Vancouver Special is a type of house that was popular back in the 1960's and 70's. Most of them were built in the neighbourhoods with high numbers of baby-boomers and immigrants all over the Lower Mainland. Even though they have never enjoyed much love from Vancouverites for their design, this inexpensive house type has spread out all over the city and has become a popular choice for first time home buyers and young families.
These houses are famous for their box-shaped structure with shallow gabled roofs, balconies facing out onto the street and mostly stucco facades combined with brick or stone. Everything is simple, without any decoration. After all, these houses were originally meant to be "working class" houses.
Specials, however, have seen a renaissance over the last two or three decades and have enjoyed increasing popularity among people. Young families and first time buyers have specifically sought out this style.Today you can find them practically in all parts of the city.
If you are in Vancouver on September 22, 2012, you have an opportunity to learn more about this housing type, thanks to The Vancouver Heritage Foundation. Their annual Vancouver Special Tour will take you through five special houses, some with their original floor plan, others extensively renovated. Since this is a self-guided event, visitors will receive house addresses and make their way from house to house. Tickets are available for $30, but they tend to sell out very fast, so buy one while you can. I was lucky enough to get a pair, so see you at the event!