In her battle against residential demolition in Vancouver, Caroline Adderson has gathered more than 3,000 supporters over the last three years.
Adderson founded Vancouver Vanishes, a Facebook group focused on preventing demolition of heritage homes in Vancouver. Members post pictures of homes that are either demolished, or in the process of demolition, to raise awareness of this issue.
Thousands support petition
Adderson has started a petition to stop these demolitions and the Change.org petition has 2,349 supporters so far. Green party leader and Vancouver City Coun. Adriane Carr is one of the few city council members who support Adderson’s group.
“I think they’re bang-on with their views of this issue,” said Carr. Residential demolition, especially that of heritage homes, has risen recently in Vancouver,with “more than 750 homes demolished annually,” according to Vancouver Vanishes’ online petition.
Adderson decided to create the group when she noticed demolition going on in her neighbourhood. “Practically every house that was up for sale would later be torn down,” said Adderson. “These houses are bought for $2 million and they’re torn down and then a new house is built that’s on sale for $4 million.”
How it all started
Before she started the group, Adderson took pictures and sent them to city councilors. “They were elected on a green mandate, so [I thought] surely they’d be appalled about this, but I found out they were not interested in this issue,” said Adderson. The environmental repercussions of demolition are an issue for Adderson and her group. However, Absolute Demos & Renos prides itself on being environmentally friendly.
Part of ADR’s environmental sustainability policy includes using recycled and recyclable materials, protecting natural habitats, and not using environmentally damaging materials and processes. A Vancouver Heritage Foundation survey found 96 per cent of Vancouverites think it’s necessary to preserve heritage homes in the city.
One of the issues Adderson finds with demolitions is not only the destruction of Vancouver’s heritage, but also the deterioration of her inspiration.
“I’m a fiction writer and when I see an old house I see stories. Everyone who lives in there leaves stories behind. Tear down the house and you eliminate the stories,” said Adderson.
“These character homes add something unique to Vancouver, but they’re getting demolished in order to build what are called ‘monster homes,’” said Carr.These include townhouse complexes and large homes meant to house multiple families, which include duplexes and small and large apartments.
Reported by Ashley Legassic