The Vancouver Heritage Foundation – Places that Matter Plaque Project

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During the summer of 2011 there were a lot of festivities for Vancouver’s 125th birthday. Even though the calendar has turned and is well into 2012, The Vancouver Heritage Foundation continues today with an exciting ongoing project – the Places that Matter Plaque Project. It aims to “celebrate 125 sites where people, places and events have shaped Vancouver’s future and continue to tell the stories of Vancouver’s past.”

The project awarded the first of 125 plaques back on October 23rd 2011, when it recognized the Stanley Park Rock Garden created by master gardener John Montgomery in 1911. Since then it has handed out 19 plaques to a wide-range of places that matter, and have a full schedule ahead (to see that schedule, click HERE).

Number 20 on the list will be presented today at the old wall of the former King Edward High School at Oak Street and West 12th avenue. The first high school south of False Creek, the school was opened in 1905 as Vancouver High School and was active until 1962. Destroyed by fire in 1973, only the stone wall remains. Below is a photograph by Stuart Thomson of the school, taken in 1918.


photo by Stuart Thomson, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 99-1296

Now the site of the Vancouver General Hospital Diamond Building, the plaque will be unveiled at 2pm today with a celebration featuring music and a gathering of alumni (and there are a lot of alumni – including this author’s mother). If you feel like heading down there, meet in the outdoor courtyard that faces 12th Avenue. All are welcome.

But that is only the beginning – tomorrow (Thursday July 26), the Vancouver Public Library’s Collingwood Branch will receive a plaque of its own as a prime example of Simmons and Semmens West Coast Modernist Architecture. 2985 Kingsway, 2 pm. Again, all are welcome.

photo: Collingwood Library, c. 1951. Credit: VPL #8856

And as if the Heritage Foundation’s week wasn’t busy enough, the Balaclava Block will receive a plaque on Saturday July 28th at 2pm. A row of Craftsman-style homes built in 1912, these homes are an intact example of a popular style of home in the early days of Kitsilano settlement. 2300 block Balaclava Street, off West 8th Avenue. All are welcome.

photo courtesy of Google Maps

For more information, please visit the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s website HERE or follow them on twitter: @VanHeritage. Get involved and get to know your city!

Gary