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Fairacres Root House

6344 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/11/23

Exterior view of Fairacres Root House; City of Burnaby, 2003
Oblique view of south elevation, 2003
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/05/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Fairacres Root House is a long, low one-storey masonry building, measuring 4.6 metres by 9.1 metres, with massively-buttressed concrete walls and foundations. Built into sloping ground adjacent to the location of the former greenhouse, the surviving orchard and the kitchen entrance of the main house, Fairacres, this functional structure was used as a frost-free store for fruit and vegetables for the family's use.

Heritage Value

The outbuildings at Fairacres are a rare surviving architecturally-designed ensemble of agricultural structures that exist in complementary harmony with the main estate house. Architect Robert Mackay Fripp (1858-1917), an outspoken advocate of Arts and Crafts design, was retained by the Ceperleys to design several original outbuildings on their estate.

The Fairacres Root House is important as a rare surviving, and exceptionally large, example of this building type in the Vancouver region. Unusual in the fact that an architect designed a building of such modest aspirations, it is also remarkable in its method of construction. The use of concrete as a structural material is one of the earliest in the region and extraordinary for its use on such a modest vernacular outbuilding; root cellars were typically built of loose stone. Built in 1908, the Root House was significantly altered in the 1960s and restored to its original design in 2000.

The building is significant as an indicator of the market gardening activity in the area around Deer Lake and of the country-house self-sufficiency practiced by the Ceperley family. The Root House illustrates the cultural, aesthetic, and lifestyle values of the Ceperleys in constructing such a large building for storing their own produce.

Source: City of Burnaby Planning and Building Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Fairacres Root House include its:
- location in relation to the former greenhouse, the Steam Plant, and the main house, Fairacres
- siting, tucked into the slope for protection of the stored fruit and vegetables
- unusually large size and reinforced concrete construction
- front-gabled roof with cedar shingle cladding
- distinctive Arts and Crafts architectural features, such as the original louvered ventilation cupola with flared roof, extended eaves and brackets, and pebble-dashed stucco coating on the concrete walls



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

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Food Supply
Food Storage Facility

Architect / Designer

R. Mackay Fripp



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Burnaby Planning and Building Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Oblique view from southeast corner

Fairacres Mansion

Fairacres Mansion is a large, two-and-one-half storey estate house in the British Arts and Crafts style, located in Deer Lake Park, with four associated original outbuildings.

Front elevation, 2003

Fairacres Chauffeur's Cottage

Designed in the British Arts and Crafts style, the Fairacres Chauffeur's Cottage is situated across from the main entrance to the Ceperley mansion, and adjacent to the Garage and…

Front (east) elevation, 2003

Fairacres Garage and Stables

Designed in the British Arts and Crafts style, the Fairacres Garage and Stables is a two-storey wood-frame building located on the Fairacres estate, situated to the north of the…

View from south, 2003

Fairacres Steam Plant

Designed in the British Arts and Crafts style, the Fairacres Steam Plant is a single-storey wood-frame building with a gabled roof that originally housed the apparatus for climate…


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