June 2, 2022

Heather Lands Rezoning Approved, Heritage “Class A” Building to be Removed

On Tuesday May 24 Council unanimously approved the rezoning of 4949-5255 Heather Street and 657-707 37th Avenue, which formerly were known as the Heather Lands.

This project is a joint venture with the Musqueam Indian Band, the Squamish Nation and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation) and the Canada Lands Company for the 21 acre site bounded to the north by 37th Avenue and Oak Street.


You can take a look at the referral report here  as well as the applicant presentation here at 7:04 in the video.

The rezoning of this site has been done in two CD-1 areas, with one area section  providing 540 units of social housing and 400 units of market housing, a child care facility,  and a site for a french language school . The second area section  provides for 1670 leasehold strata units.

One of the outcomes of the plan was the agreed upon demolition of the Fairmont Building, a Class A designated building designed by early British Columbia born architect Samuel Maclure in 1912.

The  1912 Tudor Revival building first operated as private boarding school, then briefly as a military hospital in 1918 before being purchased by the RCMP in 1920. There have been many changes to the interior, but the exterior has remained intact, and relatively unknown because of its location.

You can view on video the thoughtful  presentation by the applicant for the two entire rezoning sites here. One issue for the applicant was the removal of this Class A building because of its previous use. The  City Council under Mayor Gregor Robertson had agreed to its demolition prior to the rezoning application.

Two Councillors felt that the demolition/removal of this Class A building could serve as a precedent for the demolition of other Class A heritage buildings on the civic register. There was a motion put forward  that this Council endorsed  the removal of this designated  “Class A” heritage building from the Heritage Register, but did  not want this removal taken as a precedent contradicting the City’s Heritage Policies and Guidelines. That motion failed.

You can watch the entire public hearing by clicking on this link.


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