Heritage Vancouver - Bulletin

Heritage Updates & Events

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+ Walking Tour of Strathcona North this Saturday
+ Proposed Green Renovation Bylaw
+ Provincial Government: Homeowner Protection Act
+ New Initiative: Heritage Success Stories
+ Pantage Theatre’s Days are Numbered


+ Don't miss out on our popular summer walking tours

Walking Tour of Strathcona North this Saturday

This Saturday's "Strathcona North of Hastings" is a brand new tour led by James Johnstone. James will take you through the part of Strathcona that is on our 2010 Top Ten Endangered List.

Additional Walking Tours

Walking Tour: Strathcona North
Saturday, August 14, 2010 | 10:00am to 12:00pm
Non-members $15; Heritage Vancouver Members $10
Info + Online tickets

Walking Tour: Vancouver's West End Remembered
Saturday, August 21, 2010 | 10:00am to 12:00pm
Non-members $15; Heritage Vancouver Members $10
Info + Online tickets

Walking Tour: Explore Hippie Kitsilano with Michael Kluckner
Saturday, August 28, 2010 | 10:00am to 12:00pm
Non-members $15; Heritage Vancouver Members $10
Info + Online tickets

Walking Tour: Visite guidée du quartier financier de Vancouver
Saturday, September 11, 2010 | 10:00am to 12:00pm
Non-members $15; Heritage Vancouver Members $10
Note - this tour is offered only in French
Info + Online tickets

Walking Tour: Mole Hill Community –
Mixed-Income Living in Renovated Heritage Houses
Saturday, Sept 18, 2010 | 10:00am to 12:00pm
Non-members $15; Heritage Vancouver Members $10
Info + Online tickets


+ Proposed Green Renovation Bylaw –
Its Impact on Heritage Buildings

As part of its 'Greenest City Initiative,' the City is undertaking an extensive review of its regulatory framework to determine how to improve the energy performance of new and existing buildings. This includes a proposed update of Part 10 of the Vancouver Building By-Law - the city's building code - that would introduce and measure energy performance in the same way that seismic and life safety concerns are addressed. Heritage Vancouver supports the intention of this Initiative, but not at the expense of the character of our heritage buildings. We have been working within this process to address concerns about how heritage buildings can be most effectively upgraded to conserve energy and attain goals of sustainability, while still retaining their heritage integrity. There are many methods of alternative compliance for heritage buildings, and - significantly - the provincial Energy Efficiency Act excludes buildings that are listed on a Heritage Register. Our position is stated in the following letter that was submitted to Mayor and Council (attached).

View our letter to the City (PDF, 205k)


+ Provincial Government: Homeowner Protection Act –
A Victory for Heritage Buildings

On June 24th, the provincial government, through Order in Council, made exemptions to the Homeowner Protection Act that makes specific exemptions for buildings listed on a Heritage Register. This is an enormous victory that is the result of much hard work by the provincial Heritage Branch, Heritage BC, and other community groups and leaders such as Heritage Vancouver, the UBCM and those in the heritage restoration industry. This single legislative change will have a huge impact on heritage buildings that are being strata-titled. No longer will their building envelopes have to be stripped off to be replaced by new materials; it will now be possible to pursue alternate compliance for building code upgrades for strata projects. This complements the changes made to the provincial Energy Efficiency Act that exempted Heritage Register buildings and allowed existing heritage windows, doors and envelope materials to be retained. We are grateful that these changes have finally been made, and we should see the result in improved heritage projects throughout the province.


+ Heritage Vancouver Announces New Initiative:
Heritage Success Stories

At its annual Garden Party on June 17th, 2010, Heritage Vancouver announced "Heritage Success Stories", a new initiative celebrating excellence in heritage conservation. Over the past ten years Heritage Vancouver has published a "Top Ten Endangered List" of threatened heritage structures and this year is starting a new focus on successful heritage initiatives in Vancouver. Drawing attention to the outstanding heritage initiatives of architects, developers, building owners and community groups will increase community appreciation for our built heritage.

Garden Party

Above link: Garden Party Fundraiser gallery on Flickr

Throughout the year, Heritage Vancouver will be celebrating the following Success Stories that originally appeared on Heritage Vancouver's Top Ten Endangered Lists over the past 10 years:

The Beatty Street Drill Hall (1899-1901)
The Evergreen Building (1980)
The Flack Block (1899)
The First Church of Christ, Scientist (1918)
The Heatley Block (1931)
The Nicol House (1913)
The Salt Building (1931)
UBC Renew
The Wing Sang Building (1889/1901)
The Wooden Roller Coaster (1958)

The spotlight this month is on "the Walter Nicol House". The rehabilitation work has been completed on the house, and currently trees are being cut down to make way for the infill townhouses. At the Garden Party, Heritage Vancouver celebrated Brian Bell for his efforts in ensuring that the Walter Nicol House was preserved. Brian announced that for every tree cut down, two replacement trees will be planted.

Nichol House

Above link: Nichol House photos on Flickr

Success Story – The Walter Nichol House (1913)

As the keystone English Arts and Crafts house on The Crescent, this Samuel Maclure-designed, “A”-listed mansion straddled two of three legal lots and was highly vulnerable. Possible treatments of the house included a potential move to the front of the lot, which would have destroyed the Lutyens-inspired gardens. Strata-titling would have necessitated building upgrades such as double-glazed windows and rainscreening, or at the worst, demolition of the building to make room for three mega-mansions. Fortunately, long-time First Shaughnessy resident and developer Brian Bell agreed to leave the house and grounds (featured in the Heritage Canada magazine) in situ and transfer the available square footage to the third lot. The new buildings are to take the form of 16 Classical Revival rowhouses to balance the style of Colonel McRae’s Hycroft across the street.

A group of residents campaigned strongly against this Heritage Revitalization Agreement (H.R.A.), and the issue went through an exhausting planning process before it went back to the Development Permit Board a second time. The victory for heritage buffs was when the two adjacent neighbours on either side appeared before the Board to praise the proposal as “Heritage Salvation”. The status of the development is being upgraded from wood frame to a concrete structure according to architect Jim Bussey of Formwerks at Mr. Bell’s behest. At this stage the minimal upgrades to the existing house and garage plus the restoration of the formal gardens facing The Crescent — all required by the HRA process — have been met. The Nichol house is now legally protected and the exterior cannot be altered except with City Council’s approval. This is invaluable in keeping The Crescent as one of the few “pure” heritage streetscapes in First Shaughnessy. The salvation of the Walter Nichol House and its historic context is indeed a real "Success Story."


+ Days are numbered for Vancouver’s Pantages Theatre (1907)

The Pantages has been condemned for some time now and salvage work recently began to remove and store intact pieces from the interior of the Pantages Theatre. The current owner has given up on any plans to restore the theatre but to date there has been no application for a demolition permit. Sadly it seems as though it is only a matter of time before the old theatre comes down.

Nichol House Nichol House

Above link: Pantages recent interior photos, by S.Vegas

Link to Flickr photos - Interior of Pantages
Link to our Pantages info page

Thank you for your support!

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Heritage Vancouver Society
PO Box 3336, Main Post Office, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3Y3
604 254-9411 info@heritagevancouver.org

Creating a Future for Heritage – Heritage Vancouver encourages the community to preserve, restore, and appreciate Vancouver’s heritage structures.