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Land and Agricultural Company Building

2923 30th Avenue, Vernon, Colombie-Britannique, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 2000/02/21

Land and Agricultural Company Building; Greater Vernon Museum & Archives photo #353, 1912
Historic view of facade, 1912
Land and Agricultural Company Building; City of Vernon, 2010
Front elevation, 2009
Pas d'image

Autre nom(s)

Land and Agricultural Company Building
L & A Building

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction


Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2010/05/20

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

The Land and Agricultural Company Building is a two-storey brick-faced concrete block commercial building located on the north side of 30th Avenue.

Valeur patrimoniale

Built in 1911, the Land and Agricultural Company Building is valued for its association with the process of settlement in the North Okanagan. In 1907, a group of Belgian investors bought 14,606 acres in the B.X. area from Cornelius O’Keefe and Mrs. Greenhow, having previously bought 200,000 acres in Saskatchewan. In 1911, the Land and Agricultural Company built a ranch house for its manager, George Heggie, and constructed an office in downtown Vernon. A decade later, they held 17,000 acres, of which 600 were in orchard, 800 in hay, and 9,000 in range. The ranch had over 1000 cattle. In the meantime, a number of Belgian settlers bought ranches in the B.X. area, built large ranch houses and established orchards.

The Land and Agricultural Company was but one of many land development companies that invested in the Okanagan prior to World War I. Others in the Vernon area included the Scottish-Canadian Fruit Lands Company (1910) and a group of French investors (1911) who purchased a block of land from the Land and Agricultural Company. They attracted European capital and built roads and irrigation systems, opening up land for immigration and intensive agriculture. They would open offices on the main streets of the growing towns in the valley and promote settlement. This building is an expression of the optimism and economic prosperity of the pre-World War 1 era. With the recession of 1913 and the impact of World War 1, which cut off European capital and emigration, this period of rapid growth came to an end.

The Vernon News Special Holiday Number, 1912, noted the construction of the new Land and Agricultural office: 'A choice site was secured on Barnard Avenue, the main business street of Vernon, on which was erected a fine two-storey building, the ground floor of which was handsomely fitted up and furnished for the local offices of the company, where visitors to the city are welcome to call and secure information regarding the district, and, if interested, be motored over the company’s holdings.'

The Land and Agricultural Building is important because of its contribution to the continuity of the 30th Avenue streetscape. Relatively unchanged, it retains its company name in the parapet. The symmetrical concrete block front is relatively unaltered. A large cornice with modillions beneath helps emphasize the verticality of the building and helps underline the company sign above. Large brick quoins and the strong cornice line give an Italianate flavour to the design. The Land and Agricultural Company occupied the building until the early 1940s, sharing space with the offices of Dr. Gerald Williams, who rented the upstairs. Since then, it has been rented to various professional offices upstairs with commercial uses below. From 1941 to 1962, the downstairs was occupied by a sporting goods store. Since 1994, the downstairs commercial user has been a coffee house.

The Land and Agricultural Building is also notable for its association with George Heggie (1870-1953), who was hired to manage the company in 1910, a role he performed for 32 years. Born in Ireland, Heggie came to Canada in 1895 to manage Sir Arthur Stepney’s ranch near Enderby. Heggie was a Vernon alderman, justice of the peace, and the first President of the Vernon Fruit Union. He was elected to the Provincial Legislature from 1930-32 and died in 1953.

Source: City of Vernon Planning Department

Éléments caractéristiques

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Land and Agricultural Company Building include its:
- central block location on the north side of 30th Avenue
- commercial form, scale and massing, as expressed by its two-storey height and symmetrical massing
- wall cornice with large modillions
- large quoins on the corners of the building
- brick parapet containing the name of the company
- stringcourse between the first and second stories
- second-storey fenestration of deep-set double-hung windows
- original interior flooring and vault




Autorité de reconnaissance

Administrations locales (C.-B.)

Loi habilitante

Local Government Act, art.954

Type de reconnaissance

Répertoire du patrimoine communautaire

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Économies en développement
Commerce et affaires
Un territoire à peupler
Les établissements

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction


Commerce / Services commerciaux
Établissement de restauration ou de débit de boissons


Commerce / Services commerciaux
Magasin ou commerce de vente au détail
Commerce / Services commerciaux
Bureau ou édifice à bureaux

Architecte / Concepteur




Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

City of Vernon Planning Department

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




Inscriptions associées



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