Kelowna, B.C.’s. old train station site may get a bit livelier.
Plans for a five-storey mixed-use building, a one-storey commercial building, and an expansion of an existing liquor store next to the Train Station pub, are now in the hands of City of Kelowna building officials.
Forwarding this plan won’t be like most other Kelowna developments, however.
The site at the corner of Ellis Street and Clement Avenue was home to a functioning train station for Kelowna and was built in 1926.
It’s now been converted to a pub, but it’s a designated heritage railway station due to its historical, architectural, and environmental status.
As such, the city would have to approve a Heritage Revitalization Agreement. One was already completed when the pub revitalization process happened.
The architectural firm looking to develop the site said the design of the new buildings will “create a respectful and harmonious relationship with the historic train station building.”
“The immediate neighbourhood is changing rapidly with the construction of many high-rise residential developments with great density,” reads part of a design rationale statement from Calgary-based Kasian Architecture.
“The proposed site design supports pedestrian connectivity between buildings, the railway garden, and the ginkgo tree courtyard as well as to the surrounding streets.”
A registry of Canada’s Historic Places notes that the Canadian National Railway station in Kelowna was one of the first stations constructed by the company in British Columbia.
“Its importance is reflected in its generous scale, substantial materials and sophisticated design,” According to the registry.
“This station was built in 1926 when the CNR built its branch line to the Okanagan Valley. The appearance of the railway both stimulated the local economy and shifted the city’s industrial district away from the waterfront to cluster near the rail yards. This station was once surrounded by gardens, and it retains much of its environmental integrity today.”
It had passenger service until the 1960s. In the years that followed, the station was vacant and derelict.
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