Drawing of the proposed restored Surtees House and barn, along with the planned commercial building on the property.—Image credit: City of Kelowna

Former ‘house of ill repute’ slated for restoration

City-owned property on Lakeshore Road eyed for new life as a small heritage/commercial centre.

A Kelowna building that once stood as the city’s first brothel is being eyed for heritage protection and restoration.

The 1910 building, at 4629 Lakeshore Road, is one of the oldest buildings in the Mission area and, along with the barn on the property, is the subject of a plan to restore both as well as add a new commercial structure as part of a partnership between the city and local developer Worman Resources Inc.

After its days as a “house of ill repute”—as a city staff report describes it—the property was bought by the Surtees’ family and became its homestead.

The city acquired the property in 2002 but Mayor Colin Basran said money has not been available to restore the house and barn.

He praised the current plan as a way of revitalizing a city asset when city money could not be found in the annual budget for such a project.

He added the commercial component would add much needed services to the area and will also help improve what has been described as a dangerous intersection at Collett Road and Lakeshore Road, with a roundabout.

The restoration and development proposal will now go to a pubic hearing.

The plan calls for the city to lease the land to Worman, which will restore the building and construct the commercial structure.