Dunbar-Southlands: The neighbourhood at a glance

Dunbar-Southlands seems like a Vancouver neighbourhood that time forgot. With its tree-lined streets and single family homes, Dunbar has a trapped-in-amber quality. No neighbourhood in any city is immune to change and that’s especially true in Vancouver, but change doesn’t tend to happen quickly in Dunbar.
There are still many holdovers from another era, like the horse stables in Southlands, adjacent to the sprawling mansions that overlook the Fraser River. To the north, along the edge of Pacific Spirit park, lies Camosun bog — a millennia-old wetland preserved by a few committed naturalists. Today’s transit routes more or less follow the trolley lines of nearly half a century ago.
Then there are the businesses: the single screen movie theatre, the pair of independent bookshops, the iconic neighbourhood grocer with its largely-unionized staff.  
When Dunbar does change, it’s through evolution and not revolution. The single family homes that make up the majority of housing in the area aren’t going away — but knockdowns  are increasingly common as residents sell older properties to downsize.  
The fact many Dunbar residents actually have backyards probably adds to the neighborhood’s reputation as a NIMBY stronghold.
A city-backed plan to introduce the first supportive housing units to the area in 2006 was met with stiff opposition from some community groups.
And while a public hearing isn’t even on the calendar yet, many residents are gearing up to fight a proposal that would see Stong’s market redeveloped as a six-storey mixed-use building. The Musquam First Nation have called the Dunbar-Southlands area home for centuries and will be the subject of an upcoming Vancouver Special neighbourhood feature in the Courier.

article continues below

Read Related Topics


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Vancouver Courier welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Popular Vancouver Courier

Sign Up For Our e-Newsletter!