Home / Accueil

Whonnock General Store

26927 River Road, Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/11/23

Exterior view of The Whonnock General Store, 2003; City of Maple Ridge, 2003
Front elevation
Red and White Store, Mr. Showler on the front steps, 1925-1929.; Maple Ridge Museum and Archives, P00417
Front elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)

Whonnock General Store
Showler's Store
Whonnock Feed Store
Whonnock Red and White Store

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1919/01/01 to 1920/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/11/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Whonnock General Store is a modest 1920s flat-roofed wood frame commercial structure, that is part of the historic core of Whonnock, located in what was known locally as "The Front." It is situated on the north side of River Road, facing south toward the Fraser River.

Heritage Value

The Whonnock General Store is valued as the last remaining commercial building in the historic centre of Whonnock, in an area locally known as "The Front," which contains the Whonnock Post Office and is located near other community gathering places. "The Front" is characterized both by its rural and treed nature and retains Whonnock's sense of place and community. The Store, along with the Whonnock Post Office, stand as symbols of the self-supporting and self-contained community. "The Front" also represents the gateway to Whonnock and creates a sheltered transition area between the busy Lougheed Highway and the rural properties in the heart of Whonnock.

Built by Nils C. Nelson in 1919-1920, it was initially operated by F.W. Showler as a general store, and was later associated with the retail chain of Red and White stores. It is indicative of the evolution of typical small community stores and their impact on the areas they serve, illustrating the importance of centralized services and communications to a small rural community. This value is reflected partly in its modest architecture, including signage and its spatial relationship to "The Front," but also in its association with the rural character of the area, that remains to this day.

As the hub of the community, the store served a social function as well as one of supply and service. Additionally, it is valued because of its role in facilitating the growth and continued survival of the Whonnock area as a local community within the larger municipality. The varying character of additions and alterations to the store are indicative of the slow growth of the area over time and the continued use of the store by local residents.

Source: Planning Department, City of Maple Ridge

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Whonnock General Store include its:
- relationship to core of Whonnock and surrounding buildings
- location on the property, set close to the street, with the long side of the building parallel to the street
- form, scale and massing
- open glazed storefront with transom windows typical of early commercial buildings
- staircase up to a central entry leading to a covered and open porch
- historic "Whonnock Red and White Store" with flanking 7-Up signs above entrance
- wood framed windows
- wooden siding and framing
- surviving interior features such as tongue-and-groove panelling



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

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Architect / Designer



Nils C. Nelson

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning Department, City of Maple Ridge

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places