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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Real Loss--3906 West 36th

Dunbar has lost a little bit of its country heritage with the demolition of 3906 West 36th Avenue, on the corner of Wallace Street. The cottage was built in 1926, so it was probably one of the original houses in the area. Because it was on a large lot, 66x140.5 feet and on a corner, it was attractive for builders. For sale in November 2011 and demolished nearly two years later in September or October 2013. The property gave a unique country feeling to the area and is missed by the neighbourhood. Since I had a premonition that this house would be one of the "disappeared", I took photos over the past two years. The first two were taken on November 20, 2011 when the house was up for sale, and they feature an early snowfall!

The next two photos were taken in March 2012, when the large back garden was beginning to wake up to spring. There was no garage, but parking was available on the gravel. Not clearly seen are numerous fruit trees.

In June 2013, the foxgloves and roses bloomed, despite this bucolic site being doomed.
In August 2013, a Dunbar resident informed me that a bigleaf maple on the City's boulevard land along Wallace Street was cut down to make way for a garage entrance. Another environmental loss...

The Vancouver Vanishes site, featured this house on October 11, 2013. From there I learned that during the demolition, the author rescued some of the apples! Also on that site was information about the building permit:

Municipality of Point Grey
Building Permit #7470
Owner: Purdon, Mrs. N. B.
Architect: Sharp & Thompson
Builder: Gower, H. E. L.
Street: 3906 36th Ave. W
Legal address: DL 2027; Block 37; Lot 18
Value: $2,800
Issued: February 19, 1925

Yet another historical  note: the architects were important in their day; here is their plan for the UBC campus.

The  more we know, the sadder we become. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

While I Was Away

Upon my return after being away for five weeks, I began to look around my neighbourhood to check on demolitions. Here are three that I have found so far, quite discouraging...

Because this lovely house has unusual character, when it was for sale in April 2013, I did not think it would be demolished. However, by mid August (the next photo), I had second thoughts because it was beginning to look neglected, with weeds in the lawn.

A Dunbar resident sent me this photo as the siding of the house was being removed in late September. Talk was that it contained asbestos.
The house is situated across from the tennis courts that are in the park near the Dunbar Community Centre. The ironic thing is that a productive apple tree in the back was cut down while across street the City has planted fruit trees in the park near a grove of large cedars. Do fruit trees thrive when shaded by large cedars or in someone's sunny back yard? The house at 3759 West 31st Avenue was torn down in late September or early October.

This more modest house was located at 3989 West 33rd Avenue and was demolished in September.


Three blocks away at 3692 West 33rd stood a more elaborate and older house, built in 1928. It appeared to have been sold several times, beginning in July 2010. It was torn down in September 2013. The lot is 57 feet wide--perhaps developers wished to put up two houses, but in the end it appears that one house with a large footprint is under construction. In this photo taken in early February 2011, the icicles still hadn't melted.

There are more demolitions for more blogs!