In recognition of the heritage-rich character of the Grandview neighbourhood, the Grandview Heritage Group (GHG) is officially launching its Centenary Houses celebration campaign at 10:00 am on Saturday 18th August with a sign-posting and birthday cake event at 1710 and 1718 Victoria Drive, just south of 1st Avenue. The public is warmly invited to attend.
There was rampant real estate speculation in Grandview in the first few years of the twentieth century; after all, it had a “grand view” of downtown and the mountains. Many people thought it would end up as the fanciest neighbourhood in the city. Eventually, that prize went to Shaughnessy, but not before some splendid houses were built in Grandview. During the next few weeks, the GHG will be placing up to two dozen signs on houses and buildings that were built in 1912 or earlier.
We already have approvals for signs at various houses on Venables Street, Pandora Street, Adanac Street, Lakewood Drive, Victoria Drive, Franklin Street, Charles Street, and Napier Street, and permissions from additional owners are currently being obtained. The GHG is also planning to extend the celebration to a number of buildings on Commercial Drive that were completed in 1912.
“The year 1912 was an important one for Grandview,” said GHG spokesperson Jak King, author of several books on the history of Commercial Drive. “It was the peak year for the building boom that had begun in 1908 and that would burst in the pre-war recession of 1913–1914. 1912 saw the largest increase in population for any year since the opening of Grandview as a suburb in 1902. The houses built that year ranged from mansions and apartment blocks to more simple workers’ homes. Through this campaign, we hope to highlight many of the houses that have served the neighbourhood so well for a hundred years and more.”
The GHG Birthday Signs campaign has been financed by local fundraising and grants from the City of Vancouver’s Grandview Woodland Community Plan team and the Neighbourhood Small Grants Project of the Vancouver Foundation. We sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to this celebration of our heritage.