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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Raised, Not Razed

I spotted this house at the corner of 26th Avenue and Dunkirk in mid December. I was pleased to see that this old character house was being raised instead of being demolished.

Walking by on February 21, I noticed that the second storey had vanished. A workman told me that a new second storey was being configured. Perhaps in a few months, I will post a photo to show what it is like.

I doubt that this sun room to the north was original to the house, but it was an inspired addition, and is going to stay.
In December, neighbours were alarmed that this well cared for character house on 33rd Avenue was going to be demolished.

It soon became evident that the house would be raised. The builders are taking pains to save the little doorway on the side. Have you ever seen a new "character" house built with one of these charming doorways?

As you can see from both of these projects, raising a house is very disruptive to the garden, old materials have to be discarded, and new materials are needed. However, there are numerous advantages, some of them being "green": the house gains a livable basement, the neighbourhood retains its character, the footprint of the house can remain the same, neighbours lose only marginally in terms of their view and sunlight, and a lot less ends up in the landfill. A neighbour wrote an email to me saying: "My friend is in the 'Lift up a existing house business' and the costs are very reasonable, comparing it to building new."

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy to see that some folks still have a sense of and appreciation for character and style. Adding basements and raising roofs to achieve more space nicely avoids the "cheek by jowl" living that many of the new structures impose.