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B.C. Sheep Breeders Building

961 Lorne Street, Kamloops, British Columbia, V2C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/06/15

Exterior view of B.C. Sheep Breeders Building, 2007; City of Kamloops, 2007
Front elevation
Historic view of B.C. Sheep Breeders Building, 1929; City of Kamloops, 2007, Kamloops Museum and Archives, #6978
Oblique view
No Image

Other Name(s)

B.C. Sheep Breeders Building
Sheep Breeders Building
Old Sheepbreeder's Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is a simple industrial warehouse building located on the south side of Lorne Street at the east end of downtown Kamloops. The building is situated beside a Canadian National Railway spur line.

Heritage Value

Built in the 1929, the B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is valued as a testament to the sheep breeding and wool industry that developed in Kamloops in the 1920s, and for its association with the B.C. Sheep Breeders Association.

Sheep herding became popular in Kamloops during the First World War and the Interior Wool Grower’s Association was formed in 1917 to initiate a grading system for wool and to ensure continued profits to sheep breeders. During the 1920s, over half of the 200,000 sheep in the province were located in the Kamloops region. By 1929 the Interior Wool Grower’s Association became the B.C. Sheep Breeders Association, reflecting a broadening range of activities. This warehouse for the production and storage of wool was built in the summer of 1929 by building contractor W.J. Moffatt (1880-1967). It served the Association until the 1960s, although the sheep breeding industry started to decline during the Depression years and experienced competition with synthetic fibres starting in the 1940s. Most of the sheep flocks in Kamloops had disappeared by the late 1960s, by which point the Association had only a small office in the building and rented out the remainder. The building was transferred to the City of Kamloops in 1972 and has been rented by the Western Canadian Theatre Company as a costume and prop storage facility since 1992.

The B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is also valued for its association with the Canadian National Railway. In 1930 a CNR spur line was built at grade to the rear of the building for loading wool and off-loading sheep. Known as the ‘Wool Spur,’ the rail line was later used by the B.C. Livestock Producer’s Association for loading cattle.

The B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is further valued for its vernacular industrial design. The function of the B.C. Sheep Breeders Building is reflected in its simple design, including the symmetrical floor layout, sliding doors for movement of sheep and material, and clear span design allowing great flexibility for the interior floor plan. The design also reflects the importance of this place as the showcase building for the B.C. Sheep Breeders Association, especially in association with the Fall Fair that was held just east of the building, and with the annual fall sheep show. The impressive heavy-timber curved-bow trusses, posts and laminated ribs created a column-free interior which allowed sheep and wool to be displayed during these events.

Source: City of Kamloops Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the B.C. Sheep Breeders Building include its:
- location on a sloping site off Lorne Street east of downtown Kamloops
- location just north of a CNR spur line
- industrial form, scale and massing, as expressed by its rectangular plan with bow roof and raised front parapets
- concrete foundation and wood-frame clear-span construction, with wooden bow trusses, laminated ribs and heavy timber posts
- original wooden drop siding with cornerboards
- vernacular industrial design, such as symmetrical curved parapets at front and rear of building, and sliding wood doors at front, side and rear
- regular fenestration, including double-hung, one-over-one and four-over-two wooden-sash windows in single assembly, with vertically-proportioned panes typical of the 1920s
- internal red-brick chimney
- interior features, including heavy timber bow truss system with laminated ribs and curved trusses, wooden plank floors and tongue-and-groove plank fir walls, and functional interior design as expressed through the delineation of space, with the storage and display area located at the rear and offices at the front



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services


Animal Products Processing Facility

Architect / Designer



W.J. Moffatt

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kamloops Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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