Rebuilt West Kelowna landmark grabs heritage award
Phase one of the CNR Wharf Project on Okanagan Lake in West Kelowna has been handed a Heritage Award from the Central Okanagan Heritage Society.
Image Credit: Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc.
February 22, 2015 - 10:25 AM
WEST KELOWNA - The $537,000 CNR Wharf Project in West Kelowna has won a Central Okanagan Heritage Society award.
It was determined by District council in 2010 the CNR Wharf was in need of reconstruction having deteriorated to the point it put the public at risk.
The popular swimming area was closed to the public for repairs in early 2014 and reopened in time for the summer season. Attention was given to preserving the historical significance of CNR Wharf, according to a District of West Kelowna media release, and the award reflects their success.
“The wharf is one of this community’s most recognizable landmarks and has been an economic and recreational hub for us since it was built in 1930,” West Kelowna mayor Doug Findlater says in the media release. "Council knew CNR Wharf represented significant social and cultural value for the community and we wanted to preserve and celebrate the history of this structure as much as possible.”
To get the reconstruction job done, the old wharf was demolished and removed along with the adjacent diving platform. The iconic metal lift pullies were salvaged and reinstalled on the new north and south towers, constructed to mimic the original structure. Then new features were added to the aquatic facility, including a steel wharf with aluminum railings and timber decking. As well, the new structure features a dock you must swim to with a jumping platform and a zipline to a new floating dock. The swimming area is illuminated at night.
The completed design recreates the look of the original wharf while improving safety, the release says. It's also built to minimize vandalism with improvements to improve a visitor's experience.
An element paying homage to the heritage of Okananagn Lake is the fabrication of a steel cutout of the SS Okanagan, installed as a public art piece.
The contract for phase one of the improvements was awarded to Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc. Further improvements are in the District's 10-year capital plan.
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