Introduction: 2019 Top10 Watch List

Single Top 10

2019 Top10 Watch List

Introduction: 2019 Top10 Watch List

Welcome to the 2019 Top10 Watch List

  1. Heart of Mount Pleasant
  2. Broadway Neighbourhoods
  3. Maritime Museum (1959, 1966)
  4. Dunbar Theatre (1935)
  5. Punjabi Market
  6. 525 Great Northern Way
  7. Fairmont Building (1912)
  8. Legacy of Expo 86
  9. Powell Street (Paueru Gai)
  10. Protecting Vancouver’s Heritage

Start viewing the 2019 list here, or through the thumbnails below.

Major change continues to and will be taking place across Vancouver. Last November, Vancouver City Council approved a city-wide plan to outline how future development will unfold across the city. Large scale planning programs such as the Broadway Plan to deliver the subway are already underway.

This year’s list highlights a number of sites and areas that require proper care as they represent what is valuable for living neighbourhoods. This heritage is not merely a focus on history or some nostalgia for the past.

Rather, their contemporary uses of the past make these areas wonderful and of high social benefit. The Heart of Mount Pleasant and the other Broadway Neighbourhoods are key areas that are distinct and beloved. The combinations of small local businesses, streetscapes, public gathering spaces, demographics, more affordable spaces and older buildings make them significant for the benefit of the public.

Punjabi Market, which has tended to receive less planning attention, is now in focus as community voices call for it to be treated as an important cultural asset to the city. (At this time of writing, a motion relating to the planning of the future of Punjabi Market as it celebrates 50 years in 2020 is to be considered on June 12 by Mayor and Council)

For the past several years, we have emphasized this type of heritage, known as cultural landscapes, in which the value of an area (a landscape) is derived from the combination of its components. As an example of a critical component, Dunbar Theatre, represents a key place in that neighbourhood. Its function as a social gathering place for the community to experience creative cultural life is invaluable.

We have a number of sites representing immense historic meaning to the City. Japantown has no specific heritage area planning nor protection. This is despite it being a major chapter in the city’s history through the initial settlement by the first generation of Japanese immigrants, to the expulsion during the Second World War, to its importance today to the variety of people who reside, visit and depend on the area.

Expo 86 launched Vancouver as a global destination and shaped much of the city we know today as a cosmopolitan city. How this event remains in public memory is of concern.

City Council in 2018 instructed staff to explore options to relocate the Vancouver Heritage Register “A” listed Fairmont Building which currently sits on the Heather Street Lands. The lands are owned by the Canada Lands Corporation (CLC) and the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation (MST Nations) through the MST Development Corporation. The MST Nations and CLC requested that the structure be removed from the site as an act of reconciliation. Though very recent in history, this building takes on new significance as a part of reconciliation. Whether it will be relocated and how it will be used if it does requires much attention.

We conclude with some reflections on the vulnerable state of heritage in Vancouver.

Heritage takes a variety of forms. It could be the heritage register “A” listed Rounsefell House which is currently without a roof, exposed to the elements after an arson two years ago. Or it could be the erosion of the qualities and social relationships that make up the character of neighbourhoods. The ongoing loss of small, local neighbourhood businesses is considered now in many cities to be a threat to heritage. To deal with all of this, we will need to retool, update, and expand our existing heritage thinking, approaches, and programs.

We hope that the city-wide plan and the awaited update to Vancouver’s heritage conservation program will lead to opportunities for everyone to participate in how we remember, protect, enhance, experience, and create the many aspects of Vancouver’s heritage.

Start viewing the 2019 list here, or through the thumbnails below.

Heritage Vancouver Society

We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.