Heritage House Tour

Architecture. Design. History.

Sunday June 2nd, 2019

10am to 5pm

$40/$30 (with a valid student ID)

As we are close to tour day, tickets are no longer being mailed. Please select one of the pick up locations when purchasing your tickets.


Join us this June as we explore the evolution of Vancouver’s heritage and character homes. The self-guided tour offers a look inside homes across Vancouver, varying in age and style, each with a unique story to tell. In 2019 we will explore houses dating back to 1895, spanning six decades and five neighbourhoods. The homes explore shifts in architectural design including handsome Victorian, sturdy Craftsman and influential Mid-Century Modern.

As we visit a generational span of homes we will see the adaptability of older buildings and historic properties and learn about new uses, conversion to add housing or meet modern concepts of living and how heritage character and meaning can be retained. See how a school and a charity are utilizing heritage spaces, and explore a basement suite addition, a housing format that has added space for renters or family members for decades. Another stop will show a sensitive second floor addition on a character bungalow, expanding family accommodation while retaining original features.

The future of a site is often found in adaptive reuse, which is a key concept in heritage conservation and the retention of historic buildings. Finding compatible new uses for early structures preserves historic materials and maintains a sense of community. It is also a consistent theme throughout Vancouver’s housing history. Through the decades and adaptations, the history of each home connects to the people who built them, designed them, and lived in them, and helps illuminate the development of the city, its industries, neighbourhoods and communities over the decades.

Partner Store Ticket Sales

Tickets will be available for purchase at four partner store locations from Tuesday, May 14th through Saturday, June 1st. Please check with individual stores for store hours and availability. Tickets purchased online or over the phone through VHF cannot be picked up at partner stores.

Hills of Kerrisdale
2125 W 41st Ave

Hills Dry Goods (Granville St)
2741 Granville St

Hills Dry Goods (West 4th Ave)
2081 W 4th Ave

At Home North Vancouver
3122 Edgemont Blvd

The Ever Changing House: A History of Adaptability
Pre-Tour Lecture with John Atkin

Monday May 27th, 7:30pm -9pm
Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, 2305 W 7th Ave

Register here, $16 or $10 for students, current VHF volunteers and 2019 Heritage House Tour ticket holders

Many important historic buildings and treasured older homes are part of our city and neighbourhoods today because they have been adaptable to changing needs, lifestyles and function. The 2019 Heritage House Tour will feature a range of houses that have seen adaptations historically or recently – to provide more housing, for use as a school, to meet changing lifestyles or modern energy efficiency requirements. Historian John Atkin will explore the many ways older homes have been adapted through the decades in Vancouver and why this came about – from societal changes and economic shifts to policies that enabled it. With benefits that include maintaining heritage character, distinctive neighbourhoods and community connections as well as making smart use of existing buildings and resources, it is timely to consider the history of adaptability in Vancouver’s homes.

Find out more here

Please be aware that designated VHF photographers will take photographs and/or live recordings at events. These materials are the sole property of Vancouver Heritage Foundation and will not be sold or otherwise redistributed, however they may be utilized without notification in Vancouver Heritage Foundation communications including, but not limited to, print materials and social media. If you have concerns about how your likeness may be utilized, please speak with Vancouver Heritage Foundation staff.

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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.

In 2018, we spent the day touring inside significant and architecturally important heritage and character homes, learned about the history of our neighbourhoods, saw impressive architecture and experienced how homeowners live with heritage. The 2018 tour opened some of the city's most prestigious addresses including the former home of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell and a luxurious apartment building that has been home to the city's business elite, creative minds and architecture lovers for 105 years. Lovers of Vancouver's famed "Hobbit House" were excited to see inside a unique home built for a French Baron by the same contractor and we enjoyed the history and exquisite architecture of Aberthau and its renowned Oak Room, as well as access to the Old Hastings Mill Store Museum, open special hours for tour day. Ticket holders were able to see a 1910 REO Model R Touring Car and 1927 Auburn as a special treat. These vintage cars were relevant to the age and history of the tour homes and added to the fun of the day. We'd like to thank the car owners for bringing their classic cars to the tour and for educating and delighting tour goers with this bit of nostalgia.

On May 29th 2018, a pre-tour lecture with Architectural Historian Jim Wolf was offered. A sold out crowd joined us at the University Women's Club at Hycroft for Pacific Pre-Raphaelites: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Vancouver 1890-1930, where Jim explored the craftsmanship of the Arts and Crafts movement in Vancouver that saw the meeting of international influences with local art and place.

Here's a great video from a BC Mills kit house featured on the 2014 Heritage House Tour. Special thanks to James Burton, Claudio Ance, Alix Noble and REW.ca.

Professional Development Credits: AIBC 6 non-core LUs ; PIBC, BOABC, BCSLA, AICBC.

Old School Certificate 1 credit.

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 homes 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.

See previous tour brochures below.