Constructed as an electrical grid substation by the B.C. Electric Railway Company, the Horne-Payne substation was part of the expansion of this utility company to central Burnaby that occurred as a result of the opening of the Burnaby Lake Interurban line in 1911. The Receiving Station is intended to rearrange the company’s system of distributing power over the whole of the Burrard Peninsula. Power will come to the transformers there and be converted and distributed to the various substations in Vancouver, New Westminster and the suburbs...Work has already been started at the foundation for the new plant. (Vancouver Daily Province, April 29, 1913) When constructed the substation was situated within a forest clearing in a largely undeveloped section of northwest Burnaby. The area now surrounding the substation is heavily developed for semi-industrial purposes. This steel-frame and poured concrete structure was designed to be utilitarian, but with decorative detailing. The south-facing front of the structure features massed corners detailed with decorative relief panels at the roofline. Additionally, this well-balanced building displayed symmetrical fenestration with blind, and tall multi-paned steel-sash windows, some crowned with keystones. A tower added to the east side of the building’s front is the most substantial change made to the appearance of the Horne-Payne substation. This industrial structure was designed by prominent British Columbian architect, Robert Lyon (1879-1963). Born in Edinburgh, Lyon apprenticed and worked as an architect in Scotland until 1908 before moving to New York in 1909. In 1911, he began his career in Vancouver as an “architectural engineer,” with the B.C. Electric Company that lasted until 1918. After a short tenure in the lumber industry, Lyon returned to architecture, this time with his own firm in Penticton. Active in municipal politics, he was instrumental in the incorporation of Penticton as a city, and became its first mayor from 1948-1949. Lyon retired from architecture in 1958 and died in 1963. Lyon also designed the Central Park Gate in Burnaby.