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, August 31, 2016

Now Demolishing 1980's Houses

Once upon a time, the St. George's Junior School was located in a building on the northeast corner of Crown and West 30th. I used to take my young children to the playground on the corner. In the early 80's, St. George's sold the land and purchased the Sacred Heart Convent buildings and moved the junior school there, along with boarding. (Prior to this, students were boarded in houses in the neighbourhood. St. George's also sold these houses.) The old school building was demolished, and the land was divided into building lots. From what I observe from the size of the lots, eight lots were created. Houses were built there in 1980 and 1981, in the styles of those days. Now, the first one is being demolished: 3969 West 30th. It was sold on March 17, 2015 for $2,080,000, but put up for sale again in July 2016 for $4,230,000, with "building permit ready". The demo quickly followed, in late August.

From the state of the healthy grass growing in front of the garage door, I gather that the house has not been occupied for some time.

A number of other houses on this side of the block look unoccupied. All were built in the 1980's and one  in 1995, with one exception. Granted, some of these houses may have been former boarding houses for St. George's students and badly in need of replacement. The only "original" house is one built in 1927. It has been carefully preserved and cared for, a good thing, because it has to carry the historical memory for the entire north side of the block.
The side walk was built in 1983.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Are We on the Way to $10 Million Dollars in Dunbar?

Astounding--just listed in Dunbar is a house for $8,680,000. Earlier in the summer there were a couple of houses listed for over $7 million. Where will this trend lead?

The expensive house at 3815 West 39th was built in 2015 according to e-valueBC. It has 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms.

What was here before? This "castle", which received a lot of publicity.

In fact there were two castles side-by-side, both with turrets, visible in the above photo. The neighbouring house at 3825 is on the left. Here is the before and after for 3825, still under construction:

These original houses were admittedly in need of renovation and upgrading, but they were memorable, and the one at 3825 merited having a drawing of it included in Robin Ward's Heritage West Coast, page 26, available at the VPL.

Kerry Gold wrote a recent article in the Globe and Mail about bland architecture in Vancouver.

For more information on the castles, see my blog of February 24, 2015, or Vancouver Vanishes.  

Update: Check out 4055 West 39th, for sale at $10,800,000 in August 2016. The answer is "yes", we are on the way to $10 million dollars in Dunbar.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Those 1940's Houses Along Dunbar Street--Disappearing

Many of the first homes lining Dunbar Street between 32nd Avenue and 41st Avenue were built in the 1940's. After WWII, there was a need for housing, but families' finances were limited  There were a few existing houses, but the many remaining empty lots were developed into modest one-story houses on 33 feet lots. This one, on the corner of 34th Avenue, was one of them. The view shows the side of the house from 34th Avenue. There was no garage. The 2015 assessment for the house was $21,500, indicating that it had undergone very few improvements. There are people who would be happy to live in a small and simple fixer-upper, but they cannot afford the exorbitant cost of the land in the city. Built in 1943; torn down in July 2016. (Also covered by Vancouver Vanishes.)