In the past year there has been some good news for the heritage community. On December 4, 2013, Vancouver City Council approved the Heritage Action Plan to update the city’s existing Heritage Conservation program. The Plan identified a total of 14 action items some were long awaited such as the update of the Vancouver Heritage Register and the review and update of the First Shaunghnessy Development Plan. Density is being purchased from the Heritage Density bank and we can only hope that this and other incentives will be available to preserve more of our heritage in the upcoming year. The City has approved three City Plans, in the West End, The Downtown Eastside and Marpole all of which give heritage a prominent position.
On a not so upbeat note, we are now awaiting the imminent demolition of the ‘A’ Legg Mansion in the West End and if the city does not take action quickly we could be losing at least one ‘A’ heritage home in Shaughnessy. Heritage character homes are disappearing at an alarming rate across the West Side. We only hope there will be some left to benefit from the Heritage Action Plan. The Vancouver School Board continues to use the seismic mitigation program as an opportunity to demolish our heritage schools. L’Ecole Bilinque (Cecil Rhodes) and General Gordon will be in the landfill before we know it, followed by a string of others if this trend is allowed to continue.
We look forward to working with the community in the upcoming year to have some heritage wins in Vancouver.
We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.