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Penticton High School

158 Main Street, Penticton, British Columbia, V2A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/05/01

Exterior view of Penticton High School, Ellis School Building, 2006; City of Penticton, 2006
Principal facade
Historic exterior view of Penticton High School, Ellis School Building, no date; Penticton Museum
Oblique view
Historic exterior view of Penticton High School, Shatford School Building, no date; Penticton Museum
Oblique view

Other Name(s)

Penticton High School
Ellis and Shatford Schools
Ellis Secondary School
Penticton Secondary School

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/02/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Penticton High School is comprised of two large brick schools located side by side on a 7 acre site facing Main Street between Jermyn Avenue and Eckhart Avenue in Penticton. The Ellis School is a 1912 high school in a neo-Georgian style with three two-storey bays on a raised basement. The 1921 Victorian-eclectic Shatford School, located to the north of Ellis School, is also a two-storey brick building on a raised basement. The schools are framed by a fieldstone wall and a row of mature maple trees, both of which date from around 1915.

Heritage Value

Penticton High School is an important evolving cultural landscape which tells the story of public education and civic development in Penticton since 1912. Its primary heritage values reside in the physical attributes of the school yard, and in the architecture of the Ellis and Shatford Schools.

Comprised of seven acres, this school campus is the foundation for the rich history and heritage of this site. Located at the prominent intersection of Main Street and Jermyn Avenue, it is recognized as the nucleus of the school system in Penticton. Historic maple trees and the unique stone perimeter wall establish an academic sense of place befitting the most important collection of institutional architecture in the city.

The multi-faceted architecture of this site is integral to Penticton's collective history because it reflects various periods of civic development. The 1912 Ellis School, designed by architects Bell and Constant, is valued for its unique neo-Georgian style, exceptionally detailed and well-proportioned design, and high-quality materials such as brick and stone. The contiguous Shatford School, designed in 1921 by architects Bell and Curtis, is valued because of its complementary Victorian eclectic features, sensitively designed to not overwhelm or clash with the Ellis School. The sympathetic 1970s link which physically connects the schools is also important to the heritage value of this site, as it reflects a significant period of growth in Penticton and the innovative manner in which it was met. Although much of the interiors of the two schools have been altered, their key physical aspects, which reflect their landmark status in the community, remain intact.

This historic place is a monument to the continuing evolution and development of local public education. A symbolic temple of learning, it represents the civic pride and optimism with which the City of Penticton has stimulated and encouraged generations of growth.

Source: City of Penticton Civic File for: 158 Main Street

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of Penticton High School include:
- the crisply defined neo-Georgian architectural form of Ellis School, including its three brick bays, raised basement, Romanesque central entrance arch and arched windows above
- the high quality of brick craftsmanship on Ellis School, including the corbelled entrance arch
- the complementary Victorian eclectic design of the Shatford School
- the roof-top cupola on the Ellis School and the roof-top lantern on the Shatford School
- the sympathetic 1970s link which connects the two buildings
- the hipped roofs and deeply articulated dentil courses on both schools
- the fieldstone wall and maple trees which create a sense of place by enclosing the two schools and establishing their pre-eminence on Main Street
- the continuity of public use since 1912
- the association with the prominent architectural firms of Bell and Constant (Ellis School) and Bell and Curtis (Shatford School)
- the association with a period of economic confidence in Penticton
-the assembly hall designed to seat 500 in the Ellis School



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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Primary or Secondary School


Architect / Designer

Bell and Constant



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Penticton Civic File for: 158 Main Street

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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