Former Orchard House torn down

No community groups stepped up to move building

The former Orchard House, also known at various times as Dilkusha and Minos Restaurant, is no more.

The aging building was demolished by work crews on Thursday, July 20.

The building and property were purchased last fall by the city for $550,000 with the intention of removing the more-than-century-old structure for future expansion of the adjacent recreation centre and pool.

There was public opposition to the demolition, with a desire for the city to preserve the heritage home. However, a report on the structure indicated the building was in poor condition, with much of its original elements already lost to previous renovations.

Others citizens told city councillors they did not want their tax dollars used to preserve or restore the facility – instead favouring the improvements to the city’s recreation facilities.

In March, city council approved its demolition and delayed the removal for 60 days to allow interested parties an opportunity to come up with funds to move the building off the site, but nothing came to fruition.

Frank Bugala, president of the Dilkusha Heritage Society of BC, expressed regret for the loss in an email.

“In the title song that I borrowed, when they “tore ole Dixie down, all the bells were ringing.”

I don’t hear any bells grieving our community’s great loss,” he noted.