CENTURY 21 In Town Realty
Dunbar-Southlands is an historical neighborhood bounded to the south by the mouth of the Fraser River, to the west by the University endowment lands, to the north by 16th Avenue, and to the east by Puget Drive, then Mackenzie Street, then Blenheim Street.Archaeological evidence indicates that First Nations inhabited the Southlands area as early as 400 B.C. The mouth of the Fraser provided abundant hunting and fishing grounds for coastal Salish Indians who settled in at least three locations: the Angus Lands, Celtic Island and the Musqueam Reserve area. In 1879, the Musqueam Reserve was formally dedicated and in 1892, Southlands became part of the newly incorporated District of South Vancouver. In 1929, Dunbar-Southlands became part of Vancouver when the Municipality of Point Grey amalgamated with the City of Vancouver.The majority of residences are single dwelling homes (85%), half of which were built before 1946. The average household income is $110,698 compared to Vancouver’s $57,916. Seventy- one per cent of residents have English as their mother tongue, while the next predominant language is Chinese at 17.6%. There are many families living in Dunbar (5,755) with an average of 3 people per household, compared to the Vancouver average of 2.3.The Dunbar Community Centre was established in 1958 through a local improvement by-law initiative whereby residents in the area agreed to directly fund the original building costs. The busy community centre is located in Memorial Park West (7.5 hectares), a verdant greensward bounded by large shade trees, comprising of playfields, playgrounds and a bank of six tennis courts. It is positioned near the corner of West 33rd Avenue and Dunbar Street only a short block from the busy Dunbar shopping district.3. Dunbar-Southlands’ Issues and InterestsIt is important that the community project involve directly the Dunbar-Southlands residents. The overall Artist In Residence experience should create lasting memories in hopes of developing pride, self-identity, skills and strong family bonds. Efforts should be made to capture and record the process as well as the end result.4. Dunbar-Southlands’ People, Resources, and FacilitiesDunbar Community Centre is jointly operated by the Dunbar Community Centre Association and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.PeopleThe Dunbar Community Centre Association is very committed to this project, as is the Community Recreation Coordinator. Dunbar Community Centre also has five dedicated programmers that are able to offer insight in many areas of programming: Children & Pre- school, Teens, Adults, Seniors, and Fitness.ResourcesThe Dunbar-Southlands neighborhood has many resources to call upon:• Dunbar Community Centre Association • Business Improvement Association • Dunbar Residents’ Association • Dunbar Memorial & Tom Thumb Preschools • Dunbar Little League Baseball• Dunbar Soccer • Local elementary schools (Bayview, Queen Elizabeth, Southlands, Lord Kitchener,Jules Quesnel, Quilchena, Shaugnessy, Tafalgar) • Local high schools (Little Flower Academy, York House, St-Georges, Magee SS, LordByng)FacilitiesDunbar community centre is one of the largest in Vancouver with 46,000 sq ft and 22 programmable spaces. It includes many unique amenities such as:• Large exterior walls • Large open lobby space with overhead skylight windows • Spacious and bare corridors on the 2nd floor • Roof top space adjacent to the Parkview Room • 7.5 hectares of park space • Vast “front yard” • Darkroom, pottery room, lapidary room • Gymnasium, dance rooms & multi purpose rooms
Archaeological evidence indicates that native Indians inhabited the Southlands area as early as 400 B.C. The mouth of the Fraser provided abundant hunting and fishing grounds for coastal Salish Indians who settled in at least three locations: the Angus Lands, Celtic Island and the Musqueam Reserve area. In 1879, the Musqueam Reserve was formally dedicated and in 1892, Southlands became part of the newly incorporated District of South Vancouver.
In 1908, while land was available in Marpole for development, land in the Dunbar area (then owned by the CPR and the province and part of the old Municipality of Point Grey) was unsuitable for development having been logged off and left a mass of fallen, burnt timbers. The first non-native settlers in the area were the Mounts who purchased a lot on 22nd Avenue in 1912 and built a shack; the lot became 3379 West 22nd Avenue.
In 1912, a section of the University of British Columbia lands was subdivided and lots were laid out based on town planning principles of the day. The streetcar reached Clare Road (now Dunbar Street) in 1913 and went as far as 41st Avenue by 1925. By 1927,the area was served by three streetcar routes. Dunbar-Southlands became part of Vancouver in 1929 when the Municipality of Point Grey amalgamated with the City of Vancouver.
The first significant land development in Dunbar-Southlands occurred in the mid-1920s and some of the homes built during this period still stand today. Because West Point Grey's 1922 zoning by-laws dictated that these early homes be situated well back on their lots, those that remain standout as neighbourhood landmarks. Subsequent development took place in the years following World War II and then again in the early 1970s when King Edward Place and Salish Park were developed.
The former Convent of the Sacred Heart, now St George's School, West 29th Ave is a significant heritage building in the area.
Dunbar-Southlands has a rich architectural heritage and, fortunately, a number of significant homes and buildings still remain from the area's early settlement days. As of June 1992, there were 21 structures listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register.
Lord Kitchener School located on Blenheim at King Edward was built in 1914. This building features a refined combination of wood surfaces and textures, and is a very good example of the sophisticated use of wood that could be seen in Vancouver prior to the First World War.
Some of the earliest homes in this area are designed in the English Arts and Crafts and the Edwardian Building styles. Many of the homes were built before 1920 and remain as single family homes to this day. The Haigler House at 3537 W. 30th Avenue is a good example of such a building. Community support prompted its preservation.
Source: City of Vancouver
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