Laurel Packinghouse History
The packinghouse was built for B.C. Growers Ltd. in 1917 in what was then the industrial area of Kelowna, and was originally known as the B.C. Growers Packing House. Constructed of bricks made from the clay of nearby Knox Mountain, its neighbours at the time
were canneries, fruit warehouses, other packinghouses, and a sawmill. You really have to picture in your mind's eye dirt roads, railway tracks, horses and horse-drawn buggies and wagons, and the early trucks of the era. This was the industry of the day.
The building changed hands a number of times during the 1920s and 1930s until it evenutually became owned by the Laurel Cooperative Union during World War II. At this time it took on the name it holds to this day, Laurel Packinghouse.
Much of the area was destroyed by a fire in the 1960s, but Laurel Packinghouse remained a working packinghouse into the 1970s until it became slated for demolition in the years to follow. Thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens, it became Kelowna's first
designated heritage building and was saved. Ultimately, it would benefit from a revitalization project in 2010 to become what it is today; an important part of Kelowna's Cultural District.
The typical packinghouse architecure and design, featuring huge wooden beams on the inside along with brick exterior walls, hanging lamps, repetitive doorways, ramps and other necessary functional components have resulted in a compelling ambiance for housing
a pair of museums along with hosting numerous business and other events throughout the year.