Heritage Vancouver has issued a list of the Top 10 Endangered Heritage Sites in Vancouver — and the entire Grandview Neighbourhood is on the list.
Grandview is one of Vancouver’s oldest historic neighbourhoods, with many consistent streetscapes of older houses and commercial buildings, few of which are on the City of Vancouver’s Heritage Register. While individual owners continue to work to upgrade their houses within broad heritage principles, builders and developers have set a trend of erecting front-back duplexes on 33-foot lots in a generic “heritage” style that can erode overall neighbourhood character.
Historic resources that are not listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register are threatened, as they are not eligible for the creative tools, relaxations and bonuses offered for Register resources. Unsympathetic zoning allows unchecked demolition of houses not on the Register, leading to generic replacement buildings. Some historic houses that are not on the Register sit on multiple lots, which could be attractive to developers and very difficult to retain …
Commercial Drive – our best surviving early commercial streetscape outside of the downtown core – has no specific heritage protection, and could be threatened with the kind of densification being seen on Vancouver’s other arterial corridors.
I suspect that we have enough activists in the neighbourhood — including quite a few media types — that we can at the very least make a lot of noise about unwanted changes. However, the massive barn that Council has recently approved at 1st & Victoria, and the bad compromises made at the Presbyterian Church at Salsbury & Napier, remind us that vigilance is always needed.
We are supportive of sympathetic change — we have supported the Jeffs House restoration, for example — but are concerned that some developers don’t look beyond the balance sheet. If you are aware of any potentially damaging changes that are upcoming, please let us know by email or in person at one of our monthly meetings.