The IOCO Lands were originally the location of a company townsite for an Imperial Oil refinery that began operation in 1915. By 1917, approximately 200 residents lived within the townsite which included a school and two grocery stores. Fifteen cottages and a large boarding house were built for accommodations. By 1924, 83 houses were built along with a community hall, a bowling green, a tennis court and two churches.

Today, 13 vacant townsite buildings remain – the grocery store, the community hall, and 11 residences.

BCG has invested significant cost and time into restoration, maintenance, fencing, and on-going security work for all 13 buildings, based on recommendations from leading heritage consultant, Don Luxton. In 2015, Donald Luxton & Associates developed a report outlining recommendations for preservation and maintenance measures that should be undertaken to ensure the buildings are compliant with the National Park Service’s guidelines for historic buildings. BCG completed all the preservation work and maintenance work is ongoing.

BCG has also committed to a full restoration of one of the 11 remaining heritage homes – the Tremaine Residence.


BCG is pleased to announce that we will be completing a full restoration of one of the 11 remaining townsite homes – the Tremaine Residence. We are working with heritage experts Donald Luxton and architect Jonathan Ehling and, together, will bring the Tremaine House back to life.

Built in 1921, the Tremaine Residence is significant as part of the original IOCO Townsite, for its Craftsman bungalow form, and for its association with first owner, William A. Tremaine (1887-1974). Ontario-born, Tremaine was employed as a Purchasing Agent at the Imperial Oil refinery and later as a clerk. He was also active in the lOCO community and served as an employee representative for the lOCO Townsite Committee. The Tremaine Residence features more refined Arts and Crafts details than other houses in lOCO, indicating that it was occupied by someone in a senior position with the company. The house is situated on a large lot on the east side of Second Avenue in the historic IOCO townsite.

One of the first tasks Donald Luxton & Associates will undertake is conducting a detailed analysis of the property to determine its original paint colours. The authentic restoration of the Tremaine Residence will also include careful repairs to the original siding, trim, columns and windows. The interior will be an adaptive re-use to create a site office for the IOCO Lands project.

The restoration is expected to take approximately one year. Once the restoration is complete, the Tremaine Residence will act as an on-site office for the IOCO Lands project, as well as a community gathering space.



Historic landscape of IOCO heritage houses.