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, March 26, 2013

In My Neighbourhood

Once upon a time I enjoyed my walks down a nearby lane thanks to the creative painting on this one-car garage.  What a clever way to portray the house number!
The house itself was a bit different from the other 50's houses in this section of Dunbar because it had a corner entry and two bay windows in the front, to say nothing of the bright red paint, unusual for this relatively staid neighbourhood. I was alerted by a neighbour in September 2010 that the house would be torn down, and the demolition of this house was a big impetus for me to start writing this demolition blog.

This should look familiar!  Torn down on December 30, 2010.

My special interest in this demolition was that I could see it from my upstairs window, where I have an occasional precious view of the North Shore mountains.

But how high will the house go, and will I lose part of my view of the mountains?

It's getting taller...

A three-car garage is going up.  I will spare you a photo of it at completion as these garages are ubiquitous and boring.  None of the garage doors will be as fun as the one on the original garage.

In July 2011, the carefully detailed "heritage" features of this large house are evident.

It's now mid May 2012 and nearly time to move in.  The house has taken a long time to build, nearly 1 1/2 years, likely meaning that it was not built by a developer on speculation.  The tree with the pink blossoms survived, but with all the digging, it had energy to flower only on one side.

And what of my view? I'm fortunate to still be able to see a bit of the mountains.  They'll be there forever, but I am getting reconciled to the idea that it is only thanks to the probably temporary quartet of original one storey 1950's bungalows at the end of West 30th and West 31st Avenues that allows me to have this view of snow on Cypress Mountain.  It helps that my house is near the top of a ridge and that I have a 1 1/2 storey house.

As new and taller houses are built, next door neighbours get more shade, and more distant neighbours lose views of the sky.  No one gets compensated for these permanent losses. But it is inevitable in big cities that attract a growing population.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On Dunbar Street

5058 Dunbar Street, torn down in 2012. Also torn down was the white house barely seen on the left.  I failed to get a good photo of it.

Right next door is 5076 Dunbar Street, also torn down in 2012.

These three adjacent houses are being replaced by three houses plus two laneway houses.  I missed getting the photo of a fourth demolished house a block away on Dunbar Street, in the 5100 block.  Dunbar Street is a main traffic artery and has three commercial districts. With increased densification guidelines, Dunbar Street could be slated for construction of multi-family dwellings in the future, instead of this kind of replacement of detached dwellings with detached dwellings.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Three Gone

A little cottage at 4038 W. 18th Avenue.  Torn down February 2011.

3529 Quadra Street was a special spot for this lovely house because it was situated high on the hill, overlooking Blenheim and Quesnel Streets and the downtown.  Adjacent to the property was a walkway with steps connecting Quadra and Quesnel.  The house has been replaced by a house plus laneway house, and it appears that a second house will be built on what was a large lot. Torn down 2012.

When this one was torn down in the summer of 2012, I was quite surprised to see that it had interior walls of brick.  Or were they exterior walls, later covered by stucco?  Although the house looked very good, perhaps the bricks hampered its durability.  But I have my doubts.  3930 West 29th Avenue.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vancouver Vanishes

It's happening all over Vancouver.  Many thanks to Caroline Adderson who documents the demolitions of fine homes in a neighbourhood slightly overlapping and adjacent to the Dunbar area that I have been photographing:

Five More Houses Demolished on West 36th Avenue

This street has wide lots, so these 1 and 1.5 storey houses have been replaced by large houses.  There are four on this street already on this blog--see the index to the right.

3463 West 36th Avenue.  Built in 1924 with a lovely curved window. Torn down Summer 2011.

3815 West 36th Avenue. Torn down 2011 or 2012.

3905 West 36th Avenue. This house on the corner was torn down January 2012.

Also on a corner at 4006 West 36th Avenue. Torn down April 2012, in this case not by a developer but by the owners who have lived in the place for many years.

A charming landscape at 4036 West 36th Avenue.  Built in 1946; torn down in 2012.