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, January 13, 2016

How to Wreck a Neighbourhood

How many demolitions does it take to wreck a neighbourhood? There have been 6 demolitions on the north side of the 3500 block of West 23rd and 2 on the south side. The 8 demolitions in recent years of the 36 houses on this block amounts to a 22% change. These are all 33 foot lots. The situation is probably not unique in Vancouver.
Four houses have already been included in this blog: 3541, 3553, 3563, and 3575. 

In addition, 3571, 3548, and 3556 have been demolished, but I do not have photos of the original houses. Fortunately for the eighth one, 3535, I do have photos. It was sold in September 2013 and torn down the following year. The last Halloween display at the house!

In February 2014, there was melting snow.

Some musings...It is a bit strong to state that just because houses are demolished, a neighbourhood is destroyed. However, if the residents have formed long-term friendships by living near one another, moving away destroys or at least reduces both the quality and quantity of their interactions, perhaps just when neighbourly contact becomes more necessary as people "age-in-place". As new and younger families move in, change will happen and it should, but the rate of change of 22% is significant. In addition, new houses seem to change hands quite often because they are rarely "forever" homes for the new occupants, although houses on 33 foot lots perhaps have more stable occupancy than those more luxurious homes on larger lots. Is community one of Dunbar's values?

1 comment:

  1. Here is a link to a recent listing for this property ($4.3M). I feel bad for the cottage next door - no more evening light, and in increased property tax bill :-/