Explore Mole Hill – A Model of Density and Sustainability in a Unique Heritage Block

May 5
12:30pm — 1:30pm
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About the event

Explore Mole Hill - an affordable, sustainable community situated in Vancouver's only intact heritage block.

Mole Hill has created a legacy of preserving Vancouver heritage while providing public space, community assets and housing for a range of incomes and social diversity.

Mole Hill is a 170-unit social housing development and a model for sustainable community. The internationally renowned heritage landscape contains 30 buildings listed on the City of Vancouver’s Heritage Registry, more than any block in Vancouver.

The City of Vancouver bought the houses to demolish them but owing to pubic pressure the houses were saved. The City then entrusted the restoration and preservation of the block to a non-profit society directed and governed by community members.

Public amenities & environmentally sustainable initiatives were incorporated into the concept and today Mole Hill exemplifies the preservation not only of the city’s architectural history but also its social history and the diverse demographic of its population.

The community helps direct development & change on the block, rather than relying on well-intentioned policy makers and private interests with limited understanding of the history, uses and social value of the block.

The block has an expansive, parklike, heritage interior, prioritizing pedestrians and recognized as a cherished community space. Significantly, it provides the best panorama of heritage houses in the city. But it also contains 80 community garden plots, herb gardens, orchards, bees, birds, trees, lush greenery, seating, artworks, and water features - all maintained by volunteers.

Responsibility rests with the Society to maintain the houses, enhance the public areas, serve the community, and deliver value to the public on the city’s investment in Mole Hill. In this way Mole Hill continues to be valued and lauded as a valuable public asset.

Awards for Mole Hill include the Heritage Canada Award, the City of Vancouver Heritage Award of Honour, the Canadian Construction Association's Environmental Achievement Award and a CMHC Housing Award for Best Practices in Affordable Housing.

Presenters will describe the process of consultation and negotiation which succeeded in creating the community and discuss the cultural, social, environmental and economic benefits that result from retaining and rehabilitating existing heritage structures.

Tea will be served at the end of the tour.

Walk Leader
Quentin Wright

Starting place
Mole Hill Community Room, Rear - 1157 Pendrell Street (aka 1157 Jepson Young Lane)

How will people find you? 
Volunteers will be at the location.


Curbs and steps
Seated areas along the route
There are fully accessible toilets.

Seniors welcome
Children welcome
People with bicycles welcome
People with wheelchairs or walking aids welcome

Walk duration
The walk will be one hour. Tea will be served in the Mole Hill Art Gallery after the walk.

Travel Tips
There is no parking for cars at Mole Hill. People in vehicles will need to find street parking. Cyclists can park in the Alleyway. The closest bus route is the #6 Davie/Robson. Use the stop at Bute and Davie. There are three Mobi stations within half a block of Mole Hill. There are car sharing parking spots in the alley.

Location: Mole Hill Community Room, Rear

1157 Pendrell Street