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 26, 2013

The Beautiful Homes on West 33rd Avenue

Roughly speaking and with many exceptions, West 33rd Avenue marks a divide between smaller lots and houses to the north and larger lots and houses to the south in the Dunbar area. The Avenue has many gracious and varied homes. Here is one of them on a delightful April day:

It was for sale, but I did not pay much attention because I doubted that it would be demolished. In October I saw the plastic red fencing and hoped that it was there because a lane house was being built (and the main house would remain). However, the house was torn down in early November 2013.

A more elaborate house east of Dunbar at 3441 West 33rd Avenue, was sold twice or three times in recent years. Here is what it looked like in February 2012:

For sale again in March 2013 it looked very similar:

By November 7, 2013, the writing was on the wall or more literally, the plywood was on the windows, probably to facilitate asbestos removal.

When I stopped by at 9 am on November 26, this is what I saw, only a bit of the back wall.  Some 1936 history is lost forever.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Newspaper Article in The Voice (Langara College)

The Voice from Langara College in Vancouver had an article written by Garin Fahlman and Brian Horstead on November 7, 2013 about my blog and the Vancouver Vanishes Facebook site.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Near the Wild

The 3900 block of West 22nd is a quiet leafy one, on a hill sloping down to the Camosun Bog. This beautiful home was already undergoing asbestos removal for my first photo on October 20, 2013. Note the semicircular window upstairs and the sheltered front entry. The home appeared to be well kept.

When I walked by on November 12, a workman was knocking the chimney down. Doom seemed inevitable.

Driving by on the afternoon of November 14, I found that the house was completely gone. Will any new house have the same authentic exterior charm?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Three More Houses Have Disappeared

One real estate ad described this type of house as "California living", probably because one could comfortably live on one floor. However, that kind of convenience apparently has limited attraction, since most of these that come on the market in the Dunbar area are demolished in favor of a 3 or 3 1/2 storey shade-casting home with a 3-car garage. This one at 4070 West 38th Avenue looked like this in mid June and was torn down in September or October:

With character that indicates that it was probably built in the 1920's, this one was for sale in June 2013, but when I looked for it in October, it was no longer there. How quickly all that old wood can be sent to the landfill. It sat on a corner at 3896 West 21st Avenue.

Another corner house, 3505 West 36th at Collingwood, was torn down in October. I have three photos, so you can see both the front and side of this large house, which was built in 1924 and later had a substantial addition. The blue shutters give the house unusual character. P.S. on November 20: Vancouver Vanishes reported that the first owner was Robert M. Matheson, Architect, of the firm Townley and Matheson. They designed Vancouver's City Hall! Here's another example of good design being destroyed.