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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dominoes near Dunbar Street

Once upon a time, these two small houses sat side by side on West 30th Avenue, just behind the Dunbar Theatre.

The one on the left was demolished first. It had been in the family for 40 years; the family moved its business on Dunbar Street (Dunbar Upholstery) to Marpole; the family moved to Richmond. Only developers came to offer bids.
On a walk to Dunbar Street on March 30, I could hear it and smell it before I saw it--the second house was being demolished, in full view of the flowering cherry tree.

A neighbour couple walked by and said, "They should make a park." That will not happen, but what is likely to happen is another demolition on the same block, according to a second neighbour couple watching the demolition. Already in December 2011 there was a previous demolition a few houses away from the two recent teardowns. Here's the before and after:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chaldecott Street

Unless you frequent Chaldecott Park, you may not be familiar with this quiet street of two blocks leading down to the park. The west side of the street has a sidewalk with the date of 1947, but the east side could be a newer development and does not have a sidewalk.

The street has not experienced many demolitions in the past several years. However, in August 2011, this typical 1950's bungalow on the east side was being readied for a teardown and by early November it was gone.

By mid February a new house is well under construction with a typical early 21st century design. Will it also last as long as 60 years?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Along Collingwood Street

Collingwood Street parallels Dunbar and Blenheim but with much less traffic, it is a more pleasant and quiet place to live. The houses are generally modest and on small lots. However, the corner lots are attractive for development. Taking a walk south, we encounter this house on the corner at 19th Avenue in September 2011, with lace curtains in the window, indicating an elderly owner. By late February, it is gone.

At 20th Avenue there is a very large corner lot, with an unusually wide house. In January 2011, it looked like this, but the surveyor's stake near the front steps is a warning that the lot is going to be split:

All is leveled in October although it took awhile to sell off the second narrow lot:
In late February, we can see the two houses under construction.
In May 2011, there are signs of spring at 28th Avenue but no new beginning or renovation for this old home where the traditional porch has been enclosed. Would there have been any potential for a renovation of this classic?
By late February it is gone.
On the corner of 35th Avenue is another wide lot, with what might have been an old farmhouse. It was torn down in late 2011 and is being replaced by a large house. The house number will be changed from 3504 to the more lucky 3506.
Note the expansive back yard with two apple trees, the apples ripening in September 2010.
One of the apple trees was saved. However, there is going to be another structure on this lot, a very large garage or a lane house (although there is no lane), and the remaining apple tree will have little breathing space. Fruit trees in such quarters do not do well in our moist Vancouver climate.
Residents of West 35th Avenue erected this sign, bemoaning the loss of trees. In addition to the apple trees, a concern is the roots of the very large tree in the adjacent lot. Some of its roots must be sliced off by the deep hole.
Let's end on a brighter note--the crocuses on the boulevard next to the construction carry on!