North Shore Press (detail), September 10, 1920.

A Symbol of Public Investment

The fourth Lynn Valley Elementary School was built with the mindset that it should be a beautiful symbol of public investment in the community’s youth. “In those days Lynn Valley had its own school board, and the province paid only part of the school construction costs. The rest was raised separately. This arm’s length relationship with the government enabled Lynn Valley residents to have a say in the design of their school.” [Sharon Proctor, Express Vol 13. No. 2, 2004] The total cost of the building in 1908 was $54,000, approximately $630,000 today (2020).

There was significant fanfare when the fourth Lynn Valley School was ready for occupancy as reported in the North Shore Press:


“On Tuesday morning [September 7, 1920] the cornerstone of the new four roomed Lynn Valley school was declared well and truly laid by the Hon. Dr. J. D. MacLean, Minister of Education. Members of the city and district school boards and residents of the North Shore to the number of about three hundred witnessed the ceremony, which marked a further advancement in the acquisition of educational facilities in the district of North Vancouver. …Songs of the school children further added to the attractiveness of the ceremony, and were greatly appreciated by the gathering.”

North Shore Press, Friday, September 10, 1920

Growing Community

The fourth Lynn Valley School was built in response by the community’s desire to educate their ever-growing population of children. Prior to student enrollment at the fourth Lynn Valley school on January 31, 1921, the nearby Institute Hall had to be used as a temporary solution to the student overflow. It was suggested that half the students attend school in the morning while the other half attended in the afternoon. The community was growing at a rapid pace.

Even after the fourth Lynn Valley school was finished and students were spread across three buildings and nine classrooms, an article in the North Shore Press (February 4th, 1921) noted:


“It will not be long before the trustees will again be up against the problem of more accommodation. It would have been a savings if they had put another storey on the present building.”

Spanning a century, the fourth Lynn Valley School building is a monument to the progress and ideals of the Lynn Valley community. In 2005, students moved to a newly built educational facility and efforts to save the historic 1920 building resulted in its adaptation for a new purpose, as the home for North Vancouver’s archival collections. It remains a place of discovery and learning, providing access to the archival records of historical value with the communities who created them.