Photo Credit: Anjela Godber
2605 W 37th Ave, Vancouver BC
The home at 2605 West 37th Ave. boasts a symmetrical side-gabled design with many features akin to Craftsman builds, including granite piers supporting a front porch, half-timbering on the upper level and a front staircase leading up to a door between two bay windows.
Permits were obtained in 1915 for W.P. Rogers to design and build this house for owner Alfred E. Wood, an accountant. However, there is a possibility that a structure existed here before, as shown in the 1912 Goads fire insurance map, a historical map of the Vancouver area. City directories, however, do not show any houses on 37th Avenue west of Main between 1914 and 1916.
Wood, the first owner of 2605 West 37th Ave., continued to live here until 1928. From 1929 to 1930 this was the location of the Dorchester House School for Boys, a private small day school that was run by the former headmaster of St. Michael’s University School in Victoria. During its short existence it accommodated children aged seven to 12 for approximately $50 per term.
By 1931 the property was vacant and remained so for about a year before it became home to the Marshall family for two years. Future residents didn’t stay long, with two other families living at the residence between 1934 and 1935. From 1937 to 1946, this was the home of Mrs. Edith Hunter, a widow.
This home is located in Arbutus Ridge, an area south of 16th Avenue and north of West 41st Avenue. The upper portion of Arbutus Ridge, where this home stands, was developed alongside neighbouring Shaughnessy and Kerrisdale in 1912, while the lower portion was actually a marsh then known as Asthma Flats that could only be crossed on a plank boardwalk. The marshy area was developed in the 1940s when it was filled with sand from False Creek.
37th Avenue features several houses that are on the heritage register, most dating back to 1912. In addition, St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Church at 37th and Balsam has been a landmark in the community since it was built and was designed by renowned architects, Sharp & Thompson in 1913.
In the early 1900s, Arbutus Ridge was home to Vancouver’s wealthy middle class who were mostly of European descent. Today it is becoming an increasingly diverse community with the majority of residents born outside of Canada. The neighbourhood also has a large senior population, much like Kerrisdale.
Heritage Vancouver Building Permits Database, VPL British Columbia City Directories 1860-1955, City of Vancouver, VanMap, Barman, Jean, 1982 “Growing up British in British Columbia: boys in private school, 1900-1950”