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, April 30, 2015

4200 Dunbar Street: Part 2

The 4200 block of Dunbar Street was demolished on April 24, 2015 and preceding days, with the exception of the Royal Bank at the north end.

Do all the former shop owners feel like this? Dunbar shoppers might have this emotion!
At the south end of the block was Dunbar Insurance. It plans to return to the 4200 block.

4CATS has moved north to 3354 Dunbar Street.
Another child-friendly place was Splashes.

A little man from Splashes says a friendly goodbye.

These stairs led to a second storey dwelling. You can see the rear of the second storey in the next photo.

Adults preferred Bean Town!

Dunbar Cycles moved to Broadway, and another bike shop moved in temporarily.

 A cheerful goodbye from the last cat at 4CATS.

What is the future of the 4200 block? The Ivy promises "distinguished homes in the heart of Dunbar". Stongs' larger space may mean fewer grocery buggy collisions. The upper three floors will provide higher density for the area. Some of the little shops will relocate on Dunbar, but most will be gone. Is Main Street the new Dunbar?

See also the previous blog, 4200 Dunbar Street: Part 1.

Friday, April 24, 2015

4200 Dunbar Street: Part 1

On April 24, 2015:

Three excavators are at work. Only the corner bank remains on the 4200 block of Dunbar Street.

This used to be a vibrant block, with unique shops.

Notice the middle structure with the little tile roof; it included the shops from Carson Books to The Hob. Some of these were the first shops to close.



Skinetics still had (what I think) was the original tile work on their storefront. If you look for it, you will notice more of this original tile work along Dunbar Street.

I will soon do a 4200 Dunbar Street: Part 2 blog.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The 1920's Houses are Disappearing

This charming 1926 house is situated outside my "assigned area", but I am featuring it for two reasons: 1) I know the people who lived in it years ago, and 2) the house is a charming example of preserving the fa├žade while enlarging the back for better livability. The real estate ad stated "fall in love", but the new owner did not succumb to falling in love with this updated Dunbar "original".

Many of these 1920's houses were demolished and replaced years ago. Designating a few specimens of the remaining 1920's houses as Heritage B might be a good idea, so that some could be retained to show a bit of the history and life at the time when the streetcar was active along Dunbar Street. (This would have the side effect of preserving some permeable green space, not gobbled up by the footprint of a huge house with extensive paving stones and a 3-car garage.) This house at 3657 West 23rd Avenue was demolished on April 10 or 11, 2015.

P.S. Upon seeing this post, a Dunbar resident pointed out to me that Michael Kluckner created a painting of this house, and you can see it at the link below. Kluckner describes the area as a "dying neighbourhood". He is probably referring to the empty or nearly empty expensive new homes being constructed for rich folks, making it very difficult for young families to populate the area because "starters" are no longer available. Not only is the average age increasing, the area is emptying out. That's our Dunbar!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Gone, Now Only Memories

Why has this house been one of my favourite houses on the west side of Dunbar? For one thing, the design is not typical to Vancouver; it has its own "country" style. It sat on the northwest corner of Crown Street and West 36th Avenue. Driving by, you could not help but notice the white picket fence, the flowers, the well-kept property. A few years ago, the windows were replaced but in keeping with the style of the house. Sitting far back on the property allowed for a magnificent front garden. When it went up for sale in February 2012, a resident of 36th Avenue told me that it was going to be torn down. I did not want to believe her. But two months later, the white surveyor stakes appeared. Still, those stakes do not always indicate a demolition, so I held out a sliver of hope.

The lovely front garden three years ago in April.

Sadly, in December 2014, it was clear that the house was going to go.

On April 5, 2015, the magnolia was blooming.

This is the space today, April 10, 2015.

 The front garden is destroyed.
Built in 1942 on a 60.2x130.18 lot. Demolished April 9 and 10, 2015. (In 2012 I did an earlier blog on this house.)