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Laneway House Tour

Experience living on the lane, and see how it can work for heritage

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Saturday October 24th, 2015 1pm-5pm

Tickets $30 or $23 with valid student ID


Thank you to everyone who joined us October 24th for our 6th annual Laneway House Tour! We had an amazing turnout and have lots of very positive feedback. Photos will be up on our Facebook page soon. Check back here in the summer of 2016 for details of the next tour.

Join us on this self-guided tour inside examples new and old of gentle densification on heritage properties. Built since the 1890s, stratified properties, coach and lane homes have all been featured. In 2015 we have five newly constructed lane homes, built behind existing homes. Featuring homes with unique heritage inspired details that coordinate with the main house, such as one with a charming rounded entry door, we also have great examples of heritage retention. See one lane home designed with a separate garage in order to fit around a mature magnolia tree, and an infill constructed in 1990 as part of the heritage revitalization of the Modernist masterpiece, the Barber Residence. Designed by Robert Lemon, the infill picks up design elements from the remarkable 1936 Art Moderne main house, and features clever landscaping to offer privacy to both the infill and main house. This tour offers an exceptional chance to explore the options available, both current and historic, in different residential zones to densify while maintaining heritage structures.

Read more about the Barber Residence infill project in this 2012 Vancouver Sun interview with Robert Lemon.

Are you interested in taking a VHF house tour but not sure what to expect? Read our First Timer’s Guide to House Tours here.

Do you or someone you know live in a house that may be a good fit for one of our tours? We are continually searching for great examples of heritage or character, mid-century modern design, sympathetic lane homes behind heritage homes, or renovated Vancouver Specials to open on our tours. If you’d like to know more, or have your home considered for inclusion on a future tour, contact us 604 264 9642 or by email.

Laneway housing is not a new idea in Vancouver. It can be seen in Vancouver’s historic neighbourhoods dating back as far as the 1890s. More recently infills have shown potential to be a positive tool in heritage conservation. On the 2014 Laneway House Tour, we looked inside heritage and modern examples of densification without demolition.  8 examples of living on the lane were opened including a c.1890s character lane home and a strata infill built in the 1980s. There were also 6 modern homes built after the City of Vancouver’s 2009 laneway housing initiative came into effect.

Early lane homes often served as temporary residences while the main home was built, or as secondary housing for staff, guests or extended family. There are many examples of early Vancouverites living on the lane. A truly charming 900 sq ft home, built c.1890, that became a lane home with the addition of a larger residence in 1910 was a highlight of the tour. The lane behind this home was added after the two structures, and the smaller home has since been moved to share a closer relationship with the principal residence. This early home has all the character detailing of a grand Victorian, just in much smaller scale. In 2014 we also explored zoning variations with a home that is part of a strata arrangement with the larger principal residence. This home is not only independently owned and larger than most lane homes, it also has the distinction of being designed by notable Canadian Architect Paul Merrick and was featured in Western Living (December 1990).


In December 2010, VHF chose to launch the Laneway House Tour to start discussions about the sustainable retention opportunities offered by laneway housing. VHF supports laneway homes that are built behind existing structures and are complementary to the character of the existing home as well as the surrounding neighbourhood.

Professional Development Credits: The Laneway House Tour qualifies for 4 Non-Core LUs granted by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia.

For more insight about Laneway Housing in Vancouver, visit the City of Vancouver's Laneway Housing resource page here.

Also check out CMHC's 'Livable Lanes' research information here.

Below are the ticket brochures for previous tours

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