Tag Archives: heritage

Vanishing family history

Caroline Adderson’s Facebook project, Vancouver Vanishes, has made me see local real estate in a whole new, more nostalgic way. Especially since across the street from me are two bungalows bought 50 years ago — one by octogenarians George and Inta, who still live in their home, and the other by a woman who’s lived in a nursing home since before we moved into the neighbourhood, ten years ago.

That house went up for sale earlier this year for $1.8 million, a price which reflects mainly the land value. And since surveyors were here for three straight days a few weeks ago, I’m guessing at an incoming triplex-plus-coachhouse.

Now, I’m not the best heritage advocate. Particularly since I’ve been rabble-rousing all year to get my kids’ death-trap of a school upgraded, which in this case likely means “rebuilt.” (Yes, those are asbestos tags in the kindergarten classroom. Thanks, Rachel, for the photo.)


I’m also living in a relatively new duplex which replaced the lovely brown home in this photo:

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But, it’s hard to watch old buildings disappear. Especially when the building has family history.

This home, at 39th and Blenheim, was once a private nursing home owned by my grandparents. My mom was fairly horrified to drive by during a recent Vancouver visit and see the building in its current state.


The good news: because it’s a heritage building, it can’t be completely torn down. From what I’ve read, there’s hope it will be bought and converted into luxury suites.


Original owner William Morrisette probably didn’t have the granite countertop option, but with his love of verandas and columns, maybe he would have approved.

If I had a million (billion?) dollars, I’d snap it up and restore it’s faded glory!