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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Three on West 34th Avenue

Vancouver Vanishes has already featured this Arts and Crafts house that was built between 1914 and 1917 at 3695 West 34th Avenue. There are only a few such houses scattered in the Dunbar area, and they deserve to be restored. The style is one that is emulated by much of the new construction (but in my view way over the top in scale and detail). Renovating this house would have been an exceedingly expensive proposition because of all the necessary upgrades along with the City's requirements, but instead of all the charm ending up in the landfill, wouldn't you rather see these few original houses with at least their fronts preserved and restored remain in the neighbourhood? Such houses can be seen in the Kits area.

This house was torn down in May or June 2013.

Also featured by Vancouver Vanishes is a second house that was on the other side of Dunbar Street, at 3553 West 34th. The ad, back in the fall of 2010, stated "good for holding or build". I like the extra wide south-facing dormer, possibly added some time after the late 20's when the house was built. In mid November 2011 the house looked like this:
This house was torn down in July 2013.

The third house stood across the street at 3556 West 34th Avenue. The real estate ad at the end of 2010 stated "prime building lot". In December 2010 it appeared fairly derelict, with even greener moss on the roof in April 2013 when the second photo was taken. But it was a great camellia! Torn down in May or June 2013.

Many houses stand empty and derelict for too many months. Reasons can be:
  • asbestos issues
  • a reselling
  • issues with the City or neighours regarding the plan
  • attempts to divide the lot into two
  • oil tank issues
  • estate issues
  • unwillingness to rent

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