West End Heritage Walking Tour of Mole Hill


I mentioned that I had taken a walking tour on my post about the West End Fest so here is the recap. There were two types of heritage walking tours scheduled but I only caught the Mole Hill Walking Tour with Sean McEwan, the Mole Hill Design Architect. That's him in the above photo.

We started at Pendrell and Bute Street and Sean talked about the history of area. Mole Hill named after Henry Mole who was one of the first settlers in the area. Currently, the land is owned by the City of Vancouver. If they wanted to they can sell the area and build tall apartment buildings because it is zoned for high density housing. But residents and the community wished to save the heritage houses in the area and so now Mole Hill provides affordable, low income housing while preserving the rich history of the homes in West End. To live here, you need to apply and there's also a huge wait list.

Looking down Bute Street 
 These streets are maintained by the community. They look lovely!

Looking down Pendrell Street

Each house has it's own history. Some were owned by one of the first mayor's of the city, doctors, and other settlers dating back to the early 1800s. Many are build in Victorian style. Some had extensions build and where restored back to their original state later. Thank goodness they were government owned, it was cheaper to build on top of the existing structures instead of tearing them down. That's why there were many features of the houses that were preserved.

These houses look so beautiful! If you've noticed, they have very distinct colour palettes. That's because they can only be painted in what are called First Colours because there weren't that many colours of paint to choose from back then.

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