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Carmoor Block

3074 Kingsway Avenue, Port Alberni, British Columbia, V9Y, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/10/30

Carmoor Block, 3074 Kingsway Avenue; City of Port Alberni, 2006
Front facade
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Other Name(s)

Carmoor Block
Swale Rock Cafe Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1912/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/05/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Carmoor Block is a two-storey brick commercial and residential building located on the southwest corner of Argyle Street and Kingsway Avenue in Port Alberni, British Columbia. It is distinguished by its bevelled northeast corner, grand central entrance and three storefronts with bay entrances. The facade of the building is articulated by large-scale concrete pilasters on its lower storey.

Heritage Value

Built by businessmen Alfred Carmichael and Charles A. Moorhead, the Carmoor Block is valued as a product of the grand scale of commerce associated with the establishment of Port Alberni as the west coast terminus of the E & N Railway in 1911.

Built in two phases between 1910 and 1912, this substantial brick building reflects both the early economic and physical development of the town. Originally designed for commercial businesses such as the Alberni Land Company and the Bank of Montreal, and for professional offices on the upper stories, the Carmoor Block is a reflection of the financial optimism which shaped Port Alberni in the early twentieth century.

The Carmoor Block is further valued as one of Port Alberni's oldest surviving commercial buildings.

Source: Alberni Valley Museum and Archives

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Carmoor Block include:

- the flat-roofed, two-storey form
- street-level configuration which includes four primary storefronts and one office space on Kingsway Avenue
- surviving elements of the original grand design, including the bevelled northeast corner, concrete pilasters on lower storey, cornices, window and door openings, and the grand entrance and stairwell leading to the upper storey
- original construction materials, including the brick and concrete exterior and wooden interior structural members
- surviving historic windows over storefronts
- surviving tiles under windows at street level
- surviving original fixtures and finishes, including subway tiles (shipped from England) in the grand entrance, wooden flooring, and window and door hardware
- ten-foot ceilings in the upper storey interior spaces
- surviving physical evidence of the building's original commercial functions, as seen in the two walk-in vaults on the main floor



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

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer



Alfred Carmichael

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberni Valley Museum and Archives

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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