The Laurel Packinghouse is located in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District and is home to the BC Orchard Industry Museum and the BC Wine Museum & VQA Wine Shop, and is one of Canada’s few industrial sites preserved to help give us a keener sense of our agricultural heritage.
The Laurel Packinghouse was built over the winter of 1917/18 of bricks made locally from clay from Knox Mountain and was a working packinghouse until the 1970s. In 1982, the Laurel Packinghouse was slated for demolition. Largely through the efforts of the Kelowna Museums Society, the building was saved and became Kelowna’s first designated heritage building. Over the next six years, the Laurel Packinghouse was restored.
The primary purpose of the restoration of the Laurel Packinghouse was to house the BC Orchard Industry Museum with the building representing the largest of this Museum’s artefacts. In 1988, the building restoration was completed and in 1989, coinciding with the 100th birthday of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association, the British Columbia Orchard Industry Museum was officially opened. Further renovations to the building in 1996 resulted in the opening of The BC Wine Museum & VQA Wine Shop.
In 2010, the Laurel Packinghouse went through a revitalization process and today is used as a rental space for events such as weddings, private and community events.