Grandview Heritage Tour

Explore this unique, vibrant neighbourhood

Saturday September 28, 2019

12pm to 5pm

$30/$23 (with a valid student ID)

This tour earns 5 non-core LUs from AIBC.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Grandview Heritage Tour! The event is now over. If you would like to learn about other events, including future house tours, please sign up for our e-newsletter or follow us on social media.

The Grandview and Commercial Drive neighbourhood is one of Vancouver’s earliest suburbs and has been shaped by decades of history. A diverse area and a popular spot to call home for many new immigrants in the past, Grandview today is an energetic, multi-cultural neighbourhood full of historic places, architectural heritage, well-utilized community spaces and legacy businesses. This tour offered a chance to tour a number of heritage spaces in the Grandview area, each telling a unique part of the story. The stops were located between East Hastings Street and East 1st Avenue, and between Clark Drive and Nanaimo Street.

Starting with the opening of the interurban rail line from Vancouver to New Westminster in 1891, there are layers of history to explore here. Now well-known for the vibrancy of Commercial Drive with its array of restaurants, cafes and businesses along with the influences of the Italian community in the post-war years, the neighbourhood that has grown around this walkable district offers a wide variety of residential and commercial development. Once the eastern boundary of the City of Vancouver, the unique vibrant character includes modest cottages, apartments, large mansions, and creative heritage adaptations.

Following on the success of the 2018 West End Heritage Tour, this tour was offered in a similar format with the chance to explore a variety of heritage places including private homes, community buildings and long-established businesses. Included on the tour were ten sites each offering private access to areas not open to the general public. Of the ten sites, five are private homes including a pioneering example of transforming a Vancouver Special and several character homes. Also included are exclusive access to the Dayton Boots Factory, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Templeton Secondary School and the šxʷqʷeləwən ct Carving Centre at the Britannia Community Services Centre.

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How it works

The tour is self-guided and offers the opportunity to get inside both private and community spaces, ticket holders can choose which ones to visit and in which order. Volunteers and your guide map will offer historical information about each site as well as additional neighbourhood insight.

The tour is well enjoyed on foot, by bike or by transit, although parking tips 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. For full transit information, including purchasing your fare please visit translink.ca.


Getting Around

Grandview is a wonderful neighbourhood to explore but it is important to remember that the area has traffic-calming measures in place on many streets including pedestrian and cycling only sections and one-way streets. Public transit and cycling are great ways to get around as you can reach the area by many transit routes or park in one location then catch a bus or rent a bicycle in the area. If you prefer to drive, we recommend parking in a central place and walking between closely located tour sites. Below are more tips on how to get around.

Accessing Templeton Secondary School / VHF Info Booth

The streets surrounding Templeton Secondary School have many traffic-calming measures. The site is easily accessed by cyclists and pedestrians from several directions, however for those driving we recommend four routes:

  • From East Hastings Street, turn south on Garden Drive, west on Adanac Street
  • From Victoria Drive, turn east on Napier Street, north on Lakewood Drive, east on Adanac Street
  • From Victoria Drive, turn east on Parker Street, north on Semlin Drive, east on Adanac Street
  • From Victoria Drive, turn east on Turner Street, south on Lakewood Drive, west on East Georgia Street, south on Semlin Drive, east on Adanac Street

We do not recommend approaching via Nanaimo Street due to construction.

By Car

Street parking is available throughout the neighbourhood including free options and metered parking or on arterial streets (watch for restrictions or permit only parking). Plan to park in a couple of spots and walk the few blocks to the tour stops, many of which are nearby each other. There are also several pay parking lots indicated on the map in your tour brochure including both paid and free options. Please note there is ongoing construction occurring along Nanaimo Street which may cause delays and/or street blockages.

By Public Transit

There are several bus routes in this area offered by Translink. Along Hastings Street the 14 Hastings, 16 Arbutus, 20 Victoria and 95 B-Line all have stops at Commercial Drive, an excellent starting point. The 9 Boundary and 99 B-Line are also good options that run along Broadway, or you can take SkyTrain to Commercial-Broadway Station. Once in the area, the 20 Victoria and 7 Nanaimo are good north/south running options. A day pass, which offers unlimited travel until end of service, can be purchased at all Skytrain stations, or added to your existing Compass card through your online account for $10.50. For more information on transit fares, routes and stops visit translink.ca.

By Bike

Grandview is a cycle-friendly neighbourhood with several marked and designated cycling routes. Your tour brochure will show City-approved cycling routes to help with planning. There are bike rental shops and membership-based bike shares in the area. If you are bringing your own bike, bike parking is your responsibility, however bike stands are available at various locations throughout the neighbourhood.


Important Guidelines and Reminders

  • All attendees must have a ticket & be at least 6 years of age (infants in front carriers are permitted without a ticket, no other exceptions)
  • Your ticket is a detailed guidebook which cannot be emailed, please bring your physical ticket with you to each tour stop
  • Wear socks and bring a reusable bag, as you will be asked to remove your shoes at each private stop
  • You may visit the stops in any order, but you may only visit each private stop once
  • Photography is strictly prohibited on private tour properties
  • Cell phone usage is not permitted inside private stops
  • Please do not bring large bags or backpacks.
  • No food or drink, smoking or pets on private tour properties

View the ticket brochure below