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Lakeview Cemetery

775 Lower Bench Road, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/05/04

775 Lower Bench Road; Penticton Musuem, c.1982
Exterior view of headstones and landscape, c.1982
775 Lower Bench Road; Penticton Museum, c.1980
Close-up view of Chinese Headstone, c.1980
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Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2020/05/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Lakeview Cemetery is a municipal burial ground situated on the east bench of Penticton, British Columbia. Its location, below Naramata Road, offers a spectacular view of Okanagan Lake. The cemetery contains many original tombstones and burial markers, as well as mature trees and a network of roadways and pathways.

Heritage Value

Established in 1910, Lakeview Cemetery is valued as the City of Penticton's civic burial ground, evolving over almost a century to reflect the growth in the community, maturing of civic and community roles, and shifting social values.

The site is a testament to the perseverance of early City Councils and community groups who worked to create a public cemetery, starting with The Board of Trade, which initiated the drive for a civic cemetery as early as 1905 when the Anglican Church announced that it no longer had room for burials of citizens who were not members of its congregation. The first five acres of the site were acquired from the Southern Okanagan Land Company in 1910 by City Council.

An "artistic plan" was approved later that year, including a 30 foot entrance road and a circular avenue around the two acres of burial plots. Two years later the Council negotiated with the Kettle Valley Railway to permit it to build its right of way through the easterly portion of the cemetery. New trees were planted, paths were improved, and new roads were added. In 1916 a new survey led to the laying out of 2000 plots in three sections, including a section for "paupers". Sections were reserved for groups such as Chinese and members of the Oddfellows Lodge, although the Chinese-designated area was outside the proper boundaries of the cemetery. In 1917 schoolchildren "beautified" the cemetery under the guidance of the Civic Improvement League. The first restoration of overturned gravestones occurred in 1927.

By 1928, the cemetery was filling up and additional parcels of farmland were acquired. Over time improvements were made, such as the addition of concrete gates and the planting of poplar and spruce trees in 1928. Maintenance was an ongoing issue and, when a new section was laid out in 1945, it was planted as lawn and vertical markers were not permitted.

Lakeview Cemetery is also valued as the final resting place of many Penticton citizens and as an evocation of the history of the community. Burials included soldiers from the First and Second World Wars, in addition to prominent citizens like architect, Robert Lyon, and mayor, Dr. McGregor. Chief engineer of the Kettle Valley Railway, Andrew McCulloch, and his secretary A. A. Swift are also buried there.

The many original headstones and memorials are a physical expression of the values of past generations. They include carved monuments in granite, marble, sandstone, and concrete displaying names and dates of burials as well as an array of traditional Christian symbols. Portions of the cemetery contain markers in Chinese and Japanese, reflecting the ethnic diversity of Penticton.

SOURCE: City of Penticton Civic File

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of this site include:

-location on the east bench of Penticton overlooking Okanagan Lake
-proximity to Naramata Road and Kettle Valley Railway
-pattern of roads, pathways, and grave plots
-mixture of gravestone designs and materials



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

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Penticton Civic File

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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