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Loss of a Long-Time Champion of Downtown Building Conservation

Bill Scutt, who spent his whole life in Kelowna, bought a number of the old brick buildings downtown.  He rehabilitated them (inside and out) and gave them a new use while maintaining the heritage value of each building. Bill received a number of COHS Heritage Awards over the years.

Bill received his first award in 2003 for his Lequime Store at 229-233 Bernard Avenue in the category of Non-Residential Restoration.  

The Lequime Store, built in 1904, has heritage value for its association with pioneer Eli Lequime and his family, for being a rare representative of the period of rapid growth in the original townsite area immediately before and after municipal incorporation in 1905, as Kelowna's first dressed-stone commercial building, for being the oldest surviving commercial building in Kelowna, and for the way in which its different uses over time reflected the growing and changing Kelowna community.  This early significant brick building has been carefully conserved/restored and continues to be maintained under Bill’s ownership.  Any changes to the exterior of the building are sympathetic with the original character of the building.

In 2005, Bill received his second COHS award for the Foster Block at 235 Bernard Avenue in the same category.  

This building, built in 1921, has heritage value as a quality example of commercial development that occurred in Downtown Kelowna during the 1920s and for having accommodated a variety of occupants that represent a range of downtown Kelowna businesses over the decades. Like the Lequime building, it has been carefully conserved/restored and continues to be maintained under Bill’s ownership.  Any changes to the exterior of the building are sympathetic with the original character of the building.

Bill was awarded COHS' highest honour with the Distinguished Community Service for his work in the community in the heritage field in 2007.

Bill received the distinguished community service award for all his contributions to helping conserve Kelowna’s heritage buildings.   The Lequime and Foster buildings are just two examples of his contributions.  He was later awarded conservation awards for two more of his heritage buildings- The Raymer Block and this year for the brick building at 1560 Water St.  Bill was also very involved in giving to the community through a number of heritage volunteer positions.  These included: Kelowna Heritage Foundation (2003 until 2007- when it was dismantled)  City of Kelowna Heritage Grants Program (alternate committee member from 2008 to 2012).

In 2022, Bill received his third COHS building conservation award for the Raymer Block located at 289-297 Bernard Avenue.

The 1917 building has heritage value for being representative of the one-storey brick commercial buildings in the Downtown core, for its connection with earlier buildings on the site, and for its association with several people and businesses that were important to the history of Kelowna. The Raymer Block was rebuilt in 1917 by J.A. Bigger and G.E. Ward, with the well-known M.J. Curts the designer. H.W. Raymer had died in April 1916, and so was not directly involved. This was the fourth building on the present site; the first three were erected by Henry Raymer: in 1893 (burned in 1903), 1903 (moved in 1909), and 1909 (burned in 1916). This important building, situated in downtown Kelowna, its brick façade and detailing adds to the sidewalk charm of Bernard Street. 

In February 2022, Bill was given a final COHS Heritage Award for continued conservation for his Kelowna Heritage Register building at 1560 Water Street

Built in 1913 using local red & buff brick, this building is representative of downtown commercial buildings in the era preceding World War 1.  Other character defining elements are straight second-floor window heads with vertical bricks and prominent projecting keystones, projecting pilaster-like strips at the corners of the front elevation & corbelled brick below the parapet. First used as a warehouse, the building was later leased by S.T. Elliot for use as an implement store.  The building continued as an agricultural machinery store until the 1950’s   For four decades 1560 Water Street housed significant agricultural services, the principal industry of the area during Kelowna’s formative years. In recent years the building has served as office space and an upscale restaurant. 

His dedication to preserving Kelowna's downtown heritage is remarkable in this age of bigger and newer (not necessarily better).  Bill Scutt will be missed!



Bill Scutt receiving the COHS Heritage Award for the Continued Conservation of his building at 1560 Water Street. COHS Board member, Mary Browne-Clayton, presented the award at the February 2024 event.