9. Lower Mount Pleasant – Houses

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9. Lower Mount Pleasant – Houses
304 W 6th Avenue (1905) at Alberta Street

Houses at 144 E 6th Avenue (1888); 302 & 304 W 6th Avenue (1905 & 1906) & others

Shadowed by towering construction cranes above the athletes village languishes remnants of one of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods.

The present commercial/industrial area bounded by Cambie Street, West 2nd Avenue, Main Street and Broadway, has its origins as a workers neighbourhood serving the water-based industries of southeast False Creek.

In the late 1880s, the first houses appeared, giving birth to the City’s first neighbourhood south of False Creek.

In the ensuing decades, industrial uses crept southward, the area declined, and in the 1950s, property-owners successfully petitioned City Council to re-zone the neighbourhood for light industrial development.

Since then, most of the early houses have been replaced by nondescript commercial buildings, but fascinating pockets of the old neighbourhood hang on, including turn-of-the-century houses, apartments and diners.

Typical of the area’s endangered stock is the Lindsay Residence (1888), a Victorian at 144 East 6th Avenue near Main Street, and possibly the oldest extant house outside of downtown. Built just two years after the Great Fire, the old monarch is vacant and boarded-up, and sits adjacent to a former scrap-yard for sale as an development site. Neglected and stuccoed over, clues to her former glory are still visible, including triple-assembly windows, and a shingled main gable with lunette window and original fascia details. Peel off the stucco, and the original wood siding and other hidden details will still be there.

Currently, the City is conducting a comprehensive heritage evaluation as part of the Mount Pleasant Community Plan. We encourage the city to also evaluate the industrial area of Mount Pleasant to facilitate the conservation of these important remnants of the city’s early development.