This Much Maligned House Style

John Atkin: “The 2600 block of 24th is one block of nothing but Vancouver Specials all built in 1972. This much maligned house style is an effecient use of land, cheap to build (the shallow roof line is the maximum slope you can still use a tar and gravel roof on), easy to maintain and not as bad as commentators and urban critics make them out to be. In fact most efforts to improve the basic Special through zoning and design guidelines have led to the many nasty ill-proportioned home designs Vancouver's neighbourhoods get stuck with today. In its basic form the Special was a response to zoning by maximizing the allowable building envelope and floor space, and it was adaptable to various lot sizes, as can be seen on this street. Decorative schemes are quite varied with different railing designs for the balcony, brick and stone on the lower levels and a variety of trim details. It had a long run in the city with the first examples being built in the early 1960s and the last in the early 1980s when zoning bylaws changed.”

I walked up this street as part of Nanaimo SkyTrain Station chapter of SkyTrain Explorer: Heritage Walks From Every Station, from which the quote above appears (on p. 66). I took photos of the north side of the 2600 block [Flickr mirror] and the south side [Flickr mirror]. The domain is already taken, of course, but it has a rotating gallery of Vancouver Special photos.