BC Brick Walls – New Westminster Court House – 1899

New Westminster BC, Canada Court House, 1901. Courtesy New Westminster Public Library.New Westminster BC, Canada, Court House, 1901. BCGS BC Brick Wall #1.

Photograph courtesy New Westminster Public Library, Historical Photographs Collection, Accession #69.  This was also the Land Registry Office and the Mining Recorders Office. Still standing, now with the former Land Registry Office built in 1910, named “Begbie Court”.

From the building’s heritage plaques:

New Westminster Designated Heritage Building

The New Westminster Court House

1891 – Rebuilt – 1899

The Land Registry Office


The New Westminster Court House

The Court House was designed by architect George William Grant and opened on June 1, 1891 by the first colonial judge and Chief Justice for British Columbia, Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie.

On September 10, 1898 the entire New Westminster downtown business district was destroyed by fire, including the Court House. The Court House was rebuilt within existing walls by G. W. Grant and reopened on June 19, 1899.

The Court House was one of the early public buildings in the Province to be built of brick and stone. It remains as one of the major court houses on the British Columbia Mainland in which Chief Justice Begbie presided.

The Land Registry Office

The Land Registry Office was designed in 1910 by architect E. G. W. Sait. The new building became the Office for the Record of Instruments and the Registration of Titles affecting real estate for the District of New Westminster.

The Court House and the Land Registry were closed in 1980. The buildings were renovated in 1989, renamed “Begbie Court” and reopened in January 1990. In 1997 the buildings were purchased by “Begbie Court Holdings Ltd.”, a wholly owned subsidiary of the “Operating Engineers Pension Plan”.

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About DRogers

M. Diane Rogers is a Director and Editor and Co-webmistress of the British Columbia Genealogical Society, teaches genealogy and family history year round, and blogs at CanadaGenealogy, or, Jane's Your Aunt. She's been doing her own family research since the 1980s in Canada, the UK and the United States, Sweden and further afield. She has a lifelong interest in Canadian and women's history and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors

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