Wartime Housing Type #2
North End Prototype #2
Liens et documents
Date(s) de construction
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Description du lieu patrimonial
The historic place is the single-storey wood-frame Wartime Housing Type #2 house, built in 1946 as post-WWII veteran's housing, and located at 507 Oxford Avenue in Kelowna's North End neighbourhood.
The principal value of this modest bungalow is as a prototype built by a federal agency, Wartime Housing Ltd., intended to develop an appropriate and affordable house type to address the shortage of housing for servicemen (and their families) returning from World War II. It is also valued as a reminder of the active building period in Kelowna's North End neighbourhood during the post-war years, in a setting with a substantial number of dwellings similar in design and scale.
By the early 1940s, with the population growing from people engaged in the industries that filled war needs, housing in Kelowna, as in so many Canadian urban centres, was in desperately short supply. There had been little building during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and in the 1940s building materials for private construction were unavailable because they had been requisitioned for war purposes.
To solve this shortage the federal government created a Crown corporation, Wartime Housing Ltd., which built 19,000 homes across the country between 1941 and 1945, and another 13,000 in 1946 and 1947. At first provided as rental housing, they were later sold, many to returning veterans. Two basic models were available: a two-bedroom, one-storey bungalow, which was sold for $1,982; and a four-bedroom, one-and-one-half-storey house, for $2,680. The assets of Wartime Housing Ltd. were transferred in 1947 to the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which had been created in 1946.
This house, a slightly larger version of the bungalow type, is important as an example of this phenomenon. It was built in 1946 by Vancouver contractors Smith Bros. Wilson for Wartime Housing Ltd., to plans by the well-known and talented architectural office of McCarter and Nairne of Vancouver. It represented a standardized, prototype pattern, which was shared with other houses in the neighbourhood.
This house was occupied (and owned by 1948) until the 1970s by Orville H. and Gladys E. Watson. Orville Watson was a salesman for Thomson Auto Supply. He added a garage in 1948 and a two-room addition in 1953, illustrative of the manner in which the standard housing was often enlarged and customized by its owners.
A substantial number of similar dwellings were constructed in Kelowna's North End neighbourhood during the same period, and remain today as a vivid reminder of those post-War years in the community. Most are well maintained, and many have been renovated and altered. They continue to serve housing needs in the community.
Source: City of Kelowna Planning Department
The character-defining elements of the Wartime Housing #2 house include its:
- mature trees around the perimeter of the yard, with a lawn facing the street
- small scale of the house, as seen from the street
- residential form, scale and massing, as expressed by its one-storey height and rectangular plan
- medium-pitched hipped roof with small roof projection sheltering the front entrance
- horizontal, wide, beveled wood siding
- brick chimney
- six-over-six double-hung wood sash windows and plain wood trim
Autorité de reconnaissance
Administrations locales (C.-B.)
Local Government Act, art.954
Type de reconnaissance
Répertoire du patrimoine communautaire
Date de reconnaissance
Données sur l'histoire
Thème - catégorie et type
- Gouverner le Canada
- Les institutions gouvernementales
Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction
- Logement unifamilial
Architecte / Concepteur
McCarter and Nairne
Smith Bros. Wilson
Emplacement de la documentation
City of Kelowna Planning Department
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