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First Shaughnessy designated Heritage Conservation Area

September 29 2015

"We are taking a balanced approach that will prevent the demolition of these historic homes while providing new opportunities to add very modest density where appropriate," said Mayor Robertson.

A character home in Shaughnessy
Photograph by Google

Vancouver City Council established the First Shaughnessy District as the city’s first-ever Heritage Conservation Area today, an important move toward preserving and protecting valuable heritage homes in Vancouver.

Pre-1940 character homes are protected from demolition

First Shaughnessy District is the area between West 16th and King Edward and Arbutus and Oak streets where many pre-1940 character homes are located.

Designating First Shaughnessy as a Heritage Conservation Area legally protects pre-1940 heritage properties in the area from demolition and provides more clarity around conservation.

“First Shaughnessy is one of our most historic neighbourhoods, and in a city as young as Vancouver it's important that we protect its unique heritage,” said Mayor Robertson. “By designating First Shaughnessy as Vancouver's first Heritage Conservation Area, we are taking a balanced approach that will prevent the demolition of these historic homes while providing new opportunities to add very modest density where appropriate.”

While demolition can be prevented, many benefits in the new zoning would be available to these properties.

The proposed new regulations support additional dwelling uses and units, such as secondary suites, coach houses, infill buildings, and multiple-conversion dwellings.

These changes can generate land value and would offset the impact of keeping the existing house.

Over half of First Shaughnessy properties were built before 1940

First Shaughnessy is a historic Vancouver neighbourhood which was developed in the early 1900s as a premier residential area.

The neighbourhood is highlighted by distinct homes in neo-Tudor, Federal Colonial, and Arts and Crafts styles, and features lush landscaping and mature trees.

There are 595 properties in First Shaughnessy, of which 315 were constructed before 1940. Eighty of the properties are currently listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

In response to a steadily increasing number of demolition permit requests for pre-1940 homes in the area in recent years, a temporary moratorium on demolitions was put in place in 2014, while a review of the First Shaughnessy District was underway and the Heritage Conservation Area plan was developed.

Heritage Conservation Areas help cities identify and manage heritage resources

Heritage Conservation Areas are used in municipalities across North America to identify, manage, and provide long-term protection to heritage resources. There are around 60 Heritage Conservation Areas in British Columbia, with nine of them in Victoria.

Learn more about how we protect heritage