in the 1950’s, to use for storage. After the owner of the Northern Junk Company died in the 1970’s the building became very derelict. The owner applied for a demolition permit, and the city of Victoria responded by proclaiming heritage designation to prevent destruction. In 1995 the Janion building was recognized as a Historic Place of Canada.
In June 2012 Reliance Properties purchased the building for $2.5 million with plans to develop it into for 100 micro-condos.
And now you know…