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

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Large House Disappears

When this 80's or 90's house went up for sale, I did not pay much attention because it appeared to be fairly modern, and it was quite large. When I noticed fencing around it and some digging, I thought maybe there's going to be a lane house. However, the BC Assessment site lists it as being built in 1951, so it probably was one of the typical bungalows that used to be in this area of Vancouver, and at some point owners added a second storey. There was also an addition on the back.

I scrambled to get a photo of it; apologies for the quality as I still didn't believe that a house of this size and quality would be torn down. The house and garage were last assessed at $456,000 (and the year before $353,000). The land alone is assessed at nearly $2.5 million.The house at 4086 West 29th Avenue was torn down on July 10, 2014, but the garage is still there as of July 28.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Four More Demolitions in 2013 and 2014

Vancouver Vanishes featured this house in March 2013, including some photos of the interior. The real estate listing described it as a "classic English mansion". The large lot is on the corner of Blenheim Street and West 33rd Avenue. Built in the mid 20's, it was torn down in late February or early March 2014 and is being replaced by two houses, which will likely not merit a second glance. One of the houses has a lane house. The style of the original house was unusual for the Dunbar area and much admired.

Vancouver Vanishes also featured this more typical Dunbar dwelling at 3635 West 21st Avenue. It was built in 1928 on a 33 foot lot. When this photo was taken on October 20, 2013, preparations were being made for demolition.

Also built in 1928, this house across from the Lord Kitchener Elementary School at 3466 West 26th Avenue was sold in November 2013 and torn down in February 2014.

Vancouver Vanishes featured this on August 14, 2013, but I do not know when this pseudo-Tudor at 3356 West 32nd Avenue was actually demolished. It was built in 1938 on a 50x130 foot lot. This block of West 32nd between Blenheim and Collingwood has had only two demolitions that I am aware of (lovely homes and gardens at 3452 and 3333). It is characterized by gracious original homes, larger than is typical for the Dunbar area. They are well kept, with pretty gardens. This one had a few unfortunate changes, especially the windows, so it was not as good looking as the others on the block but probably had the same solid "bones".

Here is a photo of the new house under construction during July 2014. Notice the two houses in the background, with their "English country garden" style. The new house with its wall next to the sidewalk will be quite unlike any other house on the street, and I wonder how the design got approved to be on this particular block of otherwise consistent traditional design. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Torn Down in April, May, or June 2014, Part II

This is my second blog of houses that were demolished around the time that I was out of the country and could not keep track.

Someone really wanted this property in 2012 and paid a lot...but they did not want the bungalow. This house at 3928 West 34th Avenue was torn down in May or June 2014.

The snowy scene was back in February 2014. The house was built in the 30's and renovated in the 80's according to the real estate listing. Likely, the second floor was added. Again, someone really wanted this corner lot and paid over asking for it. The address is 3792 West 38th Avenue, and the house was torn down in May or June 2014.

I was walking by on June 18, when I came across the demolation scene below, of this house at 3913 West 24th Avenue. Take note of the resilient Japanese maple.

This house was also torn down in May or June 2014. It stood at 3983 West 18th Avenue, and this is one of the older photos in my archive, taken in September 2010, before I knew the scope of what would be happening in the Dunbar area.

Because this is such a fine and typical character house (and why are developers not even trying to copy this type?), I did not think that it would be demolished. But it was, in April or May 2014. The address is 4742 Collingwood Street.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Torn Down April, May, or June 2014, Part I

I was out of the country for five weeks in May and June. Upon my return, I discovered quite a few demolitions. Here are five of them. 

This one at 4028 West 30th Avenue was the first one to go, torn down April 27 or 28. It is one of the affordable 50's houses built for young families in the undeveloped 4000 blocks between West 31st and West 27th Avenue. Many of these sturdily built but unfashionable bungalows have been replaced. This photo is from 2011 when the house was for sale, although I think it sold again in 2012.

Across the street at 4015 stood this bungalow. It was torn down in May or June 2014.


The little 1928 cottage at 3518 West 31st Avenue was torn down in late April or early May 2014.

The 4000 block of West 33rd leads to a popular entrance to Pacific Spirit Park. It is also a popular block for sales and demolitions. This one at 4049 was torn down in early June 2014.

You may have seen a photo of this one in the Vancouver Sun. The  home stood in a prominent place at the corner of Blenheim Street and West 32nd Avenue. Both the setting and home were spectacular. However, among other things, the minimal second floor was probably totally unacceptable to the new owners.