“The heritage value of the Vernon CPR Station lies in its association with the Canadian Pacific Railway and its role in the settlement and economic growth of Vernon and the Okanagan Valley.” Vernon Heritage Registry
In 1886, A group of businessmen including Forbes G. Vernon ( for whom the town is named), Francis Barnard ( of the BX Express fame), J.H. Turner (later a Premier of B.C.), Moses Lumby and J.A. Mara had a vision for this railway and began an enterprise to build it. The S & O railway opened up the entire Okanagan Valley to the world and redefined Vernon as a city. Its historic value to Vernon and the whole of the Okanagan Valley cannot be overstated.
In 1911, he was given the contract to replace the original 1891 CPR station with the beautiful building we have today. It is a brick building with a fieldstone foundation, pink granite quarried locally and a multi-sided turret. It is known for its “Alpine” or “Swiss” design which was “intended to give visitors a sense of the picturesque and promote tourism as well as settlement”. The street in front of the station became known as "Railway Avenue" (now 29th Street). Today the station houses several different business including the ever popular Ratio Coffee & Pastry .
This railway eventually became the Kelowna Pacific Railway in 2000. The track from Vernon to Kelowna is currently planned for a major local and tourist attraction - “The Okanagan Rail Trail”.
|Lord and Lady Aberdeen|
Excerpts from the reports of The Okanagan Historical Society testify to this fact:
cost us 87 dollars.” Grace Worth OHSR Volume 33:113
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7 Fascinating Facts About Okanagan Landing, B.C.: Gateway To the Okanagan
Historic Timeline of Greater Vernon, BC
Sources & Further Reading:
Vernon Heritage Registry:
Okanagan Historical Society Reports