Heritage Houses


Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Do you have an affinity for Heritage Homes? Those colourful, unique, detailed houses dotting the streets in many of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods sure add a lot of charm and history to the city. The Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a fantastic charity that supports to conservation of heritage homes across the city. They do a number of things including educational walking tours, they offer grants for restoration and more.


Vancouver Heritage Foundation Website

In Vancouver, you can be granted “Heritage” status by the city, which ensures that various components of your heritage home are protected from change over the years. There are various levels of heritage status (depending on the building’s history and condition), and the level of heritage status is determined by experts from the city. In terms of real estate, a home being labeled as heritage status is great news for those looking to maintain the feel of the home, but can be limiting when it comes to renovations (on the interior or exterior). Often Heritage homes have to follow stricter rules than other homes when it comes to renovations.

The Conservation of Heritage Buildings

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation aims to conserve and revitalize heritage homes across the city. They offer multiple grants to home owners in order to help in this process. Some of the grants include:

  • Restore it Grant: This grant would help homeowners repair/restore the exterior of a heritage building, which would include repairs to some of the character elements (trims, siding, etc) as well as the reconstruction of some heritage elements that may have been removed over time (i.e. porches, masonry and details). The grant would be up to 50% of your budget, to a maximum of $1500.
  • True Colours Grant: This grant would help homeowners in repainting of their heritage home. The Vancouver Heritage Foundation even brings in experts to help you determine the building’s original colour scheme, or will suggest historically appropriate colours. Take a look at some examples of Heritage Homes painted in East Vancouver! Receive up to 50% of the cost to paint, to a max of $1500, along with paint from Benjamin Moore.
  • House Call Grant: This grant would be for homeowners looking to establish a conservation report for the home, detailing a long term plan for it’s repair and upkeep. Receive up to 50% of the cost, to a max of $500.
  • Get on the Register Grant: This grant provides financial assistance for the City of Vancouver application process to get a building on the heritage list. Receive up to 50% of the cost, to a max of $500.

Contact the Vancouver Heritage Foundation for more information on their Heritage Grants.

Learning about Heritage Buildings

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation has a number of ways to learn about the heritage buildings across the city, including two of my favourites.

  • VancouverHouseStyles.com: This is a fantastic website that details the different types of architecture found in the city, along with some information about the design and it’s history. It’s done really well, take a look if you want to know more about the different types of homes in Vancouver.
  • Walking Tours: The Vancouver Heritage Foundation offers walking tours to various neighbourhoods and relating to different types of design. They offer a Vancouver Special Tour, Mid Century Modern Tour, Laneway Homes Tour, Heritage House Tour and walking tours of the different neighbourhoods. They are great and very educational.

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation offers many more ways to learn about Vancouver Architecture, so take a look at their website for more information: Learn with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

Vancouver Heritage Homes Map

Finally, wondering if any homes in your neighbourhood have been officially recognized as Heritage? Take a look at this interactive Heritage Site Finder Map via the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

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