Heritage Vancouver - Bulletin

Heritage update
Developments involving heritage sites

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As Vancouver's economy continues to improve, we are seeing increasing numbers of developments across the entire city that affect heritage sites. There has been a significant increase in both development applications and the sale of heritage sites for potential redevelopment, including Avalon Dairy (sold), the Hollywood Theatre (sold) and the Ridge Theatre (for sale). We can celebrate some successes, such as agreements that will preserve the Darling Residence in the West End and the Jeffs Residence in Grandview-Wooland. On some sites, such as 8495 Granville Street, we will see the demolition of the A-listed 1960s Safeway store. Some, such as Maxine's on Cardero Street, have been stalled since the downturn of the economy in 2008. Others, such as the A-listed Legg Residence at 1245 Harwood Street in the West End sit in limbo waiting final decisions. We are monitoring these situations and have been providing City Council with comments on these developments as they move through the application process.

Terms used:
VHR: Vancouver Heritage Register; A, B or C categories; listing only
Designation: Officially protected heritage resource


Developments involving heritage sites

1. Shannon Mews estate (1912-1925); VHR A (M) (Designated Mansion and Perimeter Wall only)
7101 Granville Street
A public hearing is scheduled for: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 7:30pm; Council Chamber, 3rd Floor > Public hearing info

> Proposed rezoning application
> Our Top 10 Endangered Sites entry

2. Granville Safeway (1966); VHR A
8495 Granville at 70th
The construction technique of the Safeway Store illustrates material and technological advancements of the 1960s, characteristic of Modernist practices of the time. Curtain-wall glazing facing Granville Street, which was adorned with large “Safeway” lettering; Curved, gull-wing roof is perhaps the most important feature of the building; Glulams, were also one of the most distinct features of the interior of the structure; Freestanding Safeway road sign featured the Safeway lettering on an elongated horizontal diamond shaped sign as well as a separate square sign detailing the different departments of the store. The purpose of the rezoning is to redevelop the site with four major building elements which includes full replacement of the Safeway grocery store, a 24-storey rental tower, a 14 storey market condominium tower, and a 9-storey slab building consisting of townhouses at street level and condominium units above.
> Rezoning application
> Rezoning application - Heritage


3. Power Block (1888 & 1929), 817-819 Granville Street; VHR B
Building (1922), 720 Robson; Not on register
The development application proposes to construct a five storey building with two storey of retail and three storeys of office space above grade and two levels of underground parking. The Power Block Art Deco fašade at 817-819 Granville Street is listed in the “B” category and is protected by a Designation By-law (circa 1976) and therefore must be retained. The structure behind the facade is not protected. The circa-1922 building on the corner of Robson and Granville Streets (720 Robson Street) is not listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register, and is slated for demolition.


4. University Club (1929); VHR B & Heritage Interiors Inventory
1075 West Hastings Street
To construct a 35 storey mixed use office/retail tower on the existing University Club (originally ‘Quadra Club’) site thereby requesting a 10% heritage bonus, the site is to be consolidated with the westerly existing Guinness Tower. The ‘University Club’ facade is to be retained and the new construction will integrate the parking and services of the existing Guinness parking with the structures below grade.
> Rezoning application


5. Legg House (1899); VHR B; Proposed designation
1241 Harwood Street
The DP application has been reviewed back to staff for further study to determine issues regarding the Tulip Tree and the proposed massing of the new building.
> Our Top 10 Endangered Sites entry


6. Darling House (1905); VHR B; Proposed designation
1090 Nicola Street
Proposes to relocate the heritage building to the west side of the site and rehabilitate it, with a proposed townhouse development on the remainder of the site. An HRA is not proposed or required (density is not being varied) but designation of the heritage building is a requirement of the development application in return for certain zoning variances.
> Rezoning application


7. Jeffs Residence (1907-08); VHR B
1298 Salsbury Drive; 1240 Salsbury;
Proposes to move The Jeffs residence to the south-west corner of the site and rehabilitate it. The front verandah will be reinstituted, and surviving elements repaired and retained where viable. The building is proposed to be converted into a number of suites and the remainder of the site developed with townhouse development, including an underground parking structure. 
> Rezoning application


8. Saba Residence (circa late-1920s); Not listed on the VHR
6511 Granville (at 49th), SW corner; Architect Townley & Matheson
To be demolished, large early 2 1/2 storey house with attached garage and porte-cochere entrance, on three legal lots. A care facility is planned for this site.
> Rezoning application
> Photo link, circa 1930, CVA A40196


9. Sir James Douglas School (1912-14); Not on the VHR
7550 Victoria Drive
The current application proposes construction of a new school on the northern portion of the site and retention of the existing school for a period of time. Retention of the school allows for an ‘RFP’ process in the future, including the possibility of an HRA and/ or rezoning with or without subdivision. This scenario is very similar to what was approved for Sexmsith School recently. The School is not listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register but is considered a potential candidate for addition to the Register. It received a score of 21 out of 25 in the original Commonwealth report in terms of heritage value.


10. Ramsay Residence (1913); VHR A
1196 W 59th Ave
The building is an excellent example of the Late Queen Anne style, with neoclassical influences, and features many fine surviving details and materials. It is also one of the few surviving grand homes of the Edwardian period built in the area. The application proposes to relocate the heritage building to the west side of the site, rehabilitate it, and designate it. The site is to be subdivided and a new house constructed on the resultant new vacant parcel. An HRA is proposed to grant the subdivision variance and to authorize the requested zoning variances, including density.


11. Robertson Memorial Presbyterian Church (1908); VHR C
1795 Napier Street
The building, which is entirely wood, was constructed by the BC Mills Company in prefabricated sections, the joints covered with battens. The building is valued as the last surviving BC Mills church in Vancouver and as a representation of the evolution of the local timber construction industry. The proposal is to remove the southern wing and a storage structure on the west side, convert the church into three dwelling units, rehabilitate and protect it, and to develop the balance of the site with new development (primarily townhouses).
> Development application


12. St. George's Junior School; VHR A (M) (L)
3851 West 29th Ave
The school has commissioned the preparation of a Statement of Significance and a Conservation Plan to provide guidance on proposed repair and maintenance work to this site. 


13. Lord Kitchener Elementary; Wood frame bldg (1914), VHR A; Brick building (1924), VHR B
4055 Blenheim Street
The application proposes that the 1914 building be retained and moved to the south-west corner of the site and integrated into a new school building, while the 1923 brick building is proposed to be demolished.
> Our Top 10 Endangered Sites entry


14. The Lee Residence (1910); Proposed VHR C
1237 East 14th Avenue
The development permit application proposes to restore the house to its original condition (based on historic photos and on-site analysis) while retaining as much existing material as possible.


15. Palms Hotel (1893), VHR B; Globe/Paradise/Coronet Theatre (1912/1938)
855 Granville Street (currently the Empire Theatre - Granville 7 site)
The development application proposes to convert the entire theatre complex which involves heritage facades, into commercial and retail uses, as the theatre use is no longer viable. The main issues are the interventions into the Coronet Theatre façade, proposing to allow for strategic openings which are to be sympathetic yet allow light to access the proposed commercial spaces behind the façade. The deco frieze is to be retained and neon lighting re-instituted based on period photographs. A vertical glazing element is proposed to replace the portion of the façade where the original “Coronet” sign was located (removed in the 1986 renovation).


16. Belmont Building (1904); VHR B
239-241 East Hastings Street; Original architect, William Blackmore
Features a number of rich wood Italianate details including demi-lune transom windows, ornate scroll brackets, dentil cornices, and central balconies. proposes to construct a ten storey Seniors Supportive or Assisted Housing building at the rear of the site, separate from the Belmont Building, while maintaining the heritage building as a residential rental building.


+ Upcoming Heritage Walking Tours

My Grandview: A Walking Tour
Saturday, August 27 10am-12pm noon
Tour guide, Michael Kluckner
HVS members $10;  non-members $15 | Details & online payment

A Planning Tour of Vancouver’s West End
Saturday, September 17th, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Tour guide, Gordon Price
HVS members $10;  non-members $15 | Details & online payment

View all of our tour guides' biographies:




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