Penticton’s fruit cannery has been reimagined into thriving centre

The Aylmer Cannery in 1948 at 1475 Fairview Road was the main fruit canning factory in Penticton from the 1930s to the 1980s when the canning factory was shut down. Now it’s home to dozens of businesses including a remodelled Tin Whistle Brewery, The Nest restaurant, shoe repair, CFUZ Radio, 4th Meridian Auctions and more. The canning machinery is still on display in the halls of the Cannery. (Picture from Stocks Photography courtesy of Okanagan Archive Trust Society)The Aylmer Cannery in 1948 at 1475 Fairview Road was the main fruit canning factory in Penticton from the 1930s to the 1980s when the canning factory was shut down. Now it’s home to dozens of businesses including a remodelled Tin Whistle Brewery, The Nest restaurant, shoe repair, CFUZ Radio, 4th Meridian Auctions and more. The canning machinery is still on display in the halls of the Cannery. (Picture from Stocks Photography courtesy of Okanagan Archive Trust Society)
The canning line circa 1938 at Aylmer Cannery on Fairview Road, now home to the Cannery Trade Centre.
This is an overhead view of the Cannery Trade Centre as it is today. (Cannery Trade Centre photo)This is an overhead view of the Cannery Trade Centre as it is today. (Cannery Trade Centre photo)

The Cannery Trade Centre is one of those special places in Penticton that holds all the history of yesteryear while now thriving as a centre where artists, independent radio, unique shops, a brewery and restaurants co-exist.

The Aylmer Cannery at 1475 Fairview Road was the main fruit canning factory in Penticton built in 1936. The fruit and vegetable canning factory played a big role in the local economy and employed a lot of locals from its beginnings in the 1930s to the early 80s when the factory was closed down.

When the canning company was closed in the early ’80s, the property was bought by Bob Bateman, a local businessman. He turned the factory into a commercial centre that is now home to over 25 thriving businesses including McPhail Kilts, remodelled Tin Whistle Brewery, The Nest restaurant, Joy Buffet, a shoe repair shop, CFUZ radio, 4th Meridian Auctions and more.

The canning machinery is still on display in the long halls of the Cannery with pictures displayed of the way it once was.

“The property itself has been a part of Penticton for a really long time. When it was still an Aylmer’s Cannery, it played a very important role in the social and commercial life in Penticton,” said Cannery Centre manager Jill Bateman at the centre’s 35th anniversary in March 2019.

“My dad, Bob Bateman, and his business partner decided to buy the property and turn it into a commercial mall.”

That’s how Cannery Brewing got its name, actually.

While having their brewery based out of the cannery until 2016, the beer makers even brought back canning to the old canning factory.

“We brewed our first batch of beer in the old Aylmer fruit and vegetable cannery on April Fool’s Day, 2001,” recalls Patt Dyck, co-owner of Cannery Brewing.

The Cannery has since moved over to Ellis Street.

WATCH: Cannery celebrates 35 years

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