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Vancouver Now & Then: The RCMP Fairmont Barracks

This building on Heather Street has a rich history and is for some a source of pride and for others pain.
Fairmont Barracks
The Fairmont Barracks, or RCMP Fairmont Academy, then and now.

Here's a look at the history of the Fairmont Barracks at 4949 Heather St in Vancouver. 

Originally built as a private school for boys, the school had to move after only a few years to make room for a military hospital.

The RCMP took it over in 1920, and it has served as a training facility and barracks through the years. In 2014, the property was acquired by First Nations members, and a joint venture between them and Canada Lands Company is in the works.

Not surprisingly, the rich history of the Fairmont Barracks is a source of great pride for RCMP members, and great pain for the Indigenous community, so its future is being hotly debated.

Fairmont Barracks
The Fairmont Barracks on Heather Street in Vancouver were originally built as a boys' school before being taken over by the RCMP in 1920. John Bentley/Vancouver Now & Then

John Bentley is an architectural photographer who has photographed the inside and outside of thousands of buildings around Vancouver. Using images from the Vancouver Archives he offers a glimpse of the past and present on his site Vancouver Now & Then