The Bastion is a freestanding, octagonal, three-story defensive fortification that overlooks Nanaimo’s Inner Harbour. Built between1853-1855, it is the only known remaining freestanding tower structure built by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
This place is significant for its aesthetic and historic values, and for its association with the Hudson’s Bay Company, which employed many Francophones previous to the Gold Rush. Particularly, this place is valued for its association with Jean-Baptiste Fortier and Léon Labine, two French Canadian axemen, who are credited for its construction. Axe markings from their work are still evident in the structure.
The building is valued as an example of a defense fortification built by a company that played a major role in Canadian history, but is also a symbol of furthering settler-colonial goals of development.