No, the Ice House is not one of those cool buildings made of ice blocks. Nor is it cold inside, unless you are there in the dead of winter, then the cold certainly has a bite! Built in 1943 to accommodate market demands, the Ice House is where fresh fish was processed for shipping. Here, 300 pound blocks of ice were stored, broken down, and added to shipping boxes to keep the fish cold. Fishing boats could dock beside the Ice House and unload their catch on conveyors that would transport the fish right into the building. They could also reload their boats with ice for the next catch.
Sixty years later, the building had reached a certain age, let’s say, when some parts could have been easily lost to the Fraser, such as the rickety old staircase. Due to safety concerns, the only one allowed up those rickety stairs was our maintenance officer, Kim. And I am surprised neither Kim nor the staircase ended up in the river before now!
The Ice House was a project the Seismic construction crew worked on consistently over the four months they were here. They worked inside and on the dock. This work involved replacing the stairs, building new flooring, adding collar ties for roof support, extending the dock, and building a railing. The Ice House looks great! Now all it needs is a paint job! Oh..wait… that is Parks Canada’s next preservation project – the envelope project – coming this fall.