Vancouver becomes increasingly insipid on the streets where we live

Barbara Yaffe: Vancouver becomes increasingly insipid on the streets where we live.

Similar in the City of North Vancouver – there is very little heritage remaining.  Is it too late?   Perhaps.

Quoting in part:   “Beautiful trees are destroyed along with the properties and giant houses, completely out of scale to the lot, now squat awkwardly, dwarfing the surrounding houses.”

The older houses, their defenders argue, are more affordable and retaining them is the ecologically sustainable thing to do. Each demolition contributes some 45 tonnes of waste to the landfill.

Renovation and demolitions annually result in 100,000 tonnes of building waste.

The city report outlined measures that would discourage destruction of character homes, including asking Ottawa and B.C. to offer tax credits for those refurbishing heritage buildings; increasing demolition fees for pre-1940s homes; streamlining permit approvals for heritage retention; and relaxing building regulations when a character structure is rehabilitated.

But this is a race against time. The city may be too late. Vancouver is losing its soul.

Read more:

and:  “Metro Vancouver home buyers favor detached homes in suburbs, condos in tony urban areas”  – what does the City of North Vancouver qualify as?  suburb?  tony urban area?  Neither – “general urban”


and “The City of Vancouver is losing a valuable part of its past, condoning the cavalier demolition of housing stock that has clear heritage value.

Council has regulatory levers it can deploy to control the pace of destruction but has dragged its heels so nearly 1,100 buildings — many of them beautiful character-filled houses — were torn down in the last year alone.

It is obvious developers have an incentive to knock down and build bigger houses to replace those that did not maximize the density allowances of their lot sizes, as so many did not nearly a century ago.

Not only is the municipal permitting process for a developer building new, quicker and easier, they make more profit with their large, modern and boxy creations.

Where there are possibilities of increasing a lot’s density through a new condo or townhouse development, residential sellers, eager to cash in on long-held investments, also have a profit motive. That is understandable.

But in the case of beautiful older homes situated on land zoned for single-family occupancy, what is the benefit to the broader community in ripping them down?”



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