City recognizes heritage building in downtown Terrace, B.C.

The Lakelse Ave. building that houses Urban Colour has been placed on the city’s community heritage registry

  • Feb. 15, 2015 3:00 p.m.

Built in 1921

A Lakelse Ave. building which was a focal point for dances and entertainment in the 1920s and 1930s has been placed on the city’s community heritage registry.

Now the home of Urban Colour on the first floor and a residence on the second floor, the building at 4552 Lakelse Ave. was constructed in 1921 by the Great War Veterans’ Association (GWVA) which, as the name indicates,  was an organization made up of veterans of the First World War.

The Great War Veterans’ Association building on Lakelse Ave. in winter of 1939. Part of the Norma Morrison Collection.

“It seems to have served as a community centre. The annual fall fair was held in the building, the first Rotary Christmas dinner, New Year’s Eve dances, basketball games, masquerade balls, meetings, memorial services, a small lending library, and commemorative ceremonies, including Armistice Day,” noted Terrace and District Museum Society curator Kelsey Wiebe of research conducted by reading the newspaper of the period, the Omineca Herald.

“Early women’s advocacy was centred around the GWVA: a GWVA Ladies’ Auxiliary operated out of the building, assisting with the creation of a sense of community.”

GWVA members, owing to the passage of time and the depression of the 1930s stopped paying the dues and, eventually, building mortgage holder O.T. Sundal took over the building, allowing community events to continue.

In 1939, the load from an enormous snowfall collapsed the building’s second storey and that floor was removed, converting it into a one-storey structure.

It took on a military flavour again during the Second World War when it was converted into apartments for soldiers, highway workers and families, adds Wiebe. In later years it also served as the location for Wilkinson Business Machines.

The building is the tenth structure or site to be placed on the heritage registry.

“While our built heritage is limited in Terrace, as a result of its small size prior to the Second World War, and the area’s emphasis on using wood for buildings (a fire-susceptible material), there are still several interesting heritage buildings in the community. Their uniqueness should mean that they should be celebrated and upheld,” said Wiebe.

The next heritage step for the building is to place it on provincial and federal historical registries.

A federal historic registry contains three local structures – the former provincial police station on the corner of Lakelse and Kalum, the Kwinitsa railway foreman’s residence on the eastern end of the millennium trail and city founder George Little’s house which is located at the foot of Kalum Ave. downtown.

Just Posted

College buys a yurt to boost student success

Round tent-like structure part of college instructional shift

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

Council supports lobby for fair share of cannabis tax revenue

The City of Terrace is throwing its support behind a West Kelowna… Continue reading

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read