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History of the
WEST VANCOUVER FIRE SERVICE
Following is a short history of our Societies efforts to find a suitable home.
1970’s----Klee Wyck -Idea abandoned after discovering an ‘arts only’ covenant on the building.
1980’s----Park Royal Shopping Mall - considered over the years. Lack of cooperation from owners after a couple of attempts.
1980’s----Ambleside Park change rooms - Offered by council for combined Fire and Police use. Couldn’t take advantage at the time because funds couldn’t be raised to refurbish building.
1984------21st. & Gordon - House - Turned down by Council because of our relationship to Union (before society was formed).
1986------Site on I.R. 5 - considered but abandoned as municipal land is more desirable.
1986------Expo 86 Building - Fire Chief would not support this, he considered buildings not suitable for West Van.
1989------#1 Fire Hall - Renovation of hall to provide space for Society; supported by Fire Chief - rejected by council.
1990------Argyle Waterfront - land available - T. Lester’s (Municipal Manager) suggestion - submitted to council - no action - now a park.
1990----Adjacent to Ferry Building - First proposed by Bas. Collins. Museum to involve Police, Fire and Transportation etc.
1990-93--Federal Fisheries Development on Marine Drive - Approached M. P. but result was negative.Stalled by Council - went nowhere/
1991------Ambleside Park change rooms - New proposal presented to Kevin Pike; rejected as area destined to become tennis courts.
1992------#2 Fire Hall - Attached to fire hall - put on hold while a new fire hall was being considered.
1992------School Board Maintenance Building - At Inglewood site - suggested by Municipal manager but school board had plans for the building
1992------Adventure Playground at Ambleside Park - building unsuitable for our needs, much to expensive to renovate.
1992------Attached to Gertrude Lawson House - At the time 1600 blk. Esquimalt Ave. was to be a municipal plaza style development.
1994------15th. & Fulton - House- Possible future consideration? Failed
1994-------1500blk. Fulton - House next to #1 Fire Hall ( presently occupied by B.C. Ambulance).- Possible future consideration? Still waiting.
1994------#1 Fire Hall - Renovation of front entrance - Suggested by Fire Chief but not any room for vehicles - very small - not pursued.
1994------#4 Fire Hall - Storage space on the unused parking area behind hall - Approved by B.P. rate payers group but turned down by council - still has great possibilities.
1995------Rod & Gun Club - Beaten out by Youth Centre - Pesky kids.
1995------Building on Training Ground Site - Idea abandoned after learning of Parks Board plan to use site for tennis courts.
1996------Building at Proposed New Training Ground Site - Cypress Park Road. - On hold, pending progress of land development in the area.
1996-------Land in the Vicinity of Municipal Works Yard - Cypress Bowl Road. - No response - Not pursued because of cost and difficult location.
1996------#2 Fire Hall - Use Existing Building if New Hall Built at Different Location. - Abandoned because land designated to be sold as part of the costing for new #2 Fire Hall.
1997------#2 Fire Hall - If new building were to be built on the same site as existing #2 Fire Hall - Addition land to be used as Museum or storage/ display area. Drawings were made etc. but Fire Hall at new location now seems more probable.
1997------#2 Fire Hall - Similar to above, attached to Fire Hall at new location. Down sized to a small display area by Council - looks possible with Fire Chiefs support.
1997------#4 Fire Hall - Top of apparatus bay - limited as a Museum but excellent storage and other possibilities - suggested by the Fire Chief.
1997------Hugo Ray Park - Museum built similar to existing buildings - end of old dump road.
1997------Lighthouse Park - under consideration by other heritage groups - possible if access improved.
1997------Klahanie Park - Discussion ongoing with the Parks Board.
TOP THREE (3) LOCATIONS ON FIRE HALL PROPERTY
Not in any particular order
#1-------#4 Fire Hall--- Remodeling the top of #4 Fire Hall, an idea first presented by Chief Olson, is very promising. There would be enough room to store our vehicles and most of our archival material. Security and maintenance (cold and dampness) would not be a problem. With careful planning enough room could be found to complete ongoing projects and offer tours to interested parties. Ideally, this location would work best if there was another site in the Municipality, for example a West Vancouver Museum capable of displaying vehicles. Storage and work at the #4 Fire Hall site and display elsewhere.
#2-------#2 Fire Hall---Attached to a new Horseshoe Bay fire hall, we believe that our Museum would be an attraction in the area and a source of pride to all West Vancouverites. With the building of the new hall we have an opportunity to add space for the archives at minimal cost.
#3------Cypress Bowl Road -Proposed new training ground.--- With this plan there are still a few things not decided; the society is assuming that there will be a training site at this location and that there will be permanent buildings erected. If everything goes according to plan we could have an attractive addition to the training facility at a minimum of cost. With the amount of traffic, both winter and summer, on Cypress Bowl Road this could be a very desirable site
TOP THREE (3) LOCATIONS ON PARKS BOARD PROPERTY
Not in any particular order
#1----- Ambleside - Changing Rooms—This high profile site is most desirable; however the Society is concerned about the condition of the building (new construction likely required) and security.
#2----- Klahanie Park—Has great potential to meet all our future needs, and lends itself to a multi-purpose building. The building could be used for a day care centre or a municipal meeting room. The disadvantages are high cost and public access.
#3-----Hugo Ray Park---This would be a desirable location, we could erect a building similar to those already in the Park. The building could be of a size suitable for storage and display. The location of the park is a concern because it is not as accessible as we would like.
TOP THREE (3) ‘HIGH PROFILE’ LOCATIONS UNDER PARKS JURISDICTION
Not in any particular order
#1-----Klee Wyck Estate--- We would like explore the possibilities of using this site for our Museum, as the Arts Council may be relocating to a new arts centre on Inglewood Ave.
#2-----Argyle Avenue - Water Front - 1700 blk.---This location was first suggested to us by Terry Lester as a Police/Fire Museum in 1990. This Building was to be one of the ‘ Nodes of Interest’ that was being considered for the water front at that time. We would like to revive the idea.
#3------Ambleside Landing—There has been talk of a heritage development in the general area of 14th St. and the waterfront for some time. If such an enterprise were ever to happen the F/f’s Archive Society would want to take part. A Municipal Museum, featuring the Police, Fire and Blue Bus histories has been mentioned; perhaps along side the Ferry Building. This idea has great possibilities for both our Society and West Vancouver. The Society may still have storage problems with this plan, as a building in keeping with the Ferry Building (either added to or alongside) could not be very large.
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