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, December 21, 2016

English Country Garden

Vancouver Vanishes recently covered the demolition at 3548 West 26th, where mention is made of the English country garden. Because the house sat in the corner of a large lot of 50 by 130 feet, there was a large area for the garden. On February 28, 2016, there were daffodils and crocuses!

There was enough room at the far end for a shady garden of ferns and rhododendrons. Think of all the little creatures that lived there.

But in mid December 2016, the garden was clear-cut. Where did all the little creatures go?
Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, house, outdoor and nature
(photo from Vancouver Vanishes used with permission from Caroline Alderson)
As for the house itself, it was built in 1928 and enjoyed numerous additions over its 88 years.

This stained glass window was a creative touch on one of the additions.

Because the house could barely be seen on West 26th Avenue, a little directional sign was helpful.

The old house exhibited a lot of character and individuality, so people are sorry to see it disappear. It is pretty much a foregone conclusion that the replacement house will not last 88 years.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Disappeared Stongs has Reappeared!

Around noon on December 4, 2016, the new Stongs unofficially opened. Word soon got around, and by late afternoon, the store was crowded. Dunbar Street became more lively, after a too-quiet summer and fall without this major anchor store.

Do you remember the old Stongs? 

According to The Story of Dunbar (edited by Peggy Schofield, Ronsdale Press, 2007), Stongs moved from a downtown location to Dunbar in 1955. Dunbar residents are pleased to welcome Stongs back!

Friday, December 2, 2016

West of Dunbar Street

This modest house was built in 1940, with some nice touches of that era. Note the framing of the large front window and the corner entrance. The front door had the typical knocker/peek hole. I still have ours somewhere in the basement. The hanging lamp is probably also original. The house was sold in May 2014 and again in January 2016.

When I walked by on the evening of November 7, 2016, the house had disappeared. Yet another little classic home gone. Is bigger better for our neighbourhood? Vancouver Vanishes also featured this home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Changing Dunbar

At my Changing Aging exercise class at the Dunbar Community Centre this morning, I looked out the window and saw the shovel of an excavator hovering over the trees to the east. Another demolition? A classmate said that there was a second demolition a block south. So...I took the long way home to check out these demos. Both houses must have been demolished on Monday or Tuesday, November 21 or 22. This typical 1945 house was on the corner of 33rd Avenue and Dunbar Street:

The rear of the house appears to have had two add-ons plus the deck.

The second house was at 3587 West 32nd, just east from the corner where the house at 3593 West 32nd was demolished in January 2016, and the empty lot is still there. The lot at 3587 is only 59 feet wide, but surprisingly for its size, it is two legal lots. This unique house was already a replacement house, since it was built in 1975. It was sold in February 2016.

In April, the garden flourished along with a lot of rogue plants.

I am pondering Changing Aging and Changing Dunbar.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Four Houses for Sale on West 31st Avenue

Four houses are for sale in my immediate neighbourhood, three on my block and one in the next block. Each one is a different age. None are selling at the time of this writing. They are good representations of the variety of houses in the Dunbar area.

4085 West 31st is a former demolition, now a luxury home marketed at $7,680,000. To the left of it is a 1950's home (similar to the original 4085), marketed at $4,888,000. Both are on 53 feet lots.

Across the street is 4058, built in 1941 and completely remodeled in 2010 and like new inside. Its price has been reduced to $3,499,000. The lot is 33 feet wide.

On the next block is 3942 built in 1990, also on a 33 feet lot. Its price is $3,180,000. (Update November 17: this is now sold.)

What we are missing in this listing is a pre-war original. There is one on 32nd Avenue, built in 1931. The house at 3908 was listed for $2,450,000 and sold fairly promptly within the last month.

Of these 5 houses, which ones will be "tear-downs"? Which ones will be rentals? Which ones will be occupied? Which ones will be second homes? Which ones will be re-sold? Those are the current questions in the Dunbar area as the leaves continue to fall.