A Walk Through Time

View of the newly constructed 1912 Municipal Hall at Highway 10 and 176A Street. The 1912 Hall is currently the home of the Surrey Archives. (Courtesy of the City of Surrey Archives / 180.1.95)
Breaking Sod for the Athletic Hall, 1926 and 1927. (Photo courtesy of the Surrey Archives, 180.1.62)
A view of the western side of 176th Street between 56A and 57th avenues. Businesses shown include the Government Liquor Store and Dann’s Electronics. (Photo: Surrey Archives, 180.1.16)

Interested in touring Cloverdale’s historic downtown, but not sure where to start? Here’s a small selection of Cloverdale’s many heritage sites and buildings, all within walking distance of each other. Note that some buildings are closed because of COVID-19.

BC Vintage Truck Museum

6022 176 Street

This newly renovated building houses one Cloverdale’s best kept secrets: the BC Vintage Truck Museum. The volunteer-run Surrey Heritage Society keeps care of dozens of vintage vehicles. This museum is the perfect place to visit for any fan of trucks or history. It is usually open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Cloverdale United Church

17575 58A Avenue

The Cloverdale United Church is much more than a local landmark: it is also a demonstration of community spirit. Built in 1949 by a volunteer workforce, the Gothic revival inspired church was an example of what a town can accomplish when they all give a helping hand. The church continues to have an active congregation, and can be seen at the corner of 58A Avenue and Highway 15.

Doctor Fred Sinclair’s House

17725 58A Avenue

Fondly known to the town as “Doc,” Dr. Fred Douglas Sinclair was Surrey’s first doctor, and the man instrumental in the founding of Surrey Memorial Hospital. He arrived in Cloverdale in 1911, and worked tirelessly from then on to provide medical care to Surrey’s many residents. He’d get to patients rain or shine, by horse and buggy, or, memorably, by rowboat during one particularly bad flood season. For more on Dr. Sinclair, see cloverdalereporter.com.

Clova Theatre

5732 176 Street

The Clova Theatre was constructed in the mid-1940s, immediately following the Second World War. It’s recognized as one of Surrey’s only surviving examples of the Streamline Moderne style, a variation of Art Deco architecture that emphasizes streamlined, aerodynamic curves.

The cinema operated as a single screen movie theatre for 67 years before it closed in 2014, after dwindling sales and the heavy cost of upkeep forced its doors to close. Crossridge Church purchased the building, renovated the interior and restored the exterior. Today, it’s used as a place of worship and is rented out by the church.

Surrey Leader Building

5709 176 Street

Built in 1925, this building was originally a restaurant and bakery. Over the years it was sold and leased to various operations, including a chicken hatchery. In 1945, it was purchased by the owner of the Surrey Leader newspaper, which continued to operate there until moving in 1983. Today, the 93-year-old building is occupied by La Belle Vie.

Cloverdale Fire Hall

17572 57 Avenue

Surrey’s first fire hall was built on this site in 1930. It was replaced in 1947 and has been renovated many times since. If you take a peek in through the glass garage door, you can see a vintage fire truck.

Dann’s Electronics

5657 176 Street

This building has had many names since it was constructed in 1920, but most longtime Cloverdale residents will recognize it as the former site of Dann’s Electronics. Since it was built nearly 100 years ago, the building has had a significant commercial presence on Cloverdale’s main street. It was originally the Royal Bank of Canada, but shut down in 1923. The liquor control board acquired the building and set up a government liquor store, doing good business all throughout American Prohibition, as American travellers would come up the highway to quench their thirst.

The building was purchased by Ernest Hugh Dann in 1931, and turned into an electrical business. Ernest’s son, Alan Dann, took over the store in 1973 and continued running it until his retirement in 2013. Over the years, the building also starred in a few T.V. shows. Eagle-eyed-viewers may recognize it from the X-Files or Fringe. In 2018, the building is being leased by a production company filming The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

1912 Municipal Hall

17671 56 Avenue

This is Surrey’s second municipal hall, constructed in 1912 to replace the 1881 Town Hall, which had become too small for civic business. Cloverdale was the seat of municipal power from 1912 until 1962, when a newer municipal hall was opened. Today, the landmark building houses the Surrey Archives.

Cenotaph in Veteran’s Square.

For nearly a century, the Cloverdale Cenotaph has been a monument to our veterans and those lost to war. The people of Surrey have gathered at the cenotaph to pay their respects since it was first revealed on Victoria Day weekend in 1921. Thousands gather every year at the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Museum of Surrey

17710 56A Avenue

The Museum of Surrey is currently closed because of the pandemic, but outside the museum one can see the Anderson Cabin, the 1881 Town Hall and the historic Anniedale School.

Surrey’s Heritage Rail

17630 56 Avenue

Another one of Cloverdale’s hidden gems, Surrey’s Heritage Rail has much to offer. When it is open, visitors can tour the car barn and transit museum, try out a velocipede, ride the speeder, or even take a train ride on a fully restored and operational interurban rail car.


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