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Ioco School

101 First Avenue, Port Moody, British Columbia, V3H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/07/29

Exterior view of Ioco School; City of Port Moody, 2007
front elevation
Historic photo of Ioco School, no date; Port Moody Station Museum # 974.3.2
School in left background
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/10/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Ioco School is a one-storey wood-frame building set on a full-height lower level, with a symmetrical plan, and a hipped roof with open gables. It is a landmark building, located on First Avenue on a large schoolyard, at the entry to the early Imperial Oil Company town, Ioco.

Heritage Value

The Ioco School is valued as a reflection of the early development of Ioco, the company town developed by the Imperial Oil Company near its refinery on the north shore of Burrard Inlet. This was the first major development in Port Moody that occurred outside of the immediate vicinity of Moody Centre. The refinery was located in an isolated area that lacked road access until 1925. In order to provide local housing for the workers, the land for a residential townsite was subdivided in 1921 and forty new worker’s houses were constructed. Fifteen other houses, originally situated on the Ioco grounds, were also moved to the new townsite, creating an instant community. The rapid influx of population, including the families of the workers, necessitated the construction of this school, which opened October 1, 1921. It had a capacity of 100 students, and offered Grades 1 through to university entry classes. Four classrooms on the upper level were used for academics, while the lower level housed manual training for boys and domestic science for girls. As all local children attended this school, it was a central focus of this tightly-knit community.

The Ioco School is additionally valued as a significant example of the work of architect Henry Whittaker (1886-1971). For over thirty years, Whittaker was employed as the Chief Architect for the Provincial Department of Public Works. During his tenure, Whittaker was responsible for the design and supervision of hundreds of buildings, and had a profound influence on the style and appearance of the province's public buildings. Ioco School demonstrates the provincial standards determined by the Department of Education, as reflected in the symmetrical rectangular plan, with a wide central hallway and banks of windows that allowed abundant natural light into the classrooms. The plans were completed by April of 1921 and construction was completed by Vancouver-based contractor Henry Penny Ramsay Leck (1864-1948) at a cost of $16,135. The school remains in significantly intact condition.

Source: City of Port Moody Heritage Planning Files

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Ioco School include its:
- location at the entry of the Ioco townsite, across from the Ioco Church, the Bowling Green and the CPR Railway track
- institutional form, scale and massing as expressed by its one-storey height, full height lower level, regular symmetrical plan, cross-hipped roof and gabled wall dormer
- wood-frame construction, with wooden lapped siding at the foundation level and cedar shingles above
- Arts and Crafts features such as half-timbering in the gable peak and triangular eave brackets
- variety of windows including banks of double-hung 3-over-3 and 4-over-1 wooden sash windows and hopper windows
- interior room configuration with wide central hall and staircase
- interior features such as lath-and-plaster walls, wooden wainscoting, and wooden door and window trim
- large grassed schoolyard



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts

Function - Category and Type



Composite School

Architect / Designer

Henry Whittaker


Henry Penny Ramsay Leck

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Port Moody Heritage Planning Files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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