Globe history

The Globe Hotel has been a Nanaimo landmark since the beginning. Its legal address is “Lot 1, Section 1, Nanaimo District” – you don’t get much earlier than that. It was built in 1887 an addition was constructed in 1936.

On this page you will find some old photos of the building that we have around the building.

In addition we have a collection of old articles from the Nanaimo Free Press and the Victoria Daily Colonist that in someway or other mention The Globe hotel. In addition these articles also chronicle a variety of interesting stories, ad’s and general information about Nanaimo and Victoria during that time. The articles were taken from copies of newspapers published in 1894, 1896 and 1921.

The Globe would like to Thank Shanon Sinn, a local Nanaimo resident, Globe customer and historian who has spent a lot of time sifting through the Nanaimo’s archives looking for artifacts about our beautiful town. He was generous enough to locate a selection of rare articles that feature the building and send them to us to be re-published online.




 Nanaimo Heritage registrar:

Built in 1887, the Globe Hotel is a very good example of the stylistic evolution of a building over time. The original portion of the hotel was predominantly Italianate in style with Second Empire influences evident in the mansard roof and arched dormers. The 1916 addition at the rear was fairly plain in detailing and did not actively impact the overall appearance. The 1936 north side addition echoed the building’s original detailing, including a new datestone and extending its decorative cornice line. A new dimension was added with the application of multi-coloured Art Deco tilework across the front of the ground floor. Although some of the building’s character was compromised by the replacement of the original windows, it retains much of its original character. 

The Globe Hotel is significant because of its association with two prominent Nanaimo architects. Alexander Forrester, a local contractor and designer, drew the plans for the 1916 workmanlike addition. Typical of many men of his time, Forrester, in addition to his construction business, was very active in civic affairs, serving both as alderman and school trustee for many years. Thomas McArravy, Nanaimo’s most prominent mid-20th century architect, designed the 1936 addition. Although most of the addition mirrors the architecture of the older building, it was typical of modernist McArravy, to apply a more contemporary element, in this case the decorative tilework that runs across the entire bottom front of the building.

The Globe Hotel has been an important part of Nanaimo’s social history for over a century. Like other hotels built during this period, the Globe provided an affordable housing option for the many single men that came to the City to work in the coalmines.


—–Victoria Daily Colonist—–

This article tells a tragic story of Wiliam Martin, a man who had once helped in the management of the Globe, who died at sea just off Newcastle Island. He was part of a two person search team who had gone in search of William’s brother, Charles Martin, and Dr. Curry. Alexander Smith, who was also part of the search party, managed to find his way to shore after the boat had capsized but William Martin was never found and presumed dead. 1894.Newspaper_7

This article features an advert for the Globe hotel. 1896.Newspaper_6(Hotel_to_let)

—–Nanaimo Free Press—–

This extract features and a story about a transfer of licenses at The Globe as well as a change of management and direction. 1921.Newspaper_1

This article tells about the death of one of The Globe hotel’s residents, Thomas Gordon, on Thursday May 4th, 1922.Newspaper_2




This article is about a change of ownership/management for The Globe and details some of the refurbishment and upgrades that were made. 1924.Newspaper_3


This excerp has been taken from and contains some information about downtown Nanaimo from 1972. Go to the link below for the entire article.

“Early Days of Wharf and Front Streets with the Intersection of Bastion Street, Nanaimo by William Barraclough, April 18th, 1972

On the lot now occupied by the Globe Hotel, a French Canadian named ‘Cote’ built a log cottage, Cote [Thomas] appears in many H.B.C. expeditions, he was known as a good canoe man who knew the coast line well, he accompanied A.G. Horne in his adventure across the island to Alberni Inlet in May 1856. This Cote cottage became the birthplace of the Nanaimo Free Press with George Norris as publisher, the first edition is dated Wednesday April 15th, 1874, shortly afterwards Gorge Norris built a new home and printing office on the present site of the Free Press building. The Globe Hotel was owned by Alex Henderson, the date 1887 is on the cornice. It was not used as a hotel at first; Henderson occupied the ground floor for his Nanaimo Marble and Monument works for some years.

On the lot adjoining the Globe Hotel were two large frame houses, both had verandahs and roofed over observation decks on the third level where the occupants could survey the outlook. In early days two of Nanaimo’s best known bachelors resided in one of the dwellings, Mr. John Rudd and Mr. John Doyle. Mr. Jeff Davidson lived in the other one; Davidson was City Alderman in 1895 then Mayor of Nanaimo in 1896 and 1897. The houses were part of Mr. J. Rudd’s estate. From the end of Chapel Street was a rising rocky bluff, part of the barrier across Front Street, Mr. Bates notes, “that bluff was a great barrier to vehicular traffic until cut away bit by bit by the corporation, before being built upon the ‘Land’ in this locality was a most uneven jumble of disrupted rocks, along the face of the cliffs the bogwoods flourished. As improvements were made to the property now occupied by Sea Crest Apartments, two large houses were erected, the first was known as Dr. Praeger House, the next was the home of Judge W. McBain Young for several years, and at the corner of the bluff was a rambling one story dwelling, it had been a boarding house, the last tenant was Harry Carrol.”