As reported by Global News, the fate of a century-old, arts and crafts-style schoolhouse in Kitsilano remains uncertain, as residents vow to stop demolition. Meetings are taking place at the school board to find a solution.

The tiny schoolhouse sits on the same property as General Gordon Elementary where a replacement school is under construction. Locals believe the old schoolhouse may be razed to make room for a staff parking lot. They’ve started a petition to protest.

“History matters in Kitsilano. Kitsilano has a long history of community advocacy for its old buildings,” said concerned resident Jean Gordon.

“The only reason it’s being taking down, it seems, is to be replaced by parking places,” added Larry Benge.

At least eight cherry blossom trees outside the schoolhouse also appear marked for removal.

Upset residents called on the school board to save this piece of Vancouver history.

“This is a little gem that means a lot and it certainly means a lot to the community,” Vancouver School Board trustee Patti Bacchus said, adding that she was working with VSB staff to consider options to save the schoolhouse.

If there isn’t a reprieve, those who love the little yellow schoolhouse are vowing to block the bulldozers.

“I’ll be here and I will try to stop them,” said Jann Pierce.

Bacchus tweeted the schoolhouse will not be demolished this week and staff will report back with options next month. The VSB released this statement:

“The Vancouver Board of Education has instructed district staff to explore options to preserve the old yellow schoolhouse at the General Gordon Elementary site.

“Trustees have directed staff to report back to the March 7 public board meeting. No actions will happen with the building until the board considers the new staff report.”



Last modified: March 10, 2017

8 Responses to " VSB is deciding whether or not to save century-old schoolhouse in Kitsilano "

  1. Maureen says:

    We’ve got Kits beach a block away. Surely the city can find room there to put the school house. Could it become part of the playground area and have art classes in it for kids.

  2. Alannah says:

    My kids have been in portables for two years due to gordon being rebuilt. They are made to feel second class to Queen E students while we are put there. We hadto fight to even use the gym, the kids are not allowed on certain playground equipment. Preservation of this schoolhouse cannot be allowed to delay opening the new school. The situation staying at Queen E is getting toxic. For example, some grade threes were asked by older kids on Thursday if they were from Gordon and when they said yes, they threw rocks. I cannot support saving this building if it prevents gordon opening as scheduled . Sharing Queen Elizabeth has been a failure

  3. Kitsilano1257 says:

    Why can’t they leave the old school where it is now? It says they want to take it down to build a parking lot. The teachers can park on the street like everyone else, they don’t need their own parking lot. Vancouver could give the teachers a parking permit sticker like the residents in area. Even better, the teachers can take the bus like their students. Stop building parking lots all over the place. The old building can be used for something like an afternoon nap room or a play room for the children.

  4. Kitsilano1257 says:

    After looking at google maps, it looks like General Gordon elementary and Queen Elizabeth Elementary are the same building. What is with that? Why don’t they merge into one school? doesn’t make sense having two schools in the same location. VSB is always complaining about not having enough money and here they are wasting it by having two schools in the same building. No wonder the children are throwing rocks at each other. Merge the schools into one. Problem solved!.

  5. Kits Resident says:

    Contrary to what the other commenters say, this is not Queen Elizabeth, nor is this Henry Hudson. This is on the corner of the lot where General Gordon is. And General Gordon is most definitely in Kitsilano. It is East of Alma street. Kits Beach is not a block away, it is more like 1km away.

    Perhaps the confusion is coming from the fact that GG students have been temporarily moved to QE. And google maps is being a little bit too smart and showing that the two schools share a location (which they do, but only until construction completes).

    Another confusion is the HH does have a similar looking schoolhouse on the property, and that school *is* a block away from Kits beach. But that is not the one pictured above.

  6. Kitsilano1257 says:

    It still unnecessary to replace a building with a parking lot. There is plenty of parking on the street in the low density neighbourhood. This is not downtown with very limited parking. Alma street is barely Kitsilano. It is more like Point Grey.

  7. Kitsilana says:

    General Gordon Elementary is on the 2800-block of West 6th Avenue, between MacDonald and Bayswater Streets, in Kitsilano. Classes have been temporarily moved to Queen Elizabeth Elementary and Queen Elizabeth Annex (in Point Grey) during the seismic upgrading (demolition of the old school and building of the new school).

    There, that wasn’t too hard, was it?

  8. Neighbour says:

    For those commenting that there is plenty of street parking for the teachers – you obviously do not live near the school. The dead end street on West 7th is a complete disaster. Not only do teachers park there, but 4 times a day the street becomes complete gridlock when nannies and parents park their enormous luxury SUVs wherever they please (including in the middle of the road) to drop off or pick up the small children at the schoolhouse. I am constantly shocked at how inconsiderate and entitled many of these folks are. This is not a commercial zone – this is a residential street and there should be parking on the school property for employees working at the school and a safe/dedicated drop-off zone for parents of small children. The main school was not the problem – its the little schoolhouse – which has been operating as a private (for profit) daycare – it is not part of the school system, it is a business. If the schoolhouse building is saved and re-purposed for anything that has customers, members or visitors – the parking must be also addressed.