British Columbia·Photos

West End character home starts precarious journey to new life in East Vancouver

The two-and-a-half storey house was lifted onto a truck bed and moved from the 1700-block of Pendrell Street to a barge at Sunset Beach early Saturday morning.

The home, which previously served as a rooming house, will be used for rental housing

The large house caught the attention of dozens of West End residents as it was moved on an early Saturday morning in early December. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Some residents living in Vancouver's West End got a bit of a surprise early Saturday morning, when an old character home was being moved on a truck down Beach Avenue

The two-and-a-half storey house is over 100 years old and was going to be torn down to make way for a new tower in the West End.

That was before Sanjib Sandhu, a local developer, purchased the house with plans to move it to a plot of land in East Vancouver to create rental housing.

"This house would've been crushed … it would've been in the landfill," said Sandhu, of Point Grey Developments.

"I think these houses are part of the charm of Vancouver. Once you lose it, it's gone forever."

The first leg of the house's journey started early Saturday morning along Beach Avenue around 1 a.m. PT.

Sanjib Sandhu says restoring old homes is his passion. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Dozens of people watched as a large truck moved the 3500-square foot house from a tight alleyway near Denman Street down to a barge on Sunset Beach.

The house was too high to fit under bridges along the roadway, so it must make part of the journey over water.

The house moves to temporary home near the Olympic Village Saturday morning.

"I think it's a great idea if one can afford such a task," said Jose Fraser, who watched the house crawl along Beach Avenue on the back of a truck bed.

"It's got a lot of history and character, and I think that's important."

Some people stayed up late to watch crews move the large house down the road. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Sandhu says he plans to use the home for market rental housing when the move and restoration are completed.

The house was part of a collection of buildings on a site in the West End that has been approved for the development of a 21-storey building.

The house was first lifted onto a truck bed and moved into an alley behind Pendrell Street on Wednesday morning. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

The house is deemed non-heritage and will take three days to move to its new location. (Westbank)