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East Kensington Elementary School

2795 184 Street, Surrey, British Columbia, V3S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2000/12/04

Exterior of East Kensington Elementary School, 2007; City of Surrey, 2007
Oblique view
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/02/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

East Kensington Elementary School is a two-storey, wood-frame schoolhouse with a hipped roof and projecting front-gable entrance located at the corner of 184 Street and 28 Avenue in the predominantly agricultural area of Grandview Heights in Surrey. The property also includes a 0.4 hectare schoolyard and perimeter plantings.

Heritage Value

East Kensington Elementary School is valued as a local landmark and as a representation of the response of Grandview Heights' earliest settlers to the need for community educational facilities. The first East Kensington School was established in 1898-99 in an abandoned outbuilding built by Royal City Mills Logging Company. This was an 'assisted school', which meant that expenses, including the teacher's salary, were shared by the Province, parents and others. As the population increased, larger education facilities were needed and in 1908 a larger one-room schoolhouse was built. This was replaced by the current school in 1924, again reflecting the ongoing growth and development of the community. East Kensington Elementary School is a community landmark and a key institutional presence.

East Kensington Elementary School is also valued as an example of the type of school commonly designed by the provincial Department of Public Works. Starting in the 1880s, the Department assisted growing school districts through the development of standardized building plans. The original two-room structure of East Kensington Elementary school is characterized by its Foursquare plan and front-gabled projection on the south entrance with paired entries. This practical design was easy and inexpensive to execute, and provided separate entrances for boys and girls on the south side. In accordance with mandated school policy, the windows are banked along the east and west sides to allow abundant natural light, leaving sufficient wall space for large blackboards. Despite some alterations to its original appearance, such as the addition of a high basement, the school retains its historic character.

Source: City of Surrey Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of East Kensington Elementary School include its:
- prominent corner location at 184 Street and 28 Avenue
- institutional form, scale and massing, as expressed by its two-storey height and regular, Foursquare plan, pyramidal hipped roof and front-gabled projecting entrance on the south elevation with paired entryways
- wood-frame construction with original wooden siding under a later coat of stucco and original cedar shingle roof under later duroid shingles
- windows including double-hung two-over-two wooden sash windows on the ground elevation; multi-paned wooden sash windows; banked wood-frame window openings
- original interior features, such as wood trim
- associated landscape features, such as grassed schoolyard and perimeter plantings
- continuous use as a school site



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

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type



Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Surrey Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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