The three-storey Rainier Hotel was built in 1907 to cater to loggers staying in Gastown. Like other hotels in the area at the time, the Rainier offered affordable lodgings upstairs and had commercial space downstairs.
The Rainier was one of several single-room occupancy hotels that the Province of British Columbia recently purchased and renovated. The Rainier re-opened with a celebratory ceremony in February 2009.
Today, the PHS Community Services Society and Vancouver Coastal Health operate the Rainier as a treatment facility and home for women in recovery or at risk of homelessness. One of the first new commercial tenants on the Rainier property, a café called Nelson the Seagull, opened in May 2011.