Meeting Notes: November 2013

Last Thursday evening, the GHG met for its November meeting. It was another conversation full of interest, with a good turn our and new people attending. In brief, we discussed:

  • 1872 Parker Street.  Craig Ollenberger gave a history of the last few years of Brookhouse, leading to the current situation where we will almost certainly lose this magnificent Queen Anne building in the next few weeks.  The debate widened into HRAs and other mechanisms that might save such houses.  It was agreed that we need to research the additional value of heritage houses for buyers. It was also agreed that we should invite Heather Deal to a GHG meeting to discuss an updated Heritage Register.
  • Penny got us up-to-date on her discussions with UBC Professors about using students to assist us with our projects this winter/spring. It seems that basic research on our Centenary Celebration houses might be the best bet. It was noted the students will need hand-holding.  It was agreed will determine our needs in December for a January start.
  • Britannia is currently managing the Astorinio’s space at Commercial & Venables.  It is part of the proposed Boffo properties development.  It was noted that the EWaldorf and the Hollywood received demolition delays, and we agree that Astorino’s shoild get at least that.  We will be pushing for a Statement of Significance to be completed.  Penny will see if we can get a tour of the property.
  • Eric Phillips gave a presentation that was an update to several of his wonderful Mechanicals & Materials series.  He covered new forms of roofing materials, dealing with tin roofs, textured concrete blocks, and drywall mud.
  • Penny and Maria and others have begun the process of walking the neighbourhood looking for candidates for our 2014 Centenary Signs project.  They have already covered two of ten areas, and other walking tours start each Wednesday at 1pm from the 1700 block Napier.  It was noted that some of the 2013 signs may be missing and may need to be replaced.
  • Jak agreed to call Lance about the Permanent Signs project.
  • Britannia is having an Open House on Thursday 28th November in the greenway.  GHG is sharing a table with GWAC.  Volunteers are needed.
  • Bruce Macdonald reported on the first formal meeting of the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group — the first in what we hope will eventually be a city-wide collections of groups.  A local brewery has agreed to sponsor space for their meetings.
  • Penny reported on our finances, which are in good shape.
  • It was noted that Jak King and Bruce will be making a history/heritage presentation at the COPE meeting on Sunday 24th November.
  • Michael Kluckner is curating a series of historic Vancouver films at the Van City Cinema on Sunday 24th.
  • Michael is also curating a series of Vancouver panorama photographs at the Space Centre on December 4th at 7pm.
  • Finally, Carolyn Lair introduced us to the ASPECT program that mentors organizations on fundraising, and organizational strengths.

Another very full and worthwhile evening.

Next Meeting Thursday 21st November

Yes, it’s that time again — another GHG meeting!  We’ll meet as usual at 7:00pm in the Britannia Board Room. This month’s meeting will include:

  • a report on Mt. Pleasant’s inaugural Mt. Pleasant Heritage Group meeting (Bruce Macdonald)
  • a discussion of GHG taking on one or more students doing research for a fourth-year UBC historical geography course under the supervision of Prof David Brownstein
  • upcoming GHG tour of the Astorino’s building
  • identifying candidates for our centenary signs project for 2014
  • staffing a table for the Britannia site-wide open house on Nov 28th in the Napier Greenway
  • a report on the Brookhouse residence on the SW corner of Parker and Victoria (Craig Ollenberger)
  • updates from a few earlier Mechanicals & Materials presentations (Eric Phillips)
All that … plus our usual wide-ranging and fascinating conversation about whatever relevant topics come to people’s minds.
Our meetings are not formal. Everyone is welcome. Please do join us if you can.

GHG Helps to Spawn the New Mount Pleasant Heritage Group

The following message is from Bruce Macdonald who has been intimately involved in the events described:

Grandview, the only of Vancouver’s 22 local areas to have its own heritage group, this week helped to spawn the founding of a new heritage group. On November 13, 2013 Danielle Peacock and Alyssa Myshok organized the founding meeting of the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group. The inaugural meeting was held in Mount Pleasant’s Quebec Manor, an historic co-op heritage building. The new group decided to use the Grandview Heritage Group as a template to get started. It will create a similar blog, and explore replicating Penny Street’s successful Grandview Centenary Signs Campaign, which places celebratory signs in the front yards of heritage homes 100 or more years old.


Mount Pleasant is a Victorian neighbourhood that started along Brewery Creek and had the distinction of being the location of 4 breweries by the 1890s. They were gone by 1913, but one hundred years later Mount Pleasant is now once again home to 4 new breweries. The new Red Truck Brewery right at the mouth of Brewery Creek will have a community room when it opens in 2014, and the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group could have its monthly meetings there.


The ease of creating web sites and blogs helped to facilitate the founding of the Grandview Heritage Group in 2011, resulting in the city’s first neighbourhood heritage group, website and blog — a model for other neighbourhoods in Vancouver, in other Canadian cities, or anywhere else. The web site already has over 100 historic photos of Grandview. The Grandview Heritage Group has now also started a wiki, a web site where ALL historic information on Grandview can be easily uploaded including the history of Grandview and its streets, parks, individuals, businesses, groups and organizations.


We are also working to make it easy for others to create a new heritage group. Some other possible new neighbourhood heritage groups in Vancouver are the following:


Cedar Cottage Heritage Group
Cedar Cove Heritage Group
Dunbar Heritage Group
Fairview Heritage Group
Gastown Heritage Group
Hastings Heritage Group
Kitsilano Heritage Group
Marpole Heritage Group
Strathcona Heritage Group
West End Heritage Group
Yaletown Heritage Group

Heritage Walk This Saturday!

Historian, raconteur and all-round great tour guide Maurice Guibord will be conducting a heritage history walk this Saturday and you shouldn’t miss it.

His tour will cover the area to the west of Commercial Drive down to Glen Drive — an area that is often forgotten when people think of Grandview’s heritage.  Maurice has collected a wealth of history and anecdote about people and houses in that area, and he will share that knowledge with his usual humour.

The tour starts at 10:00am sharp and walkers should meet at Mosaic Park, Charles & McLean, rain or shine.

This is a fundraiser for the Grandview Heritage Group and the suggested donation is $10.