2015 Vancouver Special Tour


This Month’s Blog Post focuses on a feature of the City of Vancouver that makes Vancouver’s Landscape and lifestyle what it is. In the spirit of Springtime, let’s look at new beginnings, re-working and re-purposing old things run down, and spending time outside enjoying the lovely West Coast Spring with a Vancouver Heritage Foundation Walking Tour!

Throughout the 1960’s, increased numbers of new families moving to Vancouver spurred on the mass construction of what is now known as a “Vancouver Special”. Not only in Vancouver as the name would imply but in outlying neighbourhoods such as Surrey, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, were these houses constructed in order to offer an affordable, and adaptable housing option. Vancouver Specials are still prevalent throughout the lower mainland, although they are quickly getting the facelift they need to develop them into one of the more sought after, renovated and re-worked styles of housing available.


In his 2009 essay, Charles Demers discusses his and others political views on the Vancouver Special and how it has shaped and molded this city and outlying regions. Check out a comprehensive review of his work on the Andrew Wilmot’s blog, Backlisted.



The Vancouver Special has been making news recently as a result of the many whole-home renovations that have been taking place throughout the lower-mainland region.  One that has recently caught the attention of mainstream media is a house in Marpole that will be included in the Vancouver Heritage Foundation Vancouver Special Tour. 


Read more about this “Special” house here: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/04/11/vancouver-special_n_7029246.html.


The best way to get an idea of what the name “Vancouver Special” implies in this decade is to attend one of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation Walking tours. The Vancouver Special Walking Tour will take place Saturday, April 18 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Join in to take a look at how Vancouver Residents have been taking over and re-working a generation past’s architecture and design to make it their own. Vancouver Specials are one of those things that make Vancouver who she is, just like the Spring Cherry Blossoms, Winter Rain and the Summer sunshine that I know we are all looking forward to.


Read Also: 

April Newsletter: Heritage Houses in Vancouver


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