Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hey Vancouver!

My old Vancouver home - Cardero Street
A shout-out to my old town Vancouver this morning. I've been thinking about that great city since one day earlier this week, bright clear weather with a temperature of about 8C. Took me back to those rare and wonderful sunny winter days on the coast, the air perfumed by sea and rich vegetation (the not-so-rare ones are rain, rain and rain).

Last night I was googling about and came upon the Your Old House series of booklets published by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. I printed the one titled 'What Style is It?' (there are others, more relevant to old house owners - masonry, paint colours, wood siding, and wood windows.).

Appleyard Residence, Port Moody (1910)
Browsing through the style guide, I was reminded of the wonderful frame houses of my West End neighbourhood, many, but not all, succumbing to damp and developers. Recalled how delighted we were to see some of my 1970's neighbourhood in the toney West End still intact - the grimy yellow brick apartment building I lived in, and a few craftsman bungalows, Edwardian Foursquare and gable front houses across leafy Cardero Street (now a Bikeway, and no country for large vans).

I didn't take a lot of photos, but a virtual walkabout is always an option.

Old City Hall, Port Moody (1914)

One of the revelations of old-house viewing in the west is the absence of many styles - no elegant Georgians or soignee Regency villas - because the west wasn't building high-style in those days. Not building much (lasting) at all.
Everything of wood - for they had a surfeit of the stuff. Vancouver was incorporated as a city in 1886 - Toronto 1792.

Gold rush heritage - Creighton House (1870), Yale

Do visit the Vancouver Heritage Foundation site - I found a guide for first-time house tour participants (!), lots of  event announcements (and some online versions of previous walks), and accounts of their work saving heritage buildings.

 For like the fine folks at Frontenac Heritage Foundation, this organization 'puts its money where its mouth is'. They purchase at risk heritage buildings, and then find developers who will work with them, within historic preservation guidelines, to repurpose the old structure. Donations always welcome.

You can enjoy a walkabout of Port Moody and its heritage via the City of Port Moody Heritage Register online.

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