A wave of demolition in Point Grey is giving Brian Evans infill flashbacks.
“Beginning of the 1980s, we lived about 15 blocks from here, we found the neighbourhood was changing rapidly, houses being torn down,” says Evans.
The homes near Vine Street and West 22nd Avenue were being replaced with what he calls “mega-houses”. Evans says he made news headlines at the time as one of the last hold-outs until they finally had enough.
Now, history is repeating itself with demolition numbers in 2015 at a 10-year high. In 2005, Vancouver saw 803 units come crashing. This year there have been 1,141, including pending applications.
READ MORE: House and condo prices in Greater Vancouver continue to climb
“The houses are being bought, houses are being built, but a lot of them are unoccupied. They are clearly investments,” he says.
Demolition companies like J&R Excavation says they are barely able to keep up with new clients being placed on a waiting list.
“On average I would say we’re tearing down at least one house a week,” says Trevor Bauder, who spent the day tearing down an older home in east Vancouver.
A new home with a rental suite is being built in its place: an increasing trend on the east side, as homes are torn down to make room for more density.
Some area residents say the face of their community is changing too quickly. With the City of Vancouver approving Shaughnessy as its first heritage neighbourhood, they hope similar designations will slow down to pace of demolition.
“I sent a text to my husband saying another one bites the dust,” says neighbour Kim Larter. “It’s sad to see these old houses getting torn down.”