Heritage Site Finder

Menu

Heritage Site Finder

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

Hycroft

Photo Credit: Bob Hare

Address

1489 McRae Ave, Vancouver BC

Neighbourhood

Shaughnessy

Type

Mixed Use

Grants

VHF Restore It 2003, 2014

Protection

D

Significance

A

Description

The mansion is in the classical style, with 6 majestic columns supporting a porte-cochere. There is interior plasterwork and carvings by Charles Marega, the sculptor who designed the “Lions” of Lions Gate Bridge. In the basement is a large ballroom, which was the scene of many balls held for Vancouver’s social elite.

Hycroft Manor was originally built for Alexander Duncan McRae, a leading businessman and politician in Western Canada at the beginning of the twentieth century. Designed by Thomas Hooper, construction began on Hycroft in 1909 and was completed in 1911. In addition to the present house and coach house, there were stables, a swimming pool, an Italian garden, a tea house, pergolas, statuary, and a children’s playhouse.

McCrae had interests in lumbering, fisheries, coal and real estate. In the First World War, McRae was the Quarter-Master General of all the Canadian Overseas Forces, and later became the head of the Ministry of Information. In the 1920s, McRae became active in provincial politics. In 1931, he became a senator.

After McRae’s first wife died at Hycroft in 1942, he donated the mansion to the Federal Government as a convalescent home for disabled war veterans. From 1943-1960, Hycroft, operated as an annex of Shaughnessy Military Hospital. In 1962, the University Women’s Club of Vancouver (UWCV) took over Hycroft and restored the house’s fine interiors. Most of the gardens and outbuildings east of the house were replaced a year later with a number of townhouses.

In 1974, UWCV received an award from the Vancouver Historical Society for their historical and architectural preservation work of Hycroft Manor. In 1994, they received a City of Vancouver Heritage Award.

For more information on Alexander Duncan McRae, and the grand parties once held at Hycroft, please see “Merchant Prince; the story of Alexander Duncan McRae” by Betty O’Keefe and Ian MacDonald.

Source

Exploring Vancouver, The Architectural Guide by Harold Kalman and Robin Ward, Vancouver the Way it Was by Michael Kluckner, The University Women's Club of Vancouver- about Hycroft, Vancouver Building Permits, VHF Files