Bank of Montreal
Billy Miner Pub
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Bank of Montreal, is a two storey, rectangular plan, wood frame structure located in the centre of the historic commercial district of Port Haney. Oriented towards the Fraser River and the railway tracks, this commercial building has now been adapted for use as a local pub and restaurant.
The Bank of Montreal is one of the last active commercial buildings in the historic core of Port Haney and is valued for its associations with the historic precinct. Originally a branch of the Bank of Montreal, it was strategically positioned close to the Fraser River in the commercial core of Port Haney to take advantage of the river boat landing, CPR station and the services in the area including postal and retail outlets. Opened in 1911, it was built for Mary Berry Charlton Storey and was the first and only bank in the community.
The early settlement of Port Haney was centred on the Fraser River, which provided the earliest access before the development of roads through the area. Over time, significant commercial and residential activity occurred and Port Haney became a major transportation hub in the region. Decline set in after the Great Depression and a devastating fire in 1932 that destroyed much of the business centre. The fire caused commercial activity to relocate to the north along the newly opened Lougheed Highway, a make-work project that connected the Fraser Valley communities by road.
With the shift in economic activity, the Bank of Montreal eventually relocated and this structure served a number of functions before being adapted for use as a neighbourhood pub. The architecture of the building is valued as a very good local example of a vernacular false front, pioneer style commercial building, once common but now rare. Witness to its role as a bank, the interior retains its wooden wainscotting and part of its original vault. The second floor served as residential space for the bank manager, as was common practice at the time of construction, and still serves a residential function today. The simple style of the structure indicates its function as a branch bank in an isolated location, distinct from those in more urban settings, which were usually constructed in solid masonry in the Classical Revival style that was popular during the Edwardian era.
The use as a neighbourhood pub also reflects the change in liquor laws in the 1970s that allowed pubs to locate in local settings rather than having to connected to a hotel function. Prior to this, local pubs had been located in purpose-built hotels generally located along the Lougheed Highway.
Little remains of the historic downtown streetscape of Port Haney, which increases the value of the pub as the only intact building from the early days of the town that still serves a commercial function. Port Haney remains as a heritage precinct and a reminder of the origins of the City of Maple Ridge, and this building remains a vital part of the local neighbourhood.
Source: Planning Department, City of Maple Ridge
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Bank of Montreal building include its:
- original siting and orientation to the street
- its proximate relationship to the railway
- boxy cubic form, prominent scale and rectangular massing
- exterior features such as the false front parapet, inset central storefront entry and large shop front windows
- double hung, 1-over-1, wooden sash windows on the second floor
- exterior horizontal wooden drop siding
- interior wooden paneling including wainscotting
- elements of original bank vault
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Eating or Drinking Establishment
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning Department, City of Maple Ridge
Cross-Reference to Collection