Built in 1932, our building, a municipally-designated heritage structure, once housed both the Coroner’s Court and the City Analyst’s Laboratory. The Vancouver Police Museum now finds its home on the top floor and encompasses the original Coroner’s Courtroom, offices, morgue and autopsy facilities. The main floor and basement were once home to a forensics lab and related facilities.
City Analyst’s Laboratory
The City Analyst’s Laboratory was housed on the main floor of this building from 1932 to 1995. The lab was founded in 1907 under John F.C.B. Vance. By the 1920’s, it was regularly assisting the Vancouver Police Department and the Coroners Service with toxicology and other laboratory services. Vance petitioned to have a modern dedicated facility and in 1932, this structure was built. The Analyst's Lab was last used in 1995.
The top floor of the building originally featured a Coroner's Courtroom, offices, city morgue and autopsy facilities. Many notable cases were investigated in these facilities, including:
- The Castelanni "Milkshake" Murder
- The "Babes in the Woods" Case
- The Autopsy of Errol Flynn
- The deaths associated with the collapse of the Second Narrow Bridge
The coroner's facility was moved in 1980, with the morgue and autopsy functions transfered to Vancouver General Hospital. Between 1980 and 1986 (when the museum opened) the old courtroom was a popular location for filming.