The Vancouver Heritage Foundation is hosting a tour of renovated Vancouver Specials around the city and a Kitsilano home (photo below) is apparently the highlight. The tour takes place on Saturday, September 26th from 1-5pm and includes stops at five renovated homes – Hastings-Sunrise, Riley Park, Douglas Park, Point Grey, and Kitsilano. Tickets are available online for $25.
Some of you may be asking – so, what’s a Vancouver Special???
Some say it derives from the “rancher” turned sideways, to adapt to Vancouver’s narrow lots. Popular and quick to build, thousands of “Vancouver Specials” were constructed in the 1960s and 70s in bluecollar neighbourhoods all over the lower mainland, and they remain today the dominant house type in Vancouver. The sheer quantity of Specials and their adaptability to a two family dwelling is making them more and more attractive to first time buyers.
If you can’t get enough of Vancouver Specials, be sure to check out the Foundation’s lecture titled Where Did The Vancouver Special Come From and Where Can It Go? on Monday, September 21st from 7:30 – 9:30 pm at the Unitarian Church. Tickets are also available online.
Last modified: September 18, 2009
Most might know the Vancouver special by its other more derogatory name– the “monster home”. If you were around in the 90’s, there was so much criticism about how these homes started to appear in wealthier neighbourhoods, ruining the esthetics and the prices and all that.
Interesting how we’ve slowly come to accept the Vancouver Special as some sort of vintage glamour. But whenever I hear complaints about homeless shelters, or controversy over mobile homes being built in North Van, I think back on the Vancouver Special. So many things change, so much stays the same.