Heritage Site Finder


Heritage Site Finder

An interactive map of buildings and sites on the Vancouver Heritage Register.

Joy Kogawa House

Photo Credit: Historic Joy Kogawa House


1450 W 64th Ave, Vancouver BC






VHF Restore It 2011, Heritage Conservation Grant 2019 & 2021




Built in 1912, the Historic Joy Kogawa house located at 1450 W 64th Avenue was originally owned by Robert Mackie, a foreman in the Public Works Department of the City of Vancouver. Mackie lived in the house from 1913-1937, and in 1937 sold the house to Reverend Gordon Goichi Nakayama, the father of renowned Canadian author Joy Kogawa.

Born in 1935, Joy Kogawa (nee Nakayami) and her family lived in the house from 1937 until 1942 when they were unjustly removed as part of the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War. The house is featured prominently in several of Kogawa’s books, including the award winning novel Obasan, which recalls the experiences of Japanese-Canadians during World War II based on Joy’s experiences during her childhood.

In 2003 the property was purchased and renovated and in 2005 the landowner applied for a demolition permit from the City of Vancouver. The historic house was saved thanks to the efforts of the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society and The Land Conservancy (TLC) of BC. TLC became the owner of the house in 2006.

With the assistance of a 2011 VHF Restore It grant, the house has undergone restoration to restore it to its original Historic conditions. This house is currently home to the Historic Joy Kogawa House, a writer-in-residence and community landmark.

The Joy Kogawa House has been recognized by VHF’s Places that Matter Plaque Project. Visit our Places that Matter webpage for more information.


At Home with History, Eve Lazarus (P.13), The Land Conservancy: A New Chapter for the Historic Joy Kogawa House, The Land Conservancy: The Historic Joy Kogawa House Proposed Conservation Plan- Donald Luxton and Associates, VHF Files