McGuire Lake Park
Mrs. McGuire's Lake
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
McGuire Lake Park is a series of four properties, one of which contains McGuire Lake, located along the north side of the Trans Canada Highway between 6 Street NE and 10 Street NE in the downtown area of Salmon Arm, British Columbia. McGuire Lake Park is an easily accessible neighbourhood park that is clearly visible from the highway. The historic place includes the lake and surrounding parklands, the fountain and the mature willow trees.
McGuire Lake Park is valued for its historic, cultural, social and aesthetic significance within the community, particularly for its association with the McGuire family and as one of the iconic features within Salmon Arm that has served as an important community resource throughout history.
McGuire Lake, historically referred to as "Little Lake" and "Mrs. McGuire's Lake", is a natural lake, as evidenced from some of the earliest photographs of the area. The mature willow trees surrounding the lake, however, are significant because they were planted by Bob Harvey and other members of the Salmon Arm Kinsmen Club, which represents a recognition by community members of role the lake and park would play in the future of Salmon Arm. To this day, the park is still valued by the community as a centrally-located public park.
The park is valued for its association with the McGuire family who likely cleared the area around the lake and, in particular, Agnes McGuire, for whom the lake was named. Agnes McGuire received the letters patent on the original homestead, including the area around the lake and land to the west into the current downtown. Jack D. McGuire, son of Alexander and Agnes McGuire, planted an orchard around the lake in 1902, later known as the 'Turner Orchard' after Robert Turner and Sons. The McGuire family was involved in other early enterprises in the downtown core, opening McGuire's General Store and post office.
The park is significant for being the remainder of a much larger piece of property, the western portion of which was subdivided off the McGuire homestead in 1906 to create the townsite of Salmon Arm. The proximity of McGuire Lake to the original townsite is important as well, as the Fire Department of the time pumped water from the lake to fight fires in the downtown, such as the fire of 1929 that resulted in the destruction of a large section of the buildings along Front Street (currently Lakeshore Drive).
Although it was not McGuire Lake 'Park' until May 14, 1980, when it was officially designated as a park by Mayor Lund to celebrate Salmon Arm's 75th Anniversary, the lake and surrounding lands have been an important community resource throughout most of Salmon Arm's history. When the stock sheds arena burned down in 1942, the lake served as an outdoor skating area. The Shuswap Lake General Hospital was constructed just east of the lake in 1959, taking advantage of the aesthetics of the natural feature. From the first illuminated fountain that was installed in 1965 by the Salmon Arm Kinsmen Club as a community service project, to the 1978 referendum that resulted in the District purchasing two properties to add to the park's land base, the enduring social and recreational role of McGuire Lake Park has been confirmed by the community. The wooden pavilion, constructed in 1998 to honour the friendship between the City of Salmon Arm and its Sister City, Inashiki, Ibaraki, Japan, and the current fountain add to the cultural and aesthetic value of the park.
Source: City Hall, City of Salmon Arm
Key elements that define the heritage character of McGuire Lake Park include its:
- orchards planted by the McGuire family
- location close to downtown and visible from the Trans Canada Highway
- willow trees surrounding the lake planted in 1967
- wooden pavillion honouring friendship between City of Salmon Arm and Sister City
- fountain in the lake
- continued use as a public park
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
1880/01/01 to 2013/01/01
1902/01/01 to 1902/01/01
1906/01/01 to 1906/01/01
1929/01/01 to 1929/01/01
1942/01/01 to 1942/01/01
1978/01/01 to 1978/01/01
1998/01/01 to 1998/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- People and the Environment
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Sports and Leisure
Function - Category and Type
- Nature Element
- Food Supply
- Farm or Ranch
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City Hall, City of Salmon Arm
Cross-Reference to Collection