British Columbia·Video

Homeowners look to update the 'Vancouver special'

An iconic — although often derided — housing design is getting a reboot as homeowners in B.C. renovate what has come to be known as the "Vancouver special."
CBC's Ian Hanomansing looks at an 'only in Vancouver' kind of house that's getting some special attention 2:59

An iconic — although often derided — housing design is getting a reboot as homeowners in B.C. renovate what has come to be known as the "Vancouver special," CBC's Ian Hanomansing reports.

Many of these houses were built in the 1960s and 1970s and purchased by working-class families. The buildings feature a number of similar characteristics: a box-like appearance and wrought iron railings across the front balcony.

However, the structures gained a reputation for being, simply put, ugly.

A number of homeowners are looking past these characteristics and updating the approximately 10,000 still standing in Vancouver with new appliances, furniture and design styles in an effort to reboot the "Vancouver Special."