Heritage House Tour 2020 ONLINE

VHF is taking the spirit of the tour online for 2020

September 15-30


VHF is putting a spotlight on heritage homes, their history, design and the distinct character of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods from September 15th to 30th. Instead of bringing over 1,000 people together for a one-day tour, VHF will present several virtual events as well as self-guided tour ideas you can take whenever you like, and more. See below for events you can register for now, and check back for updates soon.

2020 would have marked the 18th anniversary of the Heritage House Tour, our largest annual event of the year. Due to the ongoing public health situation, the tour is not able to proceed in its usual format this time. We look forward to its return next year and hope you will join us for these alternative activities in the meantime.

The annual tour offers a great way to learn about local history and heritage places, highlighting historic homes and heritage buildings in diverse neighbourhoods while also raising much-needed funding for VHF programs and projects. While it will look different this year, our goals remain the same.

For information on the annual Heritage House Tour click here

Free! Heritage Explorer: Mini Map Guides

Take yourself on a tour of one of Vancouver's neighbourhoods! Available as a downloadable PDF these guides are only a couple of pages long, and formatted to easily print at home. You can also download them to any mobile device.

Heritage Explorer: West Point Grey to West Kitsilano

Download to print
Download to device

Heritage Explorer: Central Mount Pleasant

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Download to device

Heritage Home Short Video Tours

We can't take you physically inside private homes this year, however we can do the next best thing with a series of mini video tours. These short segments highlight unique architecture, history and design of a selection of heritage spaces in Vancouver. Subscribe to our YouTube page to be notified when a new video is posted and check back here to view the whole collection.

The Tite Residence

A Kitsilano Restoration

A Writer's Residence


Wednesday, September 16 - A Virtual Stroll in Marpole

Explore local history and heritage from home on a virtual walking tour with local historian, author and seasoned walking tour guide, John Atkin.

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Many of us know Marpole as the strip of commercial activity at the southern end of Granville Street or for the blocks of three-storey apartment buildings from the 1950s. But the community is also the site of significant cultural and archaeological resources, and was the location of some of the earliest non-native settlement in what would become Vancouver. Situated on the north shore of the Fraser River which has sustained the Musqueam people for thousands of years, the original small settlement grew into a substantial centre of industry and commerce with canneries and sawmills that employed a multi-cultural workforce including Musqueam, Japanese and Chinese among others. On this virtual walk, John Atkin will lead you on an exploration of the area's fascinating architecture along with diverse cultural and transportation history. Throughout and after the pre-recorded virtual stroll, there will be opportunities to ask John questions live.

Tuesday, September 22 - History on the Street: Vancouver’s House Styles

Vancouver's neighbourhoods offer an interesting mix of wooden houses, some more historic than others, but identifying the array of different architectural styles can be a challenge.

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From detailed Victorian through Tudor and Storybook to Mid-Century Modern, Vancouver Special and more recent designs, the houses reflect influences both local and from around the world. They span an era of more than a century that has seen enormous economic and social change. Find out how well you know your house styles on this exploration through the decades with artist and author, Michael Kluckner and hosted by VHF Special Projects Manager, Jessica Quan. Learn how the styles that contribute so much to the distinct character of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods reflect the city's history. Michael and Jessica will offer tips on identifying them and will answer questions.

Thank you to event sponsor Buntain Insurance

Tuesday, September 29 - A Colour Primer: Vancouver's Historical Paint Schemes

Vancouver’s houses feature a wide array of exterior colour schemes. For over 130 years, architects, builders and homeowners have highlighted architectural features and followed fashions or personal preferences while protecting from the weather with a good coat of paint.

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When restoring a historic home, the choice of exterior colour can be that last satisfying step. In this informative and visual session, heritage consultant Donald Luxton will explain the changing use of colour and discuss how it can complete an authentic restoration. We will explore the historic local palettes from the 1880s to the 1920s, made available in VHF’s True Colours range, and look at the different approaches of later decades. Following a colourful presentation, there will be opportunity to put questions to Donald.

Thank you to the Walsh Foundation for continued support of the True Colours program

Thank you to our sponsors

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Putting People First

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