This past weekend I volunteered again for the Vancouver Special (House) Tour. We were blessed with what was surely one of the last really nice days for a while. I hate to be pessimistic, but…
The tour houses were all in East Van, and though I didn’t have time to visit the rest, I definitely enjoyed having a look inside my appointed house at 608 Union. It's actually one of the Joe Wai Specials that were designed particularly for Strathcona in the aftermath of the (mercifully) failed freeway proposal.
I recognized one of the other volunteers’ names, but it was only when we were stationed together at the front door that I pried a bit and found out why. For about an hour, I was happily ensconced in conversation with Michael Kluckner, longtime Vancouverite (aside from sojourns in Langley and Australia), author, artist, and local historian. What a treat for both the librarian and Vancouver lover in me! We chatted about our mutual love of East Van, and he mentioned that Grandview now is what Kits was back in the day. Very interesting stuff.
I was eventually (and reluctantly) reassigned to a post in the master bedroom, where my greatest entertainment was when people asked if this was my house, and I got to sigh “alas, no.” But anyway, the tour is fascinating, both for those with a genuine interest in vernacular architecture, and those whose tastes run to simply looking through other people’s houses! Check out the Vancouver Heritage Foundation for all kinds of information and tours.