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1881 Town Hall

17635 60 Avenue, Surrey, British Columbia, V3S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/10/04

Exterior view of 1880 Town Hall, 2004; Donald Luxton and Associates, 2004
oblique view
Interior view of 1881 Town Hall; Surrey Museum
Now part of Surrey Museum
No Image

Other Name(s)

1881 Town Hall
Old Surrey Municipal Hall
Surrey Museum

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/08/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The 1881 Town Hall is a single-storey, single-roomed, wood-frame building, rectangular in plan, with a front gable roof, clad in vertical board and batten. The building is now completely encased within a later building, with only the peak of its gabled roof visible from the street. The original interior and most of the exterior are preserved, and can be seen inside the enclosing building.

Heritage Value

The 1881 Surrey Town Hall is valued for its role in the history of the City and as a testament to the generosity, determination, and civic will of the area's pioneers. Abraham Huck, the area's first settler, bought land at Surrey Centre in 1872. Gradually, more settlers arrived and began laying the foundations of the community. In 1879 the District of Surrey was incorporated, but at the time there was no public meeting place. Abraham Huck donated one acre of his Surrey Centre land for the construction of this Hall, and the first meeting in the building was held on May 2, 1881. The erection of the Town Hall, which was also used for church services until Christ Church was completed nearby, symbolized rapid progress within the community.

The Town Hall is also significant as an example of early frontier wooden construction, with vertical board and batten siding and square forged nails. The simplicity of the design reflects vernacular building techniques, and the modest pioneer origins of Surrey.

The heritage value of the Town Hall also lies in its interpretive value. The building is an important cultural feature for the interpretation of Surrey's civic heritage to the public. It was moved, in 1938, to the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds, and later became Surrey's first museum, indicative of Surrey's commitment to preserving and interpreting its built and cultural heritage.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the 1881 Town Hall include its:
- symmetrical form, scale and massing, as expressed by its simple rectangular floor plan;
- front gabled roof with cedar shingle cladding;
- exterior vertical board and batten siding, with original square forged nails;
- original multi-paned double-hung panelling and wooden floors.



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1938/01/01 to 1938/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Historic or Interpretive Site


Town or City Hall

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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