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Tynehead Elementary School West Wing

8820 168 Street, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2000/12/04

8820 168 Street; City of Surrey, 2011
oblique view 2010
8820 168 Street; City of Surrey, 2011
front view, 1928
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Other Name(s)

Tynehead School
Tynehead Elementary School
Tynehead Elementary School West Wing

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/09/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Tynehead Elementary School West Wing consists of a large wooden schoolhouse structure located in the historic Tynehead neighbourhood of the City of Surrey, British Columbia. Part of a larger school complex, this building is one storey in height and sits on a ground-level basement. It is characterized by a medium-pitch hipped roof and banked fenestration, features that are typical of early school architecture in British Columbia.

Heritage Value

Tynehead Elementary School West Wing is significant as a rare surviving early school in Surrey, and remains as a tangible reminder of the importance of education to the pioneers who built this community. Opened in 1908 as a one-room schoolhouse, on land granted by pioneer settler James Bothwell, Tynehead School played a vital role in the lives of Tynehead children until its closure in 1946. It later served the community as Tynehead Montessori School, and today it continues to serve the local population as a community centre.

Tynehead Elementary School West Wing is valued because it demonstrates the wide-spread influence of the Provincial Department of Public Works, which facilitated the growth of the educational system in rural communities through the provision of standardized school designs. Education is a provincial responsibility, and starting in the 1880s the province assisted growing school districts by providing architectural services. The practical and functional plans were based on readily available materials and were inexpensive to execute. In keeping with mandated school policy, the windows are banked along the sides of the building to allow abundant natural light, while leaving sufficient wall space for large blackboards for educational purposes.

Tynehead Elementary School West Wing is also valued because it represents the early development of Surrey's educational network, and illustrates the rapid growth and development of the Tynehead neighbourhood. The first one-room Tynehead School was constructed in 1891, but as the community developed, so too did the need for a larger schoolhouse. In 1906, the Surrey School Board was established, with a mandate to serve the educational needs of the entire municipality. The second Tynehead School opened in 1908, and provided education to children from Grade 1 to Grade 8. Its expansion in 1923, which resulted in a symmetrical rectangular plan, reflected the further growth of the community during the era after the First World War.

Source: City of Surrey, Planning Files

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of Tynehead Elementary School West Wing include its:

- prominent corner location at 168 Street and 88 Avenue in the Tynehead community of Surrey
- continuous educational and community use
- institutional form, scale and massing as expressed by its one-storey plus full ground-level basement height, rectangular plan, medium-pitch hipped roof, projecting front extension with hipped roof, and front-gabled porch
- wood-frame construction, with original wooden drop siding and cedar shingle cladding at the basement level underneath the more recent stucco
- fenestration, including banked symmetrical window openings with original wooden framing and six-paned wooden sash windows on both floors



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)

1946/01/01 to 1946/01/01
1923/01/01 to 1923/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Recreation Centre


Special or Training School
Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer

British Columbia Department of Public Works



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Surrey, Planning Files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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