About The Electra
Dal Grauer, B.C. Electric’s president at the time, is said to have worked closely with the architects in the design of the building. One of his criteria was that all employees working in the building’s offices had to be within 15′ (4.5m) of a window: this requirement evolved into the shallow-depth design.
As part of a Canada Centennial project, BC Hydro commissioned Robert Swanson – an engineer and sound specialist – to build air horns that played the first four chords of “O Canada”. The 10-cast aluminum horns – representing each of the Canadian provinces – were fitted at the top of the building and played daily at noon from 1967 until 1990 when the building was vacated by BC Hydro.
In 1994 the horns were relocated to Canada Place. To this day the 12 o’clock horns are heard throughout the downtown area.
In the early 1990s, the building was converted into 242 residential units and 205 commercial units comprising street-level retail and executive offices. This revitalization reflected the relatively new cultural appreciation of the modern ’50s style.
Did You Know?
The Electra has many famous qualities!
The Electra was Vancouver’s very first modern skyscraper
Our Night Life
For many years, “BC Electric” left all of its lights on throughout the night - making it a city landmark
Artist B.C. Binning’s blue, green and black mosaic tiles are an integral part of the building’s design
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