Vancouver heritage home demolition raises protests

Protesters say the demolition of a 115-year-old mansion in Vancouver's West End is sending another chunk of the city's history to the landfill — a trend they say is happening at an alarming rate.

The 115-year-old Legg residence on Harwood Street was an 'A' listed heritage building

Vancouver mansion one of more than 1,000 old homes demolished in Vancouver each year. 2:11

Protesters say the demolition of a 115-year-old mansion in Vancouver's West End is sending another chunk of the city's history to the landfill — a trend they say is happening at an alarming rate.

The Legg Residence on 1245 Harwood St. is slated for demolition to make way for a 17-storey condominium tower, even though it is an "A" listed heritage building, after the city recently approved a plan to sacrifice the building to save the trees on the site.

Elizabeth Murphy of Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver says old homes are being knocked down at an alarming rate of three or four per day, noting last year 1086 demolition permits were issued in Vancouver, mostly for homes built before 1940. 

"Each of those put more than 50 tonnes of demolition waste into the landfill, so it has a huge impact. And it's certainly is impacting on the city's initiatives for the greenest city," says Murphy.

But Caroline Adderson of Vanishing Vancouver says in cases like this one, the costs of saving a house can be prohibitive.

"It was going to cost $500,000 to move this house. It would have to be divided into sections. All the city trees would have to be taken down. So, it really was not a realistic option at all," said Adderson.

Google Maps: 1245 Harwood St, Vancouver

With files from Belle Puri

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