The housing stock in the Dunbar area of Vancouver has undergone significant change in the past five years. Originally a working class neighbourhood with many quite modest homes surrounded by lovely gardens, it is now a neighbourhood that 99% of the people working in Vancouver cannot afford because the replacement homes are built to the maximum footprint and cost millions. Greenspace has been reduced. Included on this website are photos of many (not all) of the disappeared houses.
View Teardowns in the Dunbar area of Vancouver, BC in a larger map

Demolitions West of the Dunbar Community Centre

Monday, January 17, 2011

Upscale in Dunbar

There is a unique parcel of land in Dunbar. The area extends from Crown to Camosun and from 27th Avenue down through the north side of 31st Avenue. Nearby is extensive green space because the borders include the large playground of the Queen Elizabeth Annex, the athletic fields of St. George's Senior School, the Pacific Spirit Park, and a corner of Chaldecott Park. The area has uniform 52 feet wide lots; all the houses appear to originally have been bungalows built in the early 1950's, one storey plus full basement, with a single car garage at the lane. Several of them had a second storey. Although many have been renovated or replaced with large multi-storey houses, the originals are solidly-built homes, spacious enough for a small family, with 2-3 bedrooms on the main floor. The latest knockdown is this one:

On November 3, we see that the red plastic fencing has appeared--

By November 9, the house is gone--
The new structure emerges--
On January 16 the full height is evident, dwarfing both the original 2-storey house to the right and the newly-built multi-million dollar house to the left--

If you want to know more...
There is currently another teardown happening in the 4 1/2 block area, two houses are under construction, and another house is on my "suspect" list. Of the 117 houses, I estimate that 50% are in their original condition (more or less); 40% have been torn down and a new house constructed; 10% have been remodeled extensively, usually adding a second story. Teardowns are nothing new in this area, having occurred over the past 25 years or so, despite this area being more recently settled than most of Dunbar.


  1. Red fencing, red flag, change a-comin'. Not a whole lot of style lost in this tear down. The boxes of the fifties and sixties never appealed to me that much. The new structure may finish as a better looking home. However, if I were their neighbor and this looming house took away ANY of my sunlight I would be angry beyond words no matter how nice the new folks might be.

  2. Mark, Gardener friends live in one of the 50's houses in the neighborhood and appreciate the low height of their house. Being this far north, anything higher than 1 story really cuts off a lot of sunlight, especially if one wants to grow vegetables.