Mole Hill

Mole Hill Community Housing Society
Comox and Pendrell Streets, Vancouver

This 170 unit unique and complex project involved the restoration of 26 City of Vancouver-owned heritage houses on an entire city block in the heart of Vancouver’s densely populated West End. The homes include some of the oldest structures remaining from early Vancouver history.  This significant heritage resource had been under threat of demolition for many years.

Terra completed a feasibility study of the project and prepared a comprehensive, two-phased development plan.  Terra provided development management services throughout the project, worked closely with the Society to manage the relocation of the existing residents of the site, and as the group was new to the challenge of operating a housing society, Terra assisted in the operational start-up of the project.

The heritage interiors and exteriors of the houses were preserved; each of the houses was raised, adding proper foundations and an additional storey; the houses were adapted to include energy efficient heating systems, storm water management and re-use of heritage features.   Mole Hill now houses low-income singles and families, as well as market tenants, in studio, one, two and three 3 bedroom units.  Along with the century-old houses, the project also preserved many of the site’s mature trees. The public space of the Mole Hill block was reconfigured to include community gardens, pathways, benches and a water feature.  The introduction of traffic-calming features in the laneway protects the safety of residents and introduced a pleasant walkway for the entire community.

Awards for Mole Hill include the 2004 Heritage Canada Award, the 2004 City of Vancouver Heritage Award of Honour, the Canadian Construction Association's 2004 Environmental Achievement Award and a 2006 CMHC Housing Award for Best Practices in Affordable Housing.