First Shaughnessy designated Heritage Conservation Area

Photograph by Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Vancouver City Council established the First Shaughnessy District as the city’s first-ever Heritage Conservation Area, an important move toward preserving and protecting valuable heritage homes in Vancouver.

Pre1940 character homes are protected from demolition

First Shaughnessy District is the area between West 16th and King Edward and Arbutus and Oak streets where many pre-1940 character homes are located.

Designating First Shaughnessy as a Heritage Conservation Area legally protects pre-1940 heritage properties in the area from demolition and provides more clarity around conservation.

“First Shaughnessy is one of our most historic neighbourhoods, and in a city as young as Vancouver it's important that we protect its unique heritage,” said Mayor Robertson. “By designating First Shaughnessy as Vancouver's first Heritage Conservation Area, we are taking a balanced approach that will prevent the demolition of these historic homes while providing new opportunities to add very modest density where appropriate.”

While demolition can be prevented, many benefits in the new zoning would be available to these properties.

The proposed new regulations support additional dwelling uses and units, such as secondary suites, coach houses, infill buildings, and multiple-conversion dwellings.

These changes can generate land value and would offset the impact of keeping the existing house.

Over half of First Shaughnessy properties were built before 1940

First Shaughnessy is a historic Vancouver neighbourhood which was developed in the early 1900s as a premier residential area.

The neighbourhood is highlighted by distinct homes in neo-Tudor, Federal Colonial, and Arts and Crafts styles, and features lush landscaping and mature trees.

There are 595 properties in First Shaughnessy, of which 315 were constructed before 1940. Eighty of the properties are currently listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

In response to a steadily increasing number of demolition permit requests for pre-1940 homes in the area in recent years, a temporary moratorium on demolitions was put in place in 2014, while a review of the First Shaughnessy District was underway and the Heritage Conservation Area plan was developed.

Heritage Conservation Areas help cities identify and manage heritage resources

Heritage Conservation Areas are used in municipalities across North America to identify, manage, and provide long-term protection to heritage resources. There are around 60 Heritage Conservation Areas in British Columbia, with nine of them in Victoria.

Heritage Action Plan

The Heritage Action Plan is a review of the policies and tools used to conserve and celebrate heritage resources. It was approved by Council in December 2013 to improve how the City supports heritage conservation in Vancouver. 

Actions implemented through the plan will result in an update of the City’s existing Heritage Conservation Program, which was originally established in 1986, Vancouver's centennial. 

Consultants, staff, and a public advisory committee are working on actions set out in the plan. You will also have numerous opportunities to provide your input.    

Key areas for action and implementation

The Heritage Action Plan has five key areas for action and implementation:

  1. Heritage Conservation Program review
  2. Heritage Register upgrade
  3. Character home zoning review
  4. Sustainability initiatives
  5. Awareness and advocacy initiatives

View the work program and public engagement schedule  (576 KB)