Vancouver Heritage Foundation: 9th Annual Vancouver Special House Tour


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.

SATURDAY APRIL 22, 2017 1PM – 5PM 

We love Van Specials! Back for its 9th year, the Vancouver Special House Tour offers a chance to get inside 5 examples of the now iconic housing style unique to Vancouver. With its basic floor plan and simple construction, the Vancouver Special is ideal for creative solutions and inventive ideas. This tour serves as a showcase for how these older homes can be transformed for modern living including some innovative solutions for housing several generations of the same family. Often utilized for multi-generational living, or as income helpers, the possibilities for two full floors of living space are nearly endless.

On this year’s tour, a younger homeowner has been able to transform their inherited childhood home into a modern living space. In another, the owner has purchased a Special from older relatives, with the condition of creating independent living spaces for both the new and previous owners in a dramatic renovation. In a 1975 Special updated by one of the pioneers of Special revitalization, Architect Stephanie Robb, you’ll see how design artfully blends the owners’ Metis and Okinawan heritage with contemporary aesthetics.

Learn how to improve energy efficiency and gain creative ideas, chat with homeowners about their projects, and learn about retaining and reusing older housing. We hope you’ll support VHF on this fun and inspiring tour day of renovated Vancouver Specials, and help spread an appreciation for this iconic and adaptable house style, completely unique to Vancouver.

Click here for tickets: $30 or $23 w/ valid student ID

Tickets can be picked up at the VHF office, 402-510 W Hastings Street in advance of the tour until Friday April 21st at 3pm or you can also purchase tickets before tour day at the Vancouver Special Store, 3612 Main St. Day of sales: on the day of the tour at our ticket booth at Kensington Park (East 35th Ave at Dumfries, near one of the houses) from 12-3pm. Look for us under a tent!

NEW IN 2017 The Vancouver Special House Tour is bike-friendly! All the homes are located in the city’s east side and you can stop by SideSaddle Bike Shop on Victoria Drive during the tour to access free mechanical support, air and oil as well as washrooms and fresh water.

VHF House Tours are one day only access to heritage houses in Vancouver by homeowners who open their homes to the public; to share their house story, and love of a particular house style, in support of VHF’s mission for awareness, education and retention of Vancouver’s built heritage.

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.

Photo Credit: VHF 2017 Vancouver Special House Tour