The reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria, known as the Victorian Era, spanned from 1837–1901. Architecturally, however, styles that developed during the last decades of her reign are known as Victorian. Several factors contributed to the new features of the Victorian style. Among them was rapid industrialization and growth of the rail road system, which allowed for a swift evolution from heavy-timber to lighter framing methods. This dramatically changed the character of housing design and construction. These factors alone allowed for more complexity in the creation of house components such as doors, windows, roofing, siding and decorative detailing which could, by then, be mass-produced and shipped across the country. Victorian styles reflect these changes, exhibiting a more elaborate display of shapes and detailing.
The Victorian style in Vancouver spans from modest cottages to high-style landmarks. Multi-texture, multi-colour, asymmetrical façades and steeply pitched roofs are the most common features.
Victorian homes feature steeply pitched roofs, usually with a dominant front facing gable and lower cross gables. Bay windows are common and may include overhanging roof gables. Porches appear at the front of the house and may extend along one or both sides and include classical columns and gingerbread detailing. Door surrounds tend to be simple while the doors themselves often have delicate incised decorative detailing witha single large pane of glass set into the upper portion.
Many of the homes feature patterned shingles and a small percentage include masonry walls with patterned brick or stonework.