Turner’s Dairy Building
The Turner’s Dairy building played a significant role in the development of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Tucked into a residential district at 6 W.17th Ave, it illustrated the mixed-use character of our early neighborhoods, with industrial, commercial and residential architecture intermingling within the same streetscape. It was at the heart of the settlement pattern that developed near the commercial centres and transit routes on Main, Oak and 16th Avenue. A good example of a vernacular, industrial building of the Edwardian period, it had a simple, symmetrical appearance, and featured old-growth, wood-frame construction that reflected products made at local sawmills.
A rare surviving example of a purpose-built dairy, this building represents the early life of this industry in Vancouver. It functioned as a production plant, retail location and delivery-truck based distribution centre for dairy products from 1914 to 1931, operated by Turner’s Dairy as well as Edenbank, Ayrshire and Associated dairies. Serving the community for over 100 years, it provided a home for a diverse range of light industrial businesses such as Murray Jam Co. from 1933 to 1946. It was then bought by the Izen family who opened the Durabilt Luggage factory, manufacturing luggage and handbags for over 50 years until 1998. Other businesses such as book publishing, candle making and furniture warehouse have operated in the building since. (City of Vancouver, 2013)
In salvaging the lumber from this storied structure, we honor it’s unique significance and connection to the local community. Paying tribute to the increasingly rare old growth forests from which they came, the exceptional timbers used in this historical building will now find new life and purpose.