Kerrisdale is a neighbourhood located in Vancouver’s west side. It features a mix of newer houses and older bungalows as well as various low and mid-rise rental and condo apartment buildings in its northern section. The neighbourhood is an ethnic mix of Caucasian and Asian Canadians. It features a shopping district running generally along West 41st Avenue between Larch and Maple Streets and West Boulevard between 37th and 49th Avenues. Although the city officially defines Kerrisdale as being south of 41st Ave (north of 41st is called Arbutus Ridge), the majority of the area’s residents consider the area’s boundaries to be West 33rd Avenue to the north, Granville Street to the east, West 57th Avenue to the south, and Blenheim Street to the west. The northern part of Marpole is also generally thought of as part of Kerrisdale, thus some refer to the area as Kerrisdale-Marpole. The southwestern part of Kerrisdale is known as Southlands, due to its location in relation to the city. Southlands is known for its horse stables and rural feel and is located on the floodplain of the North Arm of the Fraser River.
Point Grey Secondary School
5350 East Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6M 3V2
Point Grey Secondary is a comprehensive school with a long tradition of excellence in academics, fine and performing arts, applied skills, athletics, and service. With approximately 955 students in Grades 8 – 12, the school serves the Kerrisdale, Shaughnessy, Southlands, Musqueam, and Dunbar areas. Established in 1929, Point Grey has a unique “Collegiate Gothic” architectural design and is bordered by a track and field facility, tennis courts, Kerrisdale Ice Arena and Park. There is a strong focus on academic performance, with staff setting high standards for student achievement and students having high expectations for personal performance. Family expectations of student performance are also high, with many parents encouraging their children to continue their studies at post-secondary institutions across Canada and the United States.
Magee Secondary School
6360 Maple St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4M2
Magee Secondary was opened in 1914, and is located in Kerrisdale, an upper socioeconomic, west side, residential community, on Maple Street at 47h Avenue, between Granville Street and East Boulevard. The school is named after Hugh Magee, a local pioneer farmer. Maple Grove (adjacent to Magee) and McKechnie are Magee’s catchment elementary schools, although a significant number of students also come from both Osler, David Lloyd George and Kerrisdale Elementary Schools.
Maple Grove Elementary School
1924 W 45th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6M 3S3
Maple Grove’s vision is for students is experience success in curricular and extra-curricular activities that will develop their confidence to take leadership roles as citizens of Canada and as global citizens. Communication skills provide a strong foundation for self-confidence and leadership. Maple Grove continues to work on oral language skills to establish a firm foundation for all forms of communication. Over the past three years, Maple Grove has been focusing on Early Literacy and Early Intervention; Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and on critical thinking so that students have confidence to think for themselves and make their own decisions
Kerrisdale Elementary School
5555 Carnarvon St, Vancouver, BC V6N 1J2
Kerrisdale Elementary, with a current population of 477 students, is a multiprogram school comprised of an English, French Immersion, and District FI MACC Program. Their English program encompasses Grades 3-7 and complements the Kerrisdale Annex K-2 program. Their French Immersion program incorporates Grades K7. The FI MACC is a district program for High Ability Learners in Grades 5-7. Kerrisdale also participates in the International Student Program. With PAC-funded playgrounds, outdoor classroom space, and community gardens, there are many opportunities for students to be a part of the school community and to engage in dynamic learning. These facilities and the school grounds at large allow for students to engage in diverse activities as individual classes, multi-class groupings, and in free play.
Crofton House School
3200 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6N 3E1
Crofton House School is a warm and supportive community that prepares girls to be courageous, creative and engaged citizens, ready for a world of possibility. Crofton House School is a leading independent day school for girls from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, where students are inspired to discover and pursue their personal excellence.
Park visitors have an opportunity at many recreational activities with use of the bowling greens, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and tennis courts.
Kerrisdale Centennial Park
5898 Yew St, Vancouver, BC V6M 2B6
This small and pleasant park surrounds the Kerrisdale Community Centre. There is ample shade, a playground, and plenty of room for visitors to play or relax.
5670 East Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4
The artificial turf field and running track is a great space for many but is frequented by students with Point Grey Secondary School sitting adjacent to the park.
Maple Grove Park
6875 Yew St, Vancouver, BC V6P 5W2
This park is a popular destination in the summertime for many with a large outdoor pool surrounded by picnic tables, play areas, grassy fields and trees providing ample shade.
4594 Balaclava St, Vancouver, BC V6L 2T2
Located in a quiet neighbourhood, this park offers grassy fields that are frequented by sports teams, neighbours, and children alike. It also features a wading pool and dogs off-leash areas.
4000 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6N 2B8
This large park is predominantly lush natural forest containing a series of trails enjoyed by those on horseback and foot alike. This is also a great place for dog walks or a soccer game with the parks large grassy clearing.
Vancouver Heritage Housing
In April 1983, City Council initiated a Heritage Conservation Program. Both Council and the Vancouver Heritage Commission (then known as the Heritage Advisory Committee) realized that a comprehensive management program was necessary to identify the city’s heritage resources, to develop incentives to assist in the conservation of those resources, and to create a greater awareness and understanding of our built heritage. There are three main components to the Heritage Program.
Vancouver Heritage Register
By the end of 1986, Vancouver’s centennial year, City Council adopted the Vancouver Heritage Register (then known as the Heritage Inventory) which included buildings, landscapes, monuments and archaeological sites that have heritage significance. A site does not have to be designated to be included on the Register. There are approximately 2,400 resources listed on the Register ranging from workers cottages and utilitarian warehouses to elaborately decorated mansions and commercial buildings. The Vancouver Heritage Register [pdf] is a valuable record of the development and change that has occurred in Vancouver’s history. Approximately 21% (about 500) sites are municipally designated [see the Heritage Bylaw].
Heritage Management Plan
The Heritage Management Plan includes a program of incentives and protective measures that are aimed at promoting the conservation of our heritage resources. Incentives such as zoning by-law, subdivision by-law and parking by-law relaxations, density bonuses and transfers, and permit fast tracking encourage the restoration and continued use of heritage buildings. Protective measures include designation, heritage revitalization agreements, heritage alteration permits, heritage inspections, impact assessments, temporary protection, the withholding of approvals and permits, heritage control periods and heritage site maintenance standards.
Public Education and Information Program
This aspect of the Heritage Conservation Program provides information to the public on heritage issues and appropriate conservation techniques. Initiatives such as the annual Heritage Awards which recognize efforts that further the goal of heritage conservation are also an important part of the Heritage Program. The Heritage Plaque Program identifies municipally designated heritage sites with a distinctive bronze plaque and serves to acknowledge conservation efforts of building owners. It also increases public awareness of our built heritage and of our history.
What is the Vancouver Heritage Register?
The Vancouver Heritage Register [PDF] is the cornerstone of the City’s Heritage program. Adopted in 1986 (then known as the Heritage Inventory), it is a policy and guideline document which includes approximately 2,150 buildings, and 131 landscapes, monuments and archaeological sites. To be included on the Register, sites must be identified as having heritage value and/or heritage character and be at least 20 years old. The Register is a planning tool which provides a valuable record of Vancouver’s heritage.
A comprehensive architectural survey of the city was completed by a study team that looked at every street in the City to identify notable buildings. This work, together with additional historical research on the buildings, was used to evaluate each building according to the following criteria: (1) architectural significance; (2) historical significance; (3) the extent to which the original context of the building and its surroundings remain; and (4) the degree of alteration to the exterior of the building.
To be included on the Heritage Register, a site is evaluated as outlined above, and in so doing it must be identified as having heritage value and/or heritage character. Heritage value means historical, cultural, aesthetic, scientific or educational worth. Heritage character means the overall effect produced by traits or features which give a property or an area its distinctive quality. There can be different degrees and kinds of value and character. A rare example of a once-common building type may be of considerable value in one neighbourhood over a similar building in another area where that building type is more prevalent.
What do the “A”, “B” and “C” Evaluation Categories Mean?
These categories are general classifications and are based on any combination of historic, architectural, cultural, spiritual, scientific or social values.
A – Primary Significance
Represents the best examples of a style or type of building; may be associated with a person or event of significance.
B – Significant
Represents good examples of a particular style or type, either individually or collectively; may have some documented historical or cultural significance in a neighbourhood.
C – Contextual or Character
Represents those buildings that contribute to the historic character of an area or streetscape, usually found in groupings of more than one building but may also be of individual importance.
While the category is a useful reference, the key is that whichever category a building is placed under, it has heritage value.
Can Registered Buildings be Altered or Demolished?
Does a Building’s “A”, “B” or “C” Category Affect How It Is Treated?
A building which is listed on the Heritage Register can be altered on the exterior. However, when considering alterations, the way in which the exterior is treated should not depend on whether it is an “A”, “B” or “C”. In other words, the heritage value of each building on the Heritage Register is formally recognized and the elements that define its character should be afforded the same level of respect. If a permit is required for the alteration, it will be referred to heritage staff for comments as part of the permit process.
Council’s “Heritage Polices and Guidelines” describe Council’s intent with respect to heritage properties listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register (VHR). Before a permit can be issued to demolish a building on the VHR, development and building permits for the new development must first be obtained. In this period staff would explore retention options with the applicant. Often applicants do not know all the options and incentives/bonuses which are applicable if a heritage building is retained. These can include floor area bonuses and relaxations in height, setbacks, parking, etc. Heritage incentives are meant to be used to successfully find alternatives to the demolition of heritage buildings to the satisfaction of both the property owner and the city.
In addition to the process described above, Council policy specifies that if a building is listed in the “A” category on the VHR and demolition is sought by the owner, then:
“Council has instructed that, prior to consideration of a proposal for the demolition of an “A” building, a formal independent consultant’s report on the physical condition and economic viability of retaining the building should be reviewed by the Director of Planning. The consultant’s report is to be carried out at the expense of the applicant.”
The Planning Department’s practice in this regard has been to advise Council of the demolition request for an “A” listed building and seek their advice. For all other buildings on the Vancouver Heritage Register, if the development application is “outright” with respect to use and regulation, and there is no voluntary interest in keeping the building by the owner (or prospective owner) then the heritage hold would be removed and the demolition application process would proceed. The process typically takes one to three weeks.
For applications that seek a “conditional” development with respect to use or regulation, (e.g. a single family dwelling containing a secondary suite) the City is under no obligation to approve an application that seeks the demolition of a building on the VHR. Instead, Council’s policy instructs staff to give special consideration through applying zoning incentives to applications that seek the retention of a resource on the Heritage Register. It can take one to six months to complete the permitting process to retain the heritage building, depending on the complexity of the site, development requested and the level of negotiation.
In addition to the procedures described above, the Vancouver Charter (sections 583 and 589) permits Council to delay the demolition approval of a building either on the Heritage Register or a building that “may be heritage property”, through temporary protection for a period of 120 days. During this time, a heritage inspection may be ordered (at the owners expense) to assess the heritage value of the site.
How are Sites Added to the Vancouver Heritage Register?
When the original Heritage Register was adopted in 1986, Council supported a public nomination program whereby sites would be nominated for addition to the Register. Public nominations are reviewed by heritage staff who prepare an evaluation form for the site. The evaluation is then reviewed by the Vancouver Heritage Commission. If the person nominating the building is not the owner, then consultation with the owner must occur to determine whether or not the owner is supportive of the nomination. Sites with sufficient heritage value or character are forwarded to Council for consideration in amending the Register. If approved, the site is added to the Register.
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