Architectural Heritage

A trip to Nelson wouldn’t be complete without a stroll down historic downtown Baker Street with its impressive display of heritage buildings. Check out the surrounding neighborhoods as well, which boast a large number of Victorian homes. A trip on the heritage streetcar, which runs along the lake front, will give you breathtaking views of the mountains and lake. For a preview of the heritage buildings of Nelson visit

In 1897, many of the original, temporary wooden structures started being replaced with permanent stone and brick buildings. Under the leadership of Mayor John Houston, it was legislated that stone or brick walls were to be built between existing wooden buildings and for new construction. In 1977, due to the large inventory of heritage buildings, the BC Heritage Conservation Branch initiated a study of heritage structures in Nelson. Federal, provincial and municipal governments provided grants for the restoration of many of these original Victorian homes and buildings.

With 350 heritage buildings throughout town Nelson has more historic buildings per capita than any other city in B.C. Maps for downtown and residential walking tours are made available by Nelson’s Chamber of Commerce.

Visit for a virtual tour of Nelson’s heritage buildings.

Learn first hand about the heritage and history of Nelson and surrounding area by visiting Touchstones Museum and Art Gallery; permanent exhibits at Touchstones bring to life the vibrant history of this area.