Notes From November Meeting

We had a very large turnout for last Thursday’s Grandview Heritage Group monthly meeting. So many in fact we have begun to think about alternate locations; but we’ll let that lie until the new year.  Welcome one and all!  Again, as usual, we had a wide-ranging discussion.

  • Michael gave a presentation on basements. Typical early Vancouver housing styles had a residence above an at-grade crawl space. This led to fully designed basements. He showed some 1961 design ideas for basements. He also discussed the securing of heritage homes to foundations.
  • Eric then gave the latest in his ongoing series Mechanics and Materials. This month’s subject was manufactured wood. He presented on plywood, hardwood, Beaver Board, and Glulam.
  • Jak previewed the December 1st release of the GV Database. Almost a thousand new data points have been entered since the ortiginal release.
  • Penny outlined her idea for rewarding new buyers in Grandview who decide not to demolish a heritage house. This led to a brief discussion on rezoning the RT zone to better defend against demolitions.
  • Michael discussed the current state of the City’s Heritage Action Plan.  He noted there seems to be no appetite at City Hall to create further Heritage Conservation Areas like First Shaughnessy. He also presented on the change to heritage evaluation criteria, moving to a “value based” approach.
  • The Shelly’s Bakery Plaque: Penny discussed the history of the sign and the plaque. The replacement plaque is fading rapidly already and needs to be replaced.  Still thinking of alternatives.
  • 2016 Student Intern: Michael discussed the history of our encounters with GEOG 429 students over the last few years, culminating in Kevin Shackle’s excellent work on Grocery Stores. We have been offered a student for 2016. It was agreed we would say yes. Penny, Michael and Jak will work on suggested topics.  Some of the ideas offered at the meeting were: basement history. barners and beauty shops, dairies, the shift from stables to garages, older apartment buildings, the range of “party hat” decoration.
  • Next meeting wlll be 21 January 2016.

Next Meeting: 19th November

The calendar keeps turning around and here we are back at the monthly meeting time once again.  The next meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group will be on Thursday 19th November, at 7:00pm in the Britannia Boardroom.  

The topics this month will include:

  • Michael Kluckner on basements;
  • Eric Philips on manufactured wood;
  • Jak King on Database release 2;
  • Penny Street on the “Thanks for not demolishing your house” Awards
  • Michael on heritage evaluation criteria;
  • An update on Shelly’s plaque;
  • Question for the next student intern

Everyone is welcome to attend and to discuss any topic of interest to Grandview heritage and history!  Come and join us!

The Grandview Database: An Introduction

In the menu above, you will find a new listing: “Grandview Database“.  This is an historical catalog of roughly 5,000 properties in Grandview, nearly 1,200 of which no longer exist.

Each entry lists in chronological order all the information known about that lot or property, including, where appropriate, details of the properties that existed on that lot prior to the construction of the existing structure. The most complete information is for properties built before 1920.

Information on current properties is based on the latest data from VanMap. Historical information is derived from the Vancouver Heritage Building Permits database, City Directories, Goad’s 1912 map, the 1901 and 1910 censuses, and extensive research in the “Vancouver World“, “Province“, and “News-Advertiser“.  Other research (such as early correspondence with the Board of Works, and other archival materials) is noted in referenced endnotes.

Although the database as published today already represents three years’ work, we still have some 10,000 data points collected and not yet entered, and still we continue to collect and enter on a daily basis!

It is our intention, beginning in December 2015, to publish an update at the beginning of each month in order that the latest version is continually available to those for whom this work is of interest and value.

We hope you enjoy this unique reference to our wonderful community!


Notes From The October Meeting

The October meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group was very well attended, including a very welcome visit by Patrick Gunn of Heritage Vancouver. Although a presentation took up much of the meeting, we were also able, as usual, to discuss a wide range of other topics.

  • Jak King presented his Database of Grandview Properties which includes historical details of almost 5,000 houses in Grandview, more than 1,100 of which no longer exist.  After examining the database, the presentation discussed the formation, surveying, and use of Districts, Blocks, and Lots within Grandview and reviewed them in the context of the history of Grandview. Finally, Jak discussed the need, over time, to incorporate this data into GHG’s wiki.  Jak will be working on ways to make the database public, probably on this site.
  • Following the presentation, we looked at a number of ways of using VanMap, Google Maps, and Goad’s 1912 atlas for historical research.
  • Eric noted that several parts of his Mechanicals and Materials series have been published on this site as Heritage Life Hacks. There will be more to come.
  • Eric also presented a shortened version of his monthly Neighbourhood Updates. This edition included the Terminal City Iron Works (now demolished), changes at 2111 Kitchener, 920 and 1102 Commercial, 540 and 1115 Victoria, and 906 Salsbury. This discussion also touched on environmental remediation and the art of debuilding rather than demolition.
  • Michael updated the group on the new First Shaughnessy heritage designation, and on updates to the Heritage Registry and possible changes to evaluation standards

It was another full and fascinating evening for heritage and history buffs.


Our Next Meeting: 15th October

This is a reminder that at 7:00pm on Thursday 15th October we will be gathering for our regular monthly meeting of the Grandview Heritage Group in the Britannia Boardroom. Everyone is welcome and we encourage you to come along and join in our usually fascinating discussions.

This month, I will be presenting my historical database of buildings in Grandview, including more than 1,100 that no longer exist. Along with a discussion of the database itself, I will also lead a discussion on the mapping and surveying history of Grandview that underlies the heritage houses on which we normally concentrate.  I hope it will be both fun and informative.

There will also be other items of interest to discuss, including recent changes and losses to heritage homes in the neighbourhood.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Thursday night!

Notes From The September Meeting

The new season of meetings kicked off on Thursday with a good attendance. As usual, the discussion was wide-ranging and fascinating.

  • We began as usual with our Around The Hood segment in which Eric leads us through an illustrated tour of various changes, sales, rumours etc within Grandview. This month we covered 17 properties. In many cases we looked at heritage properties that were or had been for sale; for others (such as 2111 Kitchener and 1102 Commercial) we wondered at the quick flipping of sites for huge short-term profits. We noted that three major apartment blocks on Commercial, each of which had supplied affordable rentals for decades, have now been or are being renovated with rental rates expected to increase dramatically.At 2088 Charles, we noted that this double lot was to be split as part of an HRA. Finally, we were pleased to see that 1003 Commercial (“The Peg”) which recently sold is having its roof repaired and thus seems likely to be preserved, at least temporarily.  These tours always spur interesting discussions and often produce nuggets of genuine historical value.
  • Eric has also transformed some parts of his earlier “Mechanicals and Materials” series into handy Life Hacks for Heritage presentations.  Within the next short while they will appear on this site on their own page.
  • We then spent some time reviewing and discussing the 2015-16 Centenary Signs houses.  The map and the short descriptive listings are already up on the site. Some years we have had a cake to celebrate the houses; this year, Penny made peanut butter cookies which were at least as good as cake!
  • Michael reviewed the new Heritage Register renewal project, and discussed the First Shaughnessy designation as an Historic Area.  Michael doesn’t believe other areas of Vancouver will receive such a designation because, in neighbourhoods such as Greandview and Mount Pleasant, the current RT zoning seems to be working as a reasonable defence of heritage.  This is not working so well, however, in commercial areas such as Main Street.
  • Mount Pleasant Heritage Group is looking for assistance to find old pictures of the Triangle Building in their neighbourhood at Main & Kingsway.  They can be contacted via their website.
  • The next meeting is on 15th October. Jak will be presenting his database of Grandview properties.


Next Meeting: Thursday 17th September

Our first meeting of the school year is this Thursday, 7:00 as usual, in the Britannia Board Room (1661 Napier). 

We’ll be celebrating the houses that sport our century signs in their yards this year. So, particularly if your house is one of our featured houses, please do join us. If you have any anecdotes or artifacts or memorabilia related to your house, please bring it along for a show-and-tell.

We’ll also chat about the various changes that have taken place in Grandview since we last met, hopefully with one of Eric’s slide shows.

And Michael will give us an update on the nominations for the Heritage Register and what it all means.

Cheers and hope to see you Thursday!

Centenary Signs 2015–16

Here is our map for the set of houses, at least 100 years old, we have chosen this year. There is a large cluster of them on Ferndale Street, reflecting the legacy of builder George Tyson more than a century ago.

This is the fourth year of our project to celebrate Grandview’s Edwardian-era heritage buildings. Links to the other three years are on the navigation bar at the top of this page.

Click here
Click here

We thank the owners for their stewardship of the houses and their willingness to share them, through the display of the signs, with the community!

At our next meeting on September 17th, there will be a review of the houses and a modest celebration (i.e. cake!), along with our usual presentations and discussions.