Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

'Tiny tower' proposal moving forward for micro property in Vancouver

The narrow property is just 9 feet wide.

One of the smallest, if not the smallest, house in Vancouver is being proposed this month.

Bryn Davidson of Lanefab says a development permit has been put forward for a project his team sometimes call "the Tiny Tower." The tiny plot of land is at 1916 Williams St. At just 9 feet wide and 60 feet deep it's an extremely narrow property, but Lanefab has designed and submitted plans for a three-and-a-half-storey single-family dwelling.

Essentially, it's a three-storey house with a rooftop deck in a space just slightly larger than a semi-truck with a trailer.

"We're having to break a bunch of rules to make it work, because the rules don't work for a project like this," he tells Vancouver Is Awesome.

However, even though Lanefab has submitted the application to the city for the house near Commercial Drive, Davidson expects it'll be rejected at first; that's because city administrators can only relax the rules so much. For bigger rule-breakers, the project has to go to the Board of Variance, a city body that looks at projects that go beyond stretching the rules.

"In the past we've gone to the Board of Variance because we want to have the building be a couple of feet longer than what the city can relax it to," Davidson says.

He's hopeful the board will see it as he does—a chance to do more with less.

"It's good, I think we should be doing more to do more unusual and creative things," he says, adding if allowed it'll create a "unique and memorable" site akin to the Sam Kee Building.

"I think just being less formal and uptight about things and allowing more quirky oddities would be good for the city, given that we can be a little straight and narrow," says Davidson.

However, he's not sure the city will see it the same way. While he's fairly sure the city will push things to the board, he's unsure of which way the board will go.

"We knew when we bought the property it wasn't a guarantee by any means; it seemed like a fun thing to try," Davidson says. "We've gotten a lot of messages of support from people in the comm who'd like to see it happen."

A comment period will begin on the city's website for the property once a sign is erected at the site. Davidson says the sign is with the printers and will be put up soon.