West End Heritage Survey
The city recently completed a round of Open Houses for the West End Plan. The survey which was available at the Open Houses is on line until April 23rd. This is an opportunity for you to express your voice in the conversation about the future of the West End. There are two key directions in the “Neighbourhoods” section you could be interested in:
1. To allow for the preservation of single family houses through the provision of strata titled laneway houses
2. The protection of rental housing (older apartment buildings)
The laneway housing is a way to increase density in the West End without the need to demolish heritage buildings.
West End Round Table on Heritage
The city is in the process of hiring a heritage consultant to prepare a Statement of Significance for the West End. This will result in the creation of high level themes for the West End and illustrate buildings, streetscapes and other features representative of the themes.
Although no buildings will be added to the Heritage Register at this time, this is the first step in a long awaited heritage register update. The information will form part of the West End Plan which will be presented to City Council.
As part of the process, the City of Vancouver has asked Heritage Vancouver to assist with a round table on heritage in the West End. If you are interested in participating in the round table please send your names to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will let you know as soon as the City has a date and you can let us know then if you are available.
The Gabriola Mansion
As many of you have noticed the Gabriola Mansion on Davie Street once owned by the Rogers family has been abandoned for some time. We have sent the following letter on behalf of our community to the City of Vancouver.
Re: Opening of Gabriola Mansion, 1531 Davie
The Gabriola Mansion at 1531 Davie Street is one of the three surviving grand estate homes built in the West End at the end of the 19th century. With its garden space and preserved views, the mansion has contributed to the richness of the streetscape and the character of the neighbourhood for many years.
The Gabriola Mansion has been closed for several years now. The windows are boarded up and the entrance has been fenced in. This encourages squatters and other vagrants and puts the building at risk to vandalism.
The Gabriola Mansion is on the Heritage A list and has received protection with a Heritage Revitalization Agreement that includes a density bonus. In awarding a density transfer, the City has made a substantial financial investment in the property. We have the opportunity to capitalize on this investment by providing a place for people to enjoy.
We have the opportunity to explore how this beautiful building with its magnificent grounds could be reopened so it can be enjoyed again by our community and become part of our community heritage.
Heritage Vancouver is encouraging the City of Vancouver to enter into a dialogue with the owner to determine his plans for the Mansion. If the owner does not intend to reopen it as a restaurant, we could explore how we could open the building for some community use that could increase its contribution and value to our community and to creating our community.