Travis Britton stands in a forested area off Partridge Drive, where a rock path leads to a sign with the word “Fort” on it at the entrance to an area that formerly housed a fort he built with his friend and neighbour, Trent. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Okanagan teens get eviction notice in forest fort

The fort, likely mistaken for a homeless camp, was in its spot for a year before the notice came

His parents told him he would be evicted, albeit jokingly.

Last spring break, 14-year-old Travis Britton and his friend and neighbour, Trent, built a fort of tarps, rope and random pieces of wood they were able to scrounge up, entrenched in the woods surrounding Partridge Drive in the Wiltse area.

“Every day we would come up here and add something new. So, maybe a few weeks (to build it),” Travis said. “We wanted to get out of the house and just hang out.”

Travis’s mother, Janice, added the parents were supportive of the fort, which sat behind an undeveloped parcel of land with a for sale sign in front, about two spots down from the Brittons’ place.

“We liked where it was because it was close enough that we could see them, but it was far enough away that they felt like they were really out on their own,” she said. “They loved that goofy fort, and there’s a river running through it, now. But they plan to rebuild.”

But what was once a roughly 30-square-foot forest sanctuary for Travis and Trent is now a pile of debris at the side of Travis’s house, after the duo arrived at the fort last week to an eviction notice from the City of Penticton.

The city bylaw notice pointed to the Park Regulation Bylaw, which prohibits setting up or occupying temporary shelters in Penticton parkland, and even goes as far as prohibiting depositing or carrying camping equipment into parks.

“We just saw it and said ‘oh well, gotta take it down, I guess,’” he said. “We worked really hard on it.”

But in all, Travis said he wasn’t too annoyed by it, suggesting they would rebuild on his parents’ property.

“We laughed really hard. Our parents always joke about us getting evicted because we say this is our house,” Travis said.

“And then it actually happened.”

Janice said she also had a good laugh about the eviction — in fact, she had difficulty containing her laughter in an interview with the Western News.

“It was kind of the running joke that our neighbour across the street asked us if it was from our kids or if it was a homeless camp, and I said ‘no, it’s the boys being boys,’” she said.

“I thought it was funny, just because I just assumed no one would bother us in the middle of nowhere up there. But just kind of cracked me up that someone actually took the time to write an eviction notice and put it in his own little fort.”

But she said she understood city bylaw had to take complaints seriously, and someone likely confused it for a homeless camp.

In all, what took weeks to build, adding to the fort here and there over time, took about an hour to take down and four or five trips to transport all the debris to the side of his house.

As a tip to future fort builders, Travis suggested they take their time to make it sturdy, noting it fell a couple of times, though it didn’t take long to repair each time.

“Not long. That’s why it kept breaking. Because we didn’t spend much time repairing,” he said.

But beyond that, he had one more piece of advice:

“Build it where no one would complain about it.”

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Photos from Kelowna’s 39th annual Terry Fox Run

Residents of Kelowna took on cancer in the rain and had a blast.

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Rockets lose to Blazers in nail-biting shootout

The Rockets came back to tie the game 2-2, but would ultimately lose in a nine-round shootout.

Okanagan brothers recognized with medals of bravery for saving four from drowning in 2013

The two brothers saved four from drowning after they were swept into the rough waters of Wood Lake.

Kelowna author releases 2nd book with stories of overcoming personal trauma

The launch for Diana Reyers’ Trauma to Recovery comes to Kelowna Sept. 21

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

Most Read