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Home » Daily Life, Housing, Jobs, & Money

What’s so special about a “Vancouver Special?”

Submitted by on September 19, 2010 – 10:10 amNo Comment

If you’re house-​​hunting in Vancouver, you’ll likely see some houses that are mar­keted as “Vancouver Specials.”

Built in the 1960s and ‘70s, these flat-​​fronted two-​​story homes were con­structed quickly, when baby boomers and new immi­grants were all seek­ing housing.

These houses gen­er­ally incor­po­rated one liv­ing space on each level, which appealed to extended fam­i­lies liv­ing together or to home­own­ers who wanted to rent out a sec­ondary suite.

Unfortunately, the Vancouver Specials were widely panned as ugly, par­tic­u­larly when they were built in neigh­bor­hoods of his­toric homes.

You’ll still see plenty of Vancouver Specials around the city and its sub­urbs, although in many areas, they’re con­sid­ered “tear­downs” or as can­vases for con­tem­po­rary renovations.

If you’re in Vancouver this week, you have two oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn more about this dis­tinc­tive Vancouver hous­ing type, thanks to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

On Tuesday, September 21 at 7pm, archi­tect Stephanie Robb of Pechet and Robb Art & Architecture will present her per­spec­tive on 10 years of work on Vancouver Specials. Her talk will be held at the Unitarian Church, 949 W. 49th Avenue (at Oak Street). Admission is $10.

On Saturday, September 25th, the Heritage Foundation is offer­ing its annual Vancouver Special Tour, where you’ll visit sev­eral exam­ples of restored Vancouver Specials. The tour runs from noon to 5pm and costs $25.

Contact the Vancouver Heritage Foundation for infor­ma­tion about both of these events. Or phone them at 604 – 264-​​9642.

Vancouver Special photo by JMV on flickr

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