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P. Burns and Co. Butcher Shop

2419 Clarke Street, Port Moody, British Columbia, V3H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/03/23

Exterior view of the P. Burns and Co. Butcher Shop, 1940s; Collection of Valerie Julian
View from the northwest during the 1940s
Exterior view of the P. Burns and Co. Butcher Shop, 2004; City of Port Moody, 2004
View from the northeast
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1908/01/01 to 1909/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The P. Burns and Co. Butcher Shop is a two-storey wood-frame commercial building that stands in a grouping of similar small-scale commercial buildings along Clarke Street, the original commercial and retail centre of Port Moody.

Heritage Value

The P. Burns and Co. Butcher Shop has community value for its association with the early commercial activity of the city, and for its ties to a prominent retailing chain. It is of historical importance as it served a growing population drawn by an economy that stabilized around the lumber industry at the end of the nineteenth century and was part of the growing commercial area that serviced the community at the time.

The store is significant as part of a successful western Canadian industrial and retail empire. Built for P. Burns and Co. circa 1908-09, it formed part of the company's extensive chain of retail butcher stores. Patrick Burns (1856-1937) was born in Oshawa, Ontario, and with little formal schooling, he began to freight goods from Winnipeg and trail neighbours' cattle to the Winnipeg market. By 1885, he was buying cattle full-time. His business grew with the railway boom and he expanded his interests into ranching, packing, and the retail meat trade. In 1890, he settled in Calgary and built an abattoir, supplying it with beef from his own ranches. He expanded into British Columbia in 1895. By the time of the First World War he was established internationally and had become one of Canada's most successful business people. Burns was appointed as a Canadian senator in 1931.

The store is of value as a rare surviving example of a ""Boomtown"" or false-front commercial building. Once typical, there are now few intact examples in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Built with an extended front parapet to increase the apparent size of the building and to provide increased opportunity for signs, these vernacular structures proliferated in early communities throughout western Canada. This is a very sophisticated example of the style, with paired projecting front bays on the second floor that increase the scale and prominence of the building, and side gable dormers that open onto a second floor residential suite. The large storefront opening uses the maximum amount of glazing both to increase display space and also take advantage of natural lighting.

The P. Burns and Co. Butcher Shop survives in virtually original condition and has been completely and authentically restored, and provides an important link to the early commercial history and development of Port Moody.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Port Moody

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the P. Burns and Co. Butcher Shop include:
- landmark siting at the edge of a remaining cluster of historic commercial buildings along Clarke Street
- two storey form, with relative scale increased through the use of a false-front parapet and paired second floor projecting front bays
- mixed uses, with retail at ground level and residential above
- inset central storefront entry; offset entry to upper floor
- front gable roof with side gable dormers
- original exterior features such as lapped wooden siding, cornerboards and trim
double-hung wooden-sash 1-over-1 windows on the second floor
- rectangular storefront opening with maximum glazing including transom windows
- surviving original interior features such as wooden floors and wooden door and window trim



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

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of Port Moody

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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