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

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Eight Decades of Destruction and De-Densification









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The 1912 and 1944 houses were adjacent on 32nd Avenue, and the two lots may become three. At first, it appeared that the huge tree would be saved because there was fencing around it. However, the fencing has disappeared. The house from 1912 was probably originally a "farmhouse". Remember the snow last winter?

The 1973 house was at 4021 West 34th, and it was hard to get a good photo of it due to the fence and vegetation. Here are more photos of the once lovely landscape and hardscape.

The 1934 house had another 1934 house next to it. This photo is from July 2015 showing both houses. The other house is on a corner. Both are across from the park.

The house on the corner in 2016:


These three photos from November 2017 show the corner house being raised, moss still on the roof (!), work on the rear of the house, and the Nickel Bros sign. It is likely to retain some character plus be enlarged in the back.

The demolished 1934 house did not have the front dormer, i.e. less character than the one on the corner. It is being replaced by this:

The land value of all of these properties is in the millions, of course. It is interesting to see what the 2016 assessments were for the buildings.

1912    $17,100
1926    $70,100
1934    $96,400
1944    $47,700
1950    $34,900
1968    $58,900
1973    $80,700
1987  $215,000

The houses built in 1912 through 1950 are likely the first ones built on the property, but the 1968, 1973, and 1987 are likely the second houses built on the property. We have already lost many houses from the early part of the 20th century. In addition we are losing density as unlike the houses that were torn down, the new ones may have empty bedrooms.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Monkey Puzzle Tree

This house was torn down on April 8, 2017. It was vacant for a minimum of three years prior to that. No one cared for the house or garden. The recent hot dry summers were literally deadly for the large monkey puzzle tree. In April 2014, the tree was clearly alive.

By September 2014, there was obvious damage.

Here is a close-up from October 2014:

A close-up from February 2015:

July 2015:

 February 2016:

In March 2017 the tree on the left was being protected, but there was no need to protect the monkey puzzle tree.

The house, built in 1950, was typical of the houses in that area near St. George's Senior School. Most have been demolished, or at least extensively remodeled. This one was sold in January 2014 and resold in April 2015.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Three Corners on Crown Street

The corner of Crown Street and West King Edward borders on both the Pacific Spirit Park and Chaldecott Park. The corner looked like this on a lovely fall day in October 2016.

Built in 1946, sold in January 2015, demolished in early March 2017.

The second house was on the corner of Crown and West 37th Avenue. This was built in 1939 and impeccably cared for over the years until it was sold in March 2015. On the Crown side was a wrought iron fence. This photo from April 2016 shows attacks by crows.

From March 2017:

Only a fragment of the wrought iron fence remained after the demolition in late April 2017. I was surprised to see this magnolia transplanted in the corner, and in another corner, a weigela bush was transplanted. Did neighbourhood gardeners persuade the builder to save these mature bushes?

What will the future house look like?

Perhaps something like this photo on display by the builder. There is a lane, so an ugly garage shouldn't be part of the front of the new house. Incidentally, this was a good investment since the 2016 assessment increased well over $1M from 2015, and that is with the charming but low-assessed old house.

The third house was demolished on April 27, 2017. It was on the corner of Crown and West 31st Avenue. According to my notes taken from old real estate ads, this large 1930 house had been renovated in 2009, 2010, and 2011. My oldest photo is from 2011:

My notes indicate that it was for sale in 2009 and 2011. Here it is for sale yet again in October 2014, although no record of its being sold in 2014 is on the e-valueBC website:

Renters probably enjoyed this 5 bedroom, 3 bath house. In March of 2015, the pink camellia bloomed. I would have saved the pink camellia and not the holly tree. The nettles on the corner are still there for the locals, who know about them, to enjoy.

Look at these colours of the original house!

What is the future of this corner? The ad for the house on the southwest corner of Crown and West 31st Avenue displayed only one photo, of the exterior, so it also will probably be a demolition. And note the red fencing not only around 3993 but also down the block, another future blog unfortunately.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Walk on West 34th Avenue

Along West 34th Avenue between Dunbar Street and Blenheim Street, the lots are large, with 50 foot wide frontages in the 3500 block and 60 foot wide frontages in the 3400/3300 block. The original homes were built in the 1920's and are disappearing.

Heading east away from Dunbar Street, we see #3530 built in 1928. This house appears to be remodeled at the front entrance, but the unique roof line is probably original. It was sold in September 2013 for just over $2 million dollars. The first photo is from a dark day in November 2013.

The second photo is from February 2016.

Continuing east, #3425 was built in 1930. It was for sale in 2012 as a "country cottage in the city". Unfortunately, I never got a better photo of this cottage.

Across the street, #3433 has also disappeared. I have no photo of it because I did not expect this 1990 house to be torn down. It sold in September 2014.

A lovely home was built in 1925 at #3341. These are photos from November 2011 and March 2012.

 By January 2016, demolition was beginning.

I'll be taking a future walk on West 34th because I see other 1920's houses slated for demolition.