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Historical Land Use Research in Northern and Central BC

About Fire Insurance Plans

Fire insurance plans are an important information source for any type of urban research. They are detailed large-scale maps of cities, smaller municipalities, and industrial sites. The object of these maps is to show the character of any insured building. These plans were compiled by the fire insurance underwriters to assist their agents in assessing and controlling the risks of fire. Various symbols and colours are used to indicate the following characteristics: the shape and size of a building; the type of construction used; the existence of fire protection facilities; and the use of the building (e.g., a restaurant, a laundry, etc.).

In 1897, the Charles Edward Goad company began producing plans for British Columbia municipalities, along with various underwriters associations in the province, such as the British Columbia Underwriters Association. In 1917, Goad sold out to the Canadian and provincial underwriters associations. The associations amalgamated to form the Canadian Underwriters' Association in 1960 and subsequent production of fire insurance plans was centralised under the Plan Division of the Association. In 1974, the Association became the Insurers' Advisory Organisation. The following year, in 1975, production of fire insurance plans ceased.

Plans were revised periodically as buildings were burned, torn down, rebuilt, or a new area was developed. The revisions were printed and distributed to the agents to paste in. Sometimes revisions were made in pencil or crayon by the agent, or by the cartographers in the Plan Department. Plans with the same date may have different revisions. There are no plans for undeveloped areas; sometimes there are no existing plans for areas which were developed.

Source: UBC Library's BC Fire Insurance Maps guide

Northern BC Fire Insurance Plans

This table lists known extant fire insurance plans for Northern and Central British Columbia communities. They are held at the following institutions:

British Library (BL)
Library and Archives Canada (LAC)
New Westminster Public Library (NWPL)
Royal BC Museum (RBCM)
University of British Columbia (UBC)
University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)

Place Company Year # of Sheets Location
Anyox Charles E. Goad 1915 4 UBC (Copy), BL (Original)
Anyox Wilcox, Peck & Hughes 1920 6 UBC (Micro.), LAC, RBCM
Anyox BCIUA 1927 4 UBC (Orig.)
Barkerville BCIUA 1934 3 UBC, RBCM
Barkerville BCIUA 1934/1938 1 UBC (Copy)
Barkerville BCIUA 1934/1947 2 UBC
Burns Lake BCIUA 1922/1928 1  
Burns Lake BCIUA 1938/1951 2 UBC (Orig.)
Burns Lake BCIUA 1954/1959 3 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Dawson Creek BCIUA 1932 2  
Dawson Creek BCIUA 1943 5 RBCM
Dawson Creek BCIUA 1946 8 UBC (Orig.)
Dawson Creek BCIUA 1946/1954 8 UBC (Orig.)
Dawson Creek Canadian Underwriters Assn 1959/1960 11 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Fort St. John BCIUA 193-? 1 UBC (Copy)
Fort St. John Underwriters Survey Bureau 1960 8 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Hazelton/New Hazelton Charles E. Goad 1915 3 UBC (Orig.), BL, RBCM
Hazelton/New Hazelton Charles E. Goad 1915/1956 3 UBC (Orig.)
Hazelton/New Hazelton BCIUA 1922/1938 3 UBC (Orig.), RBCM
Hazelton/New Hazelton BCIUA 1922/1945 3 UBC (Orig.)
McBride BCIUA 1932 1 UBC (Copy), RBCM
Pinchi Lake BCIUA 1943 6 UBC (Orig.), LAC, RBCM
Port Essington (and other Northern Canneries) BCIUA 1924 1 UBC (Orig.)
Port Essington (and other Northern Canneries) Charles E. Goad 1903 ?  
Port Essington (and other Northern Canneries) Charles E. Goad 1915 22 UBC (Copy), BL, LAC
Pouce Coupe BCIUA 1933 2 UBC (Copy)
Pouce Coupe BCIUA 1944 1 UBC (Copy), LAC
Pouce Coupe BCIUA 1944/1965 1 UBC (Copy)
Prince George Charles E. Goad 1915 11 UBC (Copy), BL, LAC
Prince George BCIUA 1922/1938 15 UBC (Orig.)
Prince George Canadian Underwriters Assn 1966 41 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Prince Rupert Charles E. Goad Apr. 1910 12 BL
Prince Rupert Charles E. Goad Oct. 1910 14 NWPL
Prince Rupert Charles E. Goad 1913 20 BL
Prince Rupert Charles E. Goad 1913/1915 22 BL
Prince Rupert BCIUA 1928 27  
Prince Rupert BCIUA 1928/1951 43? UBC (Orig.)
Prince Rupert BCIUA 1954 28 LAC
Prince Rupert Canadian Underwriters Assn 1959 28 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Quesnel BCIUA 1954 7 UBC (Orig.)
Quesnel Canadian Underwriters Assn 1959 7 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Rolla BCIUA 1944 1 UBC (Copy)
Rolla BCIUA 1945 1 UBC (Copy)
Sinclair Mills BCIUA 1942 1 UBC (Copy)
Smithers Charles E. Goad 1915 6 UBC (Copy), BL
Smithers BCIUA 1922/1951 8 UBC (Orig.)
Smithers BCIUA 1954 8 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Stanley BCIUA 1934 1 UBC (Copy)
Stewart/Portland Canal Charles E. Goad 1910 3 BL, NWPL
Stewart BCIUA 1922 5 UBC (Orig.), LAC
Stewart BCIUA 1922/1938 5 UBC (Orig.)
Surf Inlet (Princess Royal Island) Wilcox, Peck & Hughes 1920 2 LAC
Surf Inlet (Princess Royal Island) BCIUA 1940 2 UBC (Orig.)
Telkwa Charles E. Goad 1915 2 UBC (Copy), BL
Telkwa BCIUA 1922/1938 2 UBC (Orig.), LAC
Terrace Charles E. Goad 1915 1 UBC (Copy), BL
Terrace BCIUA 1922/1938 2 UBC (Orig.)
Terrace BCIUA 1922/1951 1 UBC (Copy)
Terrace Canadian Underwriters Assn 1959 5 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Vanderhoof Charles E. Goad 1915 2 UBC (Copy), BL
Vanderhoof BCIUA 1922/1943 3 UBC (Orig.)
Vanderhoof British Columbia Surveys and Mapping Service. 1952/1954 1 UBC (Copy)
Vanderhoof BCIUA 1954 5 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC
Wells BCIUA 1938/1940 6 UBC (Orig.), LAC
Wells BCIUA 1938/1947 6 UBC (Orig.)
Williams Lake BCIUA 1930/1953 3 UBC (Orig.)
Williams Lake Canadian Underwriters Assn 1959 3 UNBC (Orig.), UBC, LAC