|Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a registered charity supporting the conservation of heritage buildings and structures in recognition of their contribution to the city’s economy, sustainability and culture.|
In the not-so-distant past, if you were interested in finding out basic information about all 2300 + heritage sites on the City of Vancouver’s Heritage Register, you would need to sift through a 33 page PDF showing an address, a name and an evaluation (“A, B, C” etc). For each address in the document, which currently includes buildings, landscapes and monuments, there are no photos or information about the history of the site, date of construction, etc. That’s where VHF comes in! Since 2013, we’ve been working on an easy-to-use tool using the data from the Vancouver Heritage Register: VHF’s Heritage Site Finder. We’ve added photos and information making it easy for locals, visitors, students, and anyone interested in learning the history of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods to access the information. If you haven’t checked it out, add it to your mobile device’s homescreen or download the free iphone app. You can easily roam the city on foot, by transit, bike or car, tracking your location and the nearest heritage sites nearby!
To borrow a quote from one of our Heritage Site Finder volunteers,” … I walk past the heritage houses in my neighbourhood every day. Until recently, I never gave them much thought”. Stephanie Warner, one of 40+ Heritage Site Finder volunteers who have contributed to the project, wrote a great blog post about her experiences researching sites for the Heritage Site Finder. If we’ve learned anything from working on the Heritage Site Finder, it’s the amazing amount of stories every single address tells. One address can encapsulate the history of a neighbourhood, a cultural group, and the evolution of the city. Too often, we walk by these physical reminders of Vancouver’s history without considering its future. In the coming weeks before the New Year, we’ll be sharing a few of these stories, stay tuned!
As VHF continues to update and populate the Heritage Site Finder, we welcome volunteers for research and data entry. Send email@example.com an email if you are interested. Thank you to all our Heritage Site Finder volunteers without whom we would not be able to complete this project. Below we feature a couple photos of our fabulous volunteers, taking photos on the street and researching in the office.
If you’re interested in learning how to research the history of your home or any building in the city, join VHF for the Old School Course “Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Archives”, Wednesday November 25th, 6:30-8:30pm, with civic historian, John Atkin. $20. Register here.