Downtown Eastside SROs Top Heritage Vancouver’s 2022 Watchlist – BC

Heritage Vancouver calls for a better balance between preservation and life enhancement when it comes to the future of single occupancy (SRO) hotels in the Downtown Eastside.

The group has released its annual watchlist of « 10 Places or Themes of Interest » and hotels top the list.

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« This list, which we’ve been publishing for more than 20 years, focused only on buildings in the city, » said Jurian ter Horst, vice president of the Heritage Vancouver Society.

« Now we’re looking at places, buildings, subjects and themes that deserve a little more attention. »

Heritage Vancouver said it was concerned that the loss of SRO buildings could be equated with the loss of « defining architectural character in the city ».

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But, he also described ORS as « dangerous and deteriorating » and noted that many people have had terrible experiences with it.

Many are over 100 years old and extremely dilapidated.

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« To highlight the historic and architectural perspectives alone, omit the lived experience of the thousands of people who continue to live in these often dangerous and deteriorating structures, » Heritage Vancouver said in its watchlist.

« It could be seen as privileging the past over the present. »

The group says any new facility that supports the community should also value the physical history of the neighborhood.

« We’re not against new housing because it’s needed, » Horst said.

« But, (building) just for housing, neighborhoods can lose character and it’s going to be very generic. »

Another concern for Heritage Vancouver is the loss of affordable housing if older buildings are demolished in favor of more expensive condo towers.

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“Neighborhoods” is the third category of the group’s 2022 watch list.

Heritage Vancouver is concerned that some neighborhoods will lose their character with new development.

“Vancouver has often been referred to as a city of neighborhoods,” Horst said.

“We believe that each neighborhood has its own heritage value. They have character. »

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The group expressed concern for the Broadway neighborhood and the new incoming SkyTrain line.

« It’s going to be a very generic (area) where you can’t make out Fairview, you can’t make out Kitsilano and you can’t make out Mount Pleasant anymore, » Horst said.

However, the Broadway Neighborhood Plan takes note of the conservation of certain areas of these neighborhoods, which include heritage sites.

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Conserved areas include parts of South Kitsilano, with many properties listed on the Heritage Register, a ‘rare group of old houses in a unique quiet streetscape’ on the slopes of Fairview and in Mount Pleasant – houses and working-class apartment buildings.

All of these communities have their own neighborhood-specific plans, created with input from residents.

« These plans provide a foundation, a historical record of the aspirations of those who live in the neighborhood and truly enable those aspirations, » said Andy Yan, SFU’s city program director.

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Other watchlist topics, themes or places include the Vancouver Heritage Register, 6495 Main Street, Hastings Park and Interment, Heather Lands, Winters Hotel, 800 block of Granville Street, heritage businesses and historic districts.

People can read the full watchlist on the Heritage Vancouver website.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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