Does Heritage Matter

Forum Invitation
The Role of the City
The Role of the Province
Questions and Ideas


Forum Invitation


Does Heritage Matter
The Future of the Burrard Building
at St. Paul’s Hospital

St Paul's Hospital
Heritage Vancouver
Vancouver Urban Design Forum

Join Heritage Vancouver and the following presenters for a
conversation on the relevance of built heritage
in our modern society and the future of one of Vancouver’s
iconic heritage buildings, the Burrard Building at St. Paul’s Hospital

Thursday, November 16th, 2006
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Vancouver Museum
1100 Chestnut Street

7:30      Greetings - Heritage Vancouver President, Don Luxton
7.35      Context for the Conversation - Moderator

7:40      Does Heritage Matter - Presenters
             Is there value in preserving heritage buildings and why or why not?

8:00      The Future of the Burrard Building - Presenters
             What is your idea for the future of the Burrard Building and why?

8:30      Questions and ideas from the community
9:00      Small group conversations with the presenters
9:30      Informal conversation
10:00     Event ends

Robert Lemon, Architect
Neil MacConnell, Chief Architect, Providence Health Care
Lorne Mayencourt, MLA Vancouver Burrard
Gerry McGeough, Senior Heritage Planner, City of Vancouver
Ray Spaxman, Former City of Vancouver Director of Planning

Roger Chilton, Quantumideas

Admission $5.00 - Heritage Vancouver Members Free

We invite you to participate in the Forum by reading the background information and posing questions online.

Attendance is limited.
RSVP required

Hosted by
Vancouver Community Forums   Heritage Vancouver

Co-Hosted by

West End Community Action Network    Davie Village Business Improvement Association    Downtown Vancouver Association


You are welcome to forward this to others who may be interested.




St Paul's Hospital was originally founded by the Sisters of Providence in 1894. It consisted of 25 beds and was founded in the name of Bishop Paul Durieu OMI, of New Westminster. In 1892 the original land parcel was purchased for $9000, which consisted of 7 lots on the outskirts of Vancouver.

   St. Pauls Hospital

In 1894, the St. Paul's Burrard Street building began as a 4 story turreted wood frame structure, at the very end of Burrard Street, with nothing more than wagon trails to Beach avenue and English Bay.

In 1904, 10 years after its founding, St Paul's added 25 more beds to its ward, bringing its total bed count to 50. Shortly thereafter, St Paul's officially opened its School of Nursing in 1907. St. Paul's has always been dedicated to success and innovation in medicine, the patient has always come first. Today St Paul's continues to provide the same welcoming, warm, and friendly care it did during its "cottage" hospital years.

With the completion of the North Wing in 1931, and the South Wing during World War II, St. Paul's expanded to 500 beds. But it wasn't enough. In the 1970's plans were made to remake the whole institution to efficiently fulfill its new role as a referral and tertiary care centre. To efficiently respond to the rapidly expanding and changing needs in Vancouver community care, two 10-story towers were added to the hospital in 1983 and 1991.

The construction of the new South wing of the hospital in 1939/40 cost $500,000. It was a six storey structure with 216ft of frontage providing 200 additional beds, 13 solariums, a special pediatric ward and an ultra modern physiotherapy clinic. This addition also created the new entrance on Pendrell Street.

St. Pauls Hospital   

This wing and 3 story addition added in 1949 cost $225,000. It projects from the front of the building and was primarily built with reinforced concrete and a brick and terracotta front. The architecture was by Smith Bros and Wilson Ltd Gardiner and Thornton.

The first St. Paul's was a simple wood frame structure built by the Sisters of Providence in 1894. During the great Edwardian-era boom, it was replaced with a new, Renaissance Revival-style structure. Built entirely of red brick, banded at the base, this landmark building was tastefully decorated with extensive terracotta trim and topped with a pantile roof.

The shape of St Paul's has taken many forms over the last 100 years. Starting with the central core block of the hospital, German-born architect, Robert F. Tegen laid the foundation in 1913. The flanking wings were added between 1931 and 1936, designed by architects Gardiner & Mercer. The hospital was later expanded to the side and rear.

St Paul's Hospital has a long tradition of implementing creative strategies to meet their objectives. In the 1890's, when funds were short, the nurses canvassed logging and mining camps, "pre-selling" medical care for 10$.

In 1911, there were 115 beds and 19 sisters with 1864 admissions keeping all beds in use on a continual basis. 1185 free meals and 3972 free prescriptions were given, and special assistance was given to 12 needy families.

In 1992-93 there was 581 beds, 17,877 admissions, 48,428 emergency treatments, 10,291 treatments to day-care patients, and 7266 in-patient surgeries with approximately 1000 nurses and 450 doctors working there.

Over a hundred years after opening its doors, St Paul's Hospital is renowned as a teaching hospital with a strong research focus. St. Paul's is recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for its work in the areas of heart disease, kidney disease, nutritional disorders, HIV/AIDS and the care of the disadvantaged.

The architecture of St. Paul's Burrard Building is a historical Vancouver landmark. Although the Burrard Building is "A" listed on the Vancouver Heritage Registry, it is not protected and could be legally defaced, relocated or demolished. Currently, no protection is in place to canonize this historical Vancouver landmark.


The Role of the City


Does Heritage Matter?

The City of Vancouver views its heritage architecture as milestones,- past economic, social, architectural and cultural developments which serve as important and preserved measures of the city's progress. The style and construction of a building provides a mirror which reflects the tools of history that shaped it.

How is our past being preserved by our present?

The city first recognized and records "sites of interest" on the Heritage Register. This was established in 1986 and has become the city's heritage "bible," listing all buildings currently recognized as "historically important".

If a building is listed on the Heritage Register, is it protected?

Though the Heritage Register is an excellent record, it does not prevent its contents from being demolished, defaced or dismembered. However, before a building on the Heritage Register can be demolished, the building permits for the new development must first be obtained. City Council has the right to withhold approvals and permits to allow time for "heritage retention options" to be fully explored with the heritage property owner and with heritage city staff.

Further to that, prior to an A listed building being approved for demolition, City Council may request that a formal independent consultant report on the physical condition and economic viability of retaining the building be reviewed by the Director of Planning. This applies to both publicly and privately owned buildings if they are listed on the Heritage register.

How does a site listed on the Heritage Register become protected?

A building can become a permanent heritage landmark by being "designated" by the City or Province. When the city designates a building it permanently protects it by law. Once designated, the building cannot be demolished, relocated or altered. Until 1973, it was up to Provincial legislation to protect municipal historical landmarks through the Archeological and Historical Protection Act. In 1974, the province amended the Vancouver Charter to enable the city to designate buildings as protected heritage.

How does the City designate a building or site of interest?

City Council must first hold a public hearing, then prepare a report evaluating the appropriateness and feasibility of conserving the property. If, at the time of designation, this causes a reduction of market value in the property, the city must compensate the owner for the amount that both parties agree on. If an agreement is not reached, compensation is ruled through binding arbitration. The city may also compensate the owner through a heritage density increase transfer system, transferring density rights to another property, as compensation for the newly designated heritage structure. This requires permission from the Development Permit Board.

Do Heritage Revitalization Agreements offer further protection?

Heritage Revitalization Agreements have become powerful and flexible bargaining tools. Each agreement is specifically written to suit unique properties and situations. The terms of these agreements can supercede land use regulations and may amend typical use, density and site regulations. These agreements allow the property owner to be compensated in ways other than monetary value.

Heritage Revitalization Agreements may vary or supplement the provisions of a zoning by-law, subdivision by-law, heritage conservation by-law, development cost levies by-law, development permit, or heritage alteration permit. They may also consider other terms produced and agreed upon by both parties. Through the agreement, the City and the property owner can work within the city by-laws to facilitate compensation that is acceptable to both parties.


The Role of the Province


Does the Province of British Columbia have a heritage register?

The Province has Registers that record sites, objects or land of historical importance. Unlike the City's Heritage Register, the sites on the Provincial Register have all been designated as protected heritage.

How does the Province protect historical sites?

For a site to be provincially protected, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must designate the object or site as a "provincial heritage." This designation may apply to a single property, part of a property or a number of properties owned by different people.

Can the province provide temporary protection to heritage sites undergoing construction?

Yes, if the Minister believes a site is at risk, he/she may issue a stop work order for 120 days while the site goes under review.

How is a building "designated" by the Province?

Before a site can be designated, the Minister must notify the property owner and all associated parties. If the persons notified object to the designation, they must do so in writing within 30 days. The Minister has 30 days to present these objections to the Lieutenant Governor and the designation process becomes under review. The Lieutenant Governor may then cancel or instate the designation within one month and must notify all parties regardless of the decision. Once a site is provincially designated it is protected by provincial law and is registered on the appropriate Provincial Heritage registry.

What about compensation of designated property?

Like the City's compensation process, the Province must also compensate the original property owner with an amount agreed upon by both parties. If an amount cannot be agreed upon by both parties, compensation will be decided by binding arbitration.




Ray Spaxman

Ray Spaxman, planner and urban designer, has more than 30 years of international planning and design experience. As a practicing architect and planner in England and a city planner in Toronto and Vancouver, Ray has built his reputation for creative and innovative approaches to complex problems with a commitment to a consultative approach.

Ray has lectured internationally on planning and urban design, is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and has received several awards for his outstanding contributions to Canadian planning.

Ray Spaxman was the Director of Planning for the City of Vancouver from 1973 to 1989 and is credited with changing the course of development in the City and bringing more public participation and community engagement into the planning process.

Robert Lemon

Robert Lemon has over 25 years of experience with heritage conservation in British Columbia. He has a Bachelor or Architecture from Carleton University and an MA in Conservation Studies from the University of York. He has studied architecture in London, Paris and Rome.

The firm of Robert Lemon Architect Inc. is involved in a number of downtown landmark heritage buildings including the Architecture Centre, Coastal Church, Hotel Georgia, and the Wing Sang Building. In the vicinity of St. Paul’s he is consulting on the conservation of the St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, First Baptist Church, YMCA and the Dal Grauer Substation. From 1991 to 1996 Lemon was the Senior Heritage Planner for the City of Vancouver where he was involved in landmark building rehabilitation projects, the introduction of the current heritage legislation, and developed the city’s transfer of density policy, Recent Landmarks program and Heritage Interiors initiatives.

Lemon wrote the provincial Rehabilitation Standards and Guidelines and was co-author of the heritage provisions of the BC Building Code. He was a member of the working party for the federal Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. He is currently chair of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

As the founding chair of DOCOMOMO.BC, the modernist heritage organization, Lemon contributed to the CD-ROM project “BC.MOMO” which included a section on the architecture of Burrard Street.

Gerry McGeough

After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University in 1986, Gerry McGeough practiced architecture in Montreal specializing in the rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and infill development in historic contexts. His projects include historic landmarks such as the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the Daly Building, Faubourg Ste. Catherine, and the Dominion Building. To be able to better facilitate the rehabilitation process, Gerry continued his studies completing a Master's Degree in Real Estate Development at Columbia University, New York City, in 1992.

At the present time, Gerry practices his passion for heritage conservation as the Senior Heritage Planner with the City of Vancouver, as well as a Guest Professor for the Cultural Resource Management Program at the University of Victoria. With the City of Vancouver, his role is to apply his interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to advance a broad range of conservation projects and policies initiatives. The latest civic initiative Gerry is helping to lead is a $70-million Municipal Incentive Program for preservation of heritage buildings in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver.

Neil M. MacConnell

Neil M. MacConnell is the Chief Architect with Providence Health Care. Educated in the U.K., Neil has a D.A.(Architecture) from Duncan of Jordanstone College, Dundee, and a D.M.S. in Management Studies from Portsmouth. Neil has been a registered Architect since 1970 and is a Member of R.A.I.C. & A.I.B.C. Neil has spent his professional career as an Architect in a 50/50 split between Private Practice and captive Health Care Professional, working in Canada since 1975.

Neil is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and Chief Architect for Providence Health Care, a teaching, research, care focused organization which provides tertiary acute care and residential care services across eight sites, and is the largest Faith based Health Care organization in Canada.

Neil has over 30 years experience in strategic planning, project management and the provision of architectural services from design through implementation with health care providers and private consulting companies, and has participated in the reshaping of health care delivery over the past eleven years' in London, Ontario and Vancouver B.C.

Previously, as a Senior Partner with Stevens Graham MacConnell Milton Partners in Calgary, Alberta, Neil was responsible for a wide range of Architectural commissions including commercial projects, two major hospitals, clinics and a Cancer Centre.

Lorne Mayencourt

Lorne Mayencourt, the MLA for Vancouver-Burrard since 2001, has served on a wide variety of community causes and currently serves on the Government Caucus Committee on Education. For five years he was a member of the Public Accounts Committee and the Legislative Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services and has also served as the Caucus Liaison for the Ministry of Advanced Education.

As Chair of the Safe Schools Task Force, Lorne investigated ways to reduce bullying and improve student safety. He served on the Government Caucus Committee on Communities and Safety and championed the Safe Streets initiative, resulting in the passage of the Safe Streets Act and the Trespass Act which help protect BC residents against harassment and aggressive solicitation.

A lifelong BC resident, Lorne has lived in the West End for over 20 years and has an extensive record of community service. He is a founding member of the Life Quilt for Breast Cancer, has held directorships on the Vogue Theatre Restoration Society and the BC Women's Hospital Foundation, and is best known as the founder and first Executive Director of the Vancouver Friends for Life Society. Lorne is a Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal recipient, one of our country's highest honours.

Roger Chilton

Roger Chilton is interested in ideas that work. He has used his background in engineering, management consulting, and communications to create new enterprises, manage companies out of difficulty, and redirect businesses, community organizations, and public bodies. He was a founder of Western Management Consultants and Go Direct Marketing, a contributing founder of the Vancouver Enterprise Forum, a founder of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, and facilitated the creation of Tourism Vancouver.

Roger Chilton works with a number of community and arts organizations in Vancouver and chairs the Arts and Culture Committee of the Downtown Vancouver Association.

His interest in leadership, community, human nature, cross cultural communication, and the dynamics of successful enterprise led him to create Quantumideas. Roger is creating media networks to connect people around ideas and enterprises that contribute to our common interests.


Questions and Ideas


Questions and Ideas for the Conversation

Questions and Ideas

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