Imperial Esso and cafe

Nov 5, 2022 | 0 comments

In the 1960s Hilda Friesen ran the restaurant and gas station for the owner, Mr. Warkenton.

The business not only served as a local gas station and coffee shop for locals but also as the bus station for buses going up-island.

The whale which was prominently displayed in front of the premises originally came from the May Day Parade. Many have wondered what became of the whale. . .

In 1980 Bob McKernan was selling Christmas trees in the parking lot of the gas station. He was staying in a small travel trailer and tells us what finally became of the Whale.

“It was a stormy winter night and the whale was shifting around and banging on my trailer. I went outside and gave the whale a push. The wind grabbed it and it came off it’s “perch” and tumbled down the bank to the lower level. And that was its final demise.”

The building finally closed because the Ministry of Transportation widened the highway and closed the building’s exit.


It was finally demolished in the 2000s. It remains undeveloped.

See more “Then and Now” at the Heritage Museum

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