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Kelowna  

Recycling our history

Brick by brick, heritage lover Shona Harrison will see her character home completed – but now it will another piece of Kelowna history.

The Central Okanagan Heritage Society board member was excavating a walkway at her home when she discovered bricks originally sourced from Knox Mountain an estimated 100 years ago.

“I noticed they were in a pattern and it turns out they were for my back walk and they were in a Herringbone pattern,” said an excited Harrison. “So, of course I wanted to replicate that.”

The bricks, however, were broken and unusable for a new walkway.

This is when the Old Kelowna Facebook founder decided to jump into action and see if she could take some of the bricks that had been torn down from the Metro Central building on Water Street.

“I spoke with my colleague on the (OHS) board and she said I could go ask the site manager, who said absolutely,” explained Harrison, who took more than 200 bricks home with her.

“He said take as many as you want, so I went and rescued all of these bricks for a huge project,” she laughed.

And Harrison really does consider it a rescue operation, as she was heartbroken to see the old building torn down.

“You know we don’t have very many brick buildings in Kelowna to begin with. It is amazing to me that we can restore and maintain all these heritage brick buildings in Europe that are 300 years old but we can't seem to do 100 years here.”

But Harrison isn’t the only one who wants to restore heritage in Kelowna as she was joined by a few other residents on the weekend who were collecting bricks from the Metro Central building to reclaimed.

“I was overjoyed, this is so much better than them landing up in a landfill. They are being re-purposed and this is a part of Kelowna’s past our history, a tangible part of our history.”

The Kelowna Museums also saved bricks from the Metro Central building which featured ads for Union Gasoline and Kelowna Grower's Exchange.

A portion of the reclaimed bricks will be used on the Kelly O’Bryan’s building, a small portion will be used by the Folio Group on some infill buildings in South Pandosy, a portion will be donated to the Kelowna Museum and the remainder will be donated to the City of Kelowna for use in various other locations in the downtown core.



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