Heritage Discovery Day and House Tour

Join us on Sunday, June 4th to discover the rich heritage and diverse stories of Strathcona

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The Heritage House Tour offers a chance to explore a selection of Vancouver’s heritage homes, each with its own story, past and present, from early architects, builders and residents to more recent restorations and adaptations. It is a wonderful way to explore Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods as well as architectural styles, design ideas, and garden landscapes.

The Heritage House Tour has taken place on the first Sunday in June since 2003.

We are excited to announce that the popular in-person house tour is returning this spring with our new Heritage Discovery Day and House Tour! Tickets are on sale now for the June 4th event – see below for more details. Less than 100 tickets remain so if you would like to attend this year’s tour, be sure to purchase a ticket before they sell out!

Heritage Discovery Day & House Tour 2023

Sunday, June 4th, 10am - 4:30pm

VHF’s popular in-person house tour returns this spring with our new Heritage Discovery Day and House Tour! Join us to discover the rich heritage and diverse stories of Strathcona. Strathcona, or the East End as it was known until the 1950s, is Vancouver’s first neighbourhood. What started out as a collection of shacks and cottages around the Hastings Mill site has grown into a vibrant, multicultural community filled with historic sites, community spaces, artist studios and corner grocery stores. A diverse area that many new immigrants once called home, it is a community that has managed to survive and thrive, despite constant pressure for change. Take a peek inside a selection of unique heritage properties and learn about their history, architecture, and design, as well as other lesser-known places and spaces that have shaped the area.

Participants will also have the opportunity to connect with local Strathcona businesses and community organizations through outdoor activations and further explore the neighbourhood through themed discovery routes and a heritage scavenger hunt.

The tour is self-guided and ticket holders can choose which stops to visit and in which order. Volunteers and your guidebook will offer historical information about each site as well as additional neighbourhood insights. The tour will be well enjoyed on foot, by bike or by transit, although parking information will also be provided. Please be aware that ticket holders are responsible for finding and covering costs associated with vehicle parking. We will also provide information on local transit routes with your ticket.

Please note that the ticket is a detailed guidebook, therefore they cannot be sent via email. You will need your ticket to access the tour stops.

There are a limited number of tickets available for this year’s tour – be sure to purchase a ticket before they sell out! Tickets will not be available for purchase on the day of the event.

Starting in mid-May: Tickets will be available for pick up at the VHF office at 303 – 3102 Main Street from 9am – 5pm. They can also be be mailed if purchased prior to Thursday, May 25th or picked up on the tour day (June 4th) between 9:30 am and 3:30pm from the VHF Info Booth in Strathcona (address will be provided to ticketholders 2 weeks prior to the event).

Please consider sponsoring a student to attend the Heritage House Tour this year. There are two sponsorship options. To learn more about the Student Access Program and how your donation will be used, please visit our website. Please note this is not the same as purchasing a student priced ticket.

Please review our cancellation policy here before registering.

Photo courtesy of Martin Knowles Photo/Media

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

House Sponsors

Friend Sponsors

In-Kind Sponsors

2023 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Equitable Real Estate Investment Corporation Ltd.
Providing office space in some of Vancouver’s finest heritage buildings since 1950

The Equitable Real Estate Investment Corporation manages an impressive portfolio of Vancouver’s buildings. The stories of these landmark structures reflect the city’s own historical development, as well as its boom and bust economy. They represent a century of progress, and continue as a proud reminder of the past and a continuing legacy for the future.

Many of our buildings are listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register and are significant landmarks in the City. Equitable has twice been awarded City of Vancouver Heritage Awards, one “for their pride and commitment to heritage buildings in downtown Vancouver” and a second for the Vancouver Block “for the retention and repair of the building exterior and for careful rehabilitation of the original lobby finishes”.

We take great pride in maintaining our buildings, as is evident throughout our portfolio.  All our buildings are well looked after and are staffed with caring, knowledgeable professionals.  We are service oriented and always endeavor to work hard to establish and maintain long term relationships.

505-325 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 1Z7
604 683 7571

House Sponsor

Buntain Insurance

Buntain Insurance has been proudly serving our community since 1967. Recognizing that insurance can often be complex and confusing, our goal is to provide our clients with simplified solutions. Our team will take the time to understand your needs and offer the best possible insurance products. You get the convenience of personalized, knowledgeable service with the reassurance of knowing our entire team is here for you.

Please visit us at any one of our location in: Point Grey, Dunbar, Oak Street, Main Street and South Granville or call us at: 604-733-3000

Proud sponsor of the Baldasso House

House Sponsor

Disher Construction

Building the Future. Restoring the Past.

With 30 years experience in both residential and commercial projects, our full-service construction company also specializes in heritage restoration. Employing our highly skilled expertise and personal care, we have restored churches, barns, apartment buildings, and homes. We also help our clients plan and budget for future repairs and maintenance, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

4038 West 17th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6S 1A6; 604-733-8959/604-836-2115

Proud sponsor of Fountain Chapel

House Sponsor

Solus Trust

Solus Trust is the largest independent trust company in BC offering trust and estate services (soon to be expanding across Canada).  Our services include assistance in the roles of executor, trustee, and power of attorney. We are proud to provide our clients and their loved ones with peace of mind through our personal approach, which is customized to each client’s unique circumstances and planning needs.

520 – 1100 Melville St, Vancouver V6E 4A6; 604-683-5949

Proud sponsor of the Walter and Mary Chan House

Friend Sponsors

Penfolds Roofing & Solar

Penfolds Roofing & Solar has been the Lower Mainland’s trusted roofing authority for more than 80 years! As a full service roofing & solar contractor we service residential, strata, new construction and commercial properties. Specializing in all types of roofing material, we have fully certified and trained installation crews to tackle any type of project – we complete over 1,000 projects each year!

2230 Hartley Ave, Coquitlam V3K 6X3; 604 254 4663

Quinton Construction

Quinton Construction is a family run, full service construction company. We do a full spectrum of projects from new construction, renovations and heritage house restorations, additions, lifts and underpinning to small repairs and maintenance. Our focus is service, quality and value for our clients, no matter what the project size.

351 – 1275 W 6th Ave Vancouver V6H 1A6;  604 618 4876

Stonehouse Team

The Stonehouse Team, with Oakwyn Realty, is one of Vancouver’s most respected Real Estate Teams with over 50 years of combined Real Estate experience. We approach Real Estate from an advisory capacity and pride ourselves in building long-lasting relationships by collaborating with our clients to produce knowledgeable and informed decisions while navigating Vancouver’s complex and ever-changing market.

3195 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 2L2; 604 255 7575

In-Kind Sponsors

Les amis du FROMAGE

Founded in 1985, Les amis du FROMAGE is a family owned and operated specialty cheese store with two locations in Vancouver. With a carefully curated selection of local and imported cheeses, charcuterie and accompaniments, we also specialize in frozen soups and meals, all made in house using top quality ingredients..  Participants will receive a 15% discount on purchases made on Sunday, June 4th when they present their guidebook between 10am and 6pm.The first 100 participants will also receive a free brown bag – a small cheese bag – to take with them.

853 E Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1R8

Luppolo Brewing Company

Luppolo Brewing Company is a west coast and Italian inspired craft brewery located in Vancouver’s Yeast Van district. At Luppolo, we believe that experimentation is the key to developing unique and interesting beers. We are committed to using high quality ingredients, and when possible, fresh, local ingredients like seasonal fruit. Come experience Italian hospitality, sample our beers right from the source, and taste some of our amazing pizza in our beautiful tasting room! Participants will receive a 10% discount on all dine-in orders (food and drinks) on Sunday, June 4th when they present their guidebook between 12pm and 9pm.

1123 Venables St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2E3

Melissa Hardwick Design

 Melissa Hardwick Design is a boutique Vancouver interior design firm, operated by Principal-Melissa Hardwick. We specialize in classic and timeless design to reflect our client’s lifestyle, curating bespoke and beautiful interiors.

Strathcona Beer Company

Strathcona Beer Company is driven to provide a premium, fresh and quality product. We were founded by an impassioned group of friends with deep rooted connections to our neighbourhood and an appreciation for local and international beer. We are proudly located in the heart of Strathcona, Vancouver’s oldest and most diverse commercial and residential neighbourhood. Our world class brewing facility produces a modern style of traditional beer coupled with unique offerings to tempt the palette of the most discerning beer drinkers. Participants will receive a discount on dine-in beers ($5.95/pint) on Sunday, June 4th when they present their guidebook between 12pm and 10pm.

895 E Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1R8

Heritage House Tour 2022 Online

VHF’s popular Heritage House Tour returned last year in virtual format! Through a series of curated video tours, two live events (May 31 and June 2) and our exclusive Heritage House Tour web portal, we explored the stories of six unique properties around the city.

We visited a Mission Revival building in Hastings-Sunrise that has been converted to residential townhouses, a 1928 award-winning Tudor-Revival style cottage, a grand Edwardian commercial building, a 1912 Craftsman home in Kitsilano lovingly restored by its current owner, an early passive solar home in Dunbar Southlands, and a Dutch Colonial Revival home in Marpole that has been transformed into a community museum. We will enjoy original interior features, craftsmanship, and unique designs. We explored the history and heritage significance of each building and learned about how they have been restored and adapted for modern living.

Learn more

Past Heritage House Tours

The Heritage House Tour has taken place on the first Sunday in June since 2003. Enjoy highlights of some of the great spaces we’ve featured in recent years and what makes the tour special with our ‘Celebrating the Heritage House Tour’ video below.

Do you or someone you know live in a house that may be a good fit for a future tour? We are always 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.

In 2021, the Heritage House Tour was offered virtually for the first time. Through a series of curated video tours, an exclusive web portal, and two live events, we explored six properties spread across Vancouver. The 2021 tour featured a 1958 award-winning Mid-Century Modern home in Southlands, an 1890s Strathcona home, a grand Shaughnessy estate home, and a 1928 apartment. Participants were able to experience the compelling stories, past and present, of early architects, builders and residents as well as recent restorations and how these distinct spaces have been adapted for modern living.

In 2019, we explored the evolution of Vancouver’s heritage and character homes. The traditional self-guided tour offered a look inside homes across Vancouver, varying in age and style, each with a unique story to tell. The houses dated back to 1895 including the A-listed 1910 Arts & Crafts beauty Hirschfeld House and the 1895 home built for George Weeks that is now a calming wellness centre in a historic square. The homes spanned six decades of architectural design including handsome Victorian detailing, sturdy Craftsman construction and even influential Mid-Century Modern design. The tour also featured the Downs Residence, a 1959 masterpiece designed by Downs for his own family, is a strong example of West Coast Modernism and has been featured in many design and architecture publications as well as exhibitions.

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.