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Project updates

March 2017
Uploaded all permits, for: Municipality of South Vancouver for January to December 1922 (908 permits), bringing the database total to 40,083 permits online.

Contemporary comments, clarifications, or additions are included within squared brackets within some entries, to separate this data from the historic transcribed data, as in [Added legal description]. 

The historic pre-1929 Municipality of South Vancouver was basically south of 16th Avenue and east of Cambie Street.

Special note for this upload:
The original ledger pages organised by permit number, for 1922 of the Municipality of South Vancouver no longer exist within the Vancouver Archives, and have been rebuilt from alternate sources.

The information is reduced, and the 1922 entries generally do not list a builder, as they weren't captured in the secondary sources.

Two South Vancouver 1922-1929 ledgers exist at the CVA; one listed by sequential permit number, the other listed by DL (District Lot). The ledger listed by sequential permit number is missing the 1922 entries.

We've pulled the 1922 entries from the DL organised ledger, but have found that many permit numbers were still empty/missing. The secondary source we've used is the Journal of Commerce, which at times would list building permits.

There are still 81 missing entries/permits out of the 908 total permits, and those are listed in the database as "Placeholder" permits under the permit number. If additional information is found for those missing number, we'll add the content.

As with the other South Vancouver permits, the legal descriptions can be fairly complex. Many District Lots (DL) within South Vancouver were as small as a current block, so searching by just the DL alone can pull up entries that might not have been found otherwise - due to street names, and street numbers shifting post-1929.

 

January 2017
Uploaded all permits, for: Municipality of Point Grey for January to December 1926 (1,583 permits), bringing the database total to 39,177 permits online.

Contemporary comments, clarifications, or additions are included within squared brackets within some entries, to separate this data from the historic transcribed data, as in [Added legal description]. 

The historic pre-1929 Municipality of Point Grey was basically south of 16th Avenue West, west of Alma Street, and west of Cambie Street, down to the Fraser River.

 

 

October 2016
Ongoing additions, edits, and data cleanup.

Thanks to volunteers, we've now completed transcriptions from handwritten ledgers for South Vancouver 1922, 1923, 1924, and almost completed 1925 - once the data is finalised, these years will be uploaded into the online database, and represent about 6,000 additional permits, probably by late November 2016.

We're also working through the rebuilding of the missing Vancouver 1905-1908 permits, which represent about 5,000 permits, and aiming to have these in the database shortly.

Once transcriptions are finished for the Municipality of Point Grey 1926 to 1928, and Municipality of South Vancouver 1927-1928, we'll start to tackle Vancouver 1921-1947, which represent approximately 120,000+ permits. 

Interested in helping transcribe from hand-written ledger images? Work from any location, on your own time - let us know! patrick@heritagevancouver.org

The more project volunteers that we have, the quicker which we can publicly share data from the database. 

 

June 2016
Uploaded all permits, for: Municipality of Point Grey for January to December 1925 (1,531 permits), bringing the database total to 37,532 permits online.

Contemporary comments, clarifications, or additions are included within squared brackets within some entries, to separate this data from the historic transcribed data, as in [Added legal description]. 

All 1,531 of Point Grey's 1925 permits can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1U1szGF

 

May 2016
Uploaded all permits, for: Municipality of Point Grey for January to December 1924 (1,242 permits), bringing the database total to 36,001 permits online.

Contemporary comments, clarifications, or additions are included within squared brackets within some entries, to separate this data from the historic transcribed data, as in [Added legal description]. 

All 1,242 of Point Grey's 1924 permits can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1UoCudy

 

January 2016
We've updated all of the instances of District Lot (DL) '391 & 392' in the database under the Municipality of South Vancouver, to '391-392', for consistency in listing & searching, current showing 592 permits.

 

October 17, 2015
Uploaded all permits, for: City of Vancouver for January to December 1920 (1,786 permits), bringing the database total to 34,759 permits online.

Contemporary comments, clarifications, or additions are included within squared brackets within some entries, to separate this data from the historic transcribed data, as in [Added legal description]. 

All 1,786 of Vancouver's 1920 permits can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1OATgUn

Thanks to everyone who have been submitting changes, corrections, and additional data for the entries to the whole database! Lots more to come.

 

March 29, 2015
Uploaded all permits, for:
Municipality of Point Grey for January to December 1923 (832 permits)

 

January 22, 2015
In addition to the constant updating/correcting/minor additions, all permits (1,280) for Vancouver 1919 have now been uploaded, bringing the total amount of transcribed permits online to 32,141.

It seems that so many garages were being built this year, both residential and commercial, that a reporter in 1919, commented:

"The Optimist. For the first time in a week or longer an applicant for a building permit has had the temerity to propose to build something more important than a garage costing at most two or three hundred dollars. The optimist is Mr. J. Gleave, 2348 Oxford Street, who will erect a dwelling at a cost of $1,000." Vancouver Daily World, June 25, 1919 p11.

The permit for the $300,000 Allen Theatre (later renamed the Strand Theatre) on West Georgia Street was also issued this year, designed by theatre architects Crane & Kiehler of Detroit, MI. Permit #10964 http://bit.ly/1tHA9ie

Also turning up in mid-1919, are permits for houses provided by the City (Soldiers' Housing Scheme) in part, for WW1 veterans or their widows - many of these homes still exist today, such as five in a row at 2725-2733-2751-2763-2785 West 7th Avenue, just east of Macdonald in Kitsilano (permits 10816 to 10820).

The first permit issued under the Soldiers' Housing Scheme was to Police Constable R. A. Payne, at 3641 West 14th Avenue, permit: http://bit.ly/1ygAIwc

A lot of industiral building activity can be seen on Industrial Island (Granville Island), with construction slowly starting in 1917: http://bit.ly/1DBP683

All 1,280 of Vancouver's 1919 permits can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1xGdPlz

 

July 7, 2014
The handwritten permits ledger book containing permits for the Municipality of South Vancouver (pre-1929 district) October 1911 to December 1921, IS NOW COMPLETE with transcriptions, and fully uploaded into the database. This group constitutes 7,319 permits.

We'll now be double-checking the material, and ensuring some consistencies with the data.

With South Vancouver permits, 100% of the entires contain the property legal description, although given how South Van evolved, the blocks and lots descriptions can prove difficult to locate with searches (complex descriptions).

Tip for searching South Van: as long as you know the District Lot (DL) for a given property, just search by this field, then scan through the results. Since the DLs for South Van are fairly small (unlike Vancouver or Point Grey), it's much easier to scan. Some larger DLs will have been entered differently, as in 391-2, 391&2, 391&392, which will be corrected in the near future for consistency... it's on our long list of checks.

Also watch that pre-1929 addresses in South Van, especially East & West avenues, may have shifted with both the block numbering, and also the streets potentially chaning (ie: 51st Ave E is now 49th Ave E; or 220 E 27th may now be 520 E 27th)... Best to locate the legal description, the original address, and the contemporary address.

Found one with a change? Let us know through the "Submit correctiosn on this entry" in the results field.

Now on to more transcriptions...

 

May 5, 2014
Uploaded all permits, for:
Municipality of South Vancouver District Lot (DL) 394, covering 1911 to 1921 (284 permits);
DL 394 is approximately the area between Victoria Drive & Wales Street, and E 35th & 41st Avenues.

 

January 22, 2014
Uploaded all permits, for:
Municipality of South Vancouver District Lot (DL) 719, covering 1911 to 1921 (48 permits);
DL 719 is around the area of Victoria Drive and 45th Avenue E.

 

January 19, 2014
Updated Vancouver 1915 permits (616 permits) by adding in descriptions to the 'Remarks' field. Detailed remarks were omitted from the original building permit register ledgers, but luckily a period publication captured these from daily building permit listings, the British Columbia Record. We've gone through this journal, and added these descriptions into the building permits.

Also corrected the street name formats to be more consistent with the rest of the database for all 616 permits in Vancouver 1915.

All Vancouver 1915 updated building permits: http://bit.ly/1mr3ird

 

January 14, 2014
Uploaded all permits, recently transcribed, for:
Municipality of Point Grey 1922 (1,093 permits).

 

January 13, 2014
Uploaded all permits, for:
Municipality of South Vancouver District Lot (DL) 326A, covering 1911 to 1921 (97 permits)

DL 326A is approximately the area between Main and Fraser, and 65th(63rd) and 60th(58th).

Since 1929, blocks were renumbered by 2-blocks (numbered) to the east (add 200 to the eastern avenues), and generally the west/east numbered streets have shifted two to the north. For example, the 1920 listing for 28 E 62nd Avenue would currently be 220 E 60th Avenue. Legal description remains the same.

 

January 3, 2014
Permits for the District Lot (DL) 'Hastings Townsite' or 'HT', which had the legal description present and entered in the original permit ledgers, have all been updated for consistency in the legal description fields.

Now, by entering 'HT' in the DL field, over 1,200 permits will display for the Hastings Townsite district lot, which is the area approximately west of Nanaimo Street to Boundary, and north of E 29th Avenue to Burrard Inlet.

There are still quite a few permits in the database for HT, which didn't have a legal description originally entered in the pre-1929 ledgers. 

 

January 1, 2014
Where are we at with the project? We're currently have 27,825 online permits in the database.

The original hand-written City permit ledgers, still to be transcribed:

  • Point Grey, Municipality of: years of 1923 to end of 1928
  • South Vancouver, Municipality of: About 15% of the 1912 to 1921 pages left to be transcribed
  • South Vancouver, Municipality of: years of 1922 to end of 1928
  • City of Vancouver: 1919 to 1928

 

Once we've finished to the end of 1928 for the three districts, we'll begin permits under the newly amalgamated City of Vancouver from January 1, 1929 and on. 

Want to help with volunteering transcription from copies (prints or digtal) of the ledger pages? You can work from any location, remotely, entering the data into a fairly basic spreadsheet (Excel, Pages, etc.).

The more volunteers that we have, the quicker that we'll be able to post building data for everyone to access and research. Contact patrick@heritagevancouver.org

 

December 24, 2013
Uploaded all permits, recently transcribed, for:
Municipality of Point Grey 1921 (1,141 permits)
Municipality of South Vancouver for District Lots (DL) 714, 715, 716, 717 covering 1912 to 1921.

Also, we're double-checking the Vancouver data to ensure the streets and street addresses are properly referenced and not abreviationed versions - a lot of work here, as there're about 18,000 permits within this grouping.

At the same time, we're going through all permits within District Lot (DL) Hastings Townsite (HT), and reworking the legal descriptions to ensure they're consistent throughout the entire transcribed database (1,000+ entries), and so they'll property turn up in search results using the DL of simply 'HT'.

 

September 28, 2013
Uploaded all permits for:
Vancouver 1917 (564 permits) and
Vancouver 1918 (836 permits)

 

September 3, 2013
Uploaded all remaining permits for District Lot (DL) 393 in South Vancouver covering 1912 to 1921, totalling 233 permits. DL 393 is approximately bounded by Victoria Dr. & Clarendon St., and 27th Avenue E & 35th Avenue E. Search the DL field with '393' to list all these permits.

Also uploaded all remaining permits for District Lot (DL) 352 in South Vancouver covering 1912 to 1921, totalling 388 permits. DL 352 is approximately bounded by Knight & Victoria, and 22nd Avenue E & 31st Avenue E. Search the DL field with '352' to list all these permits.

 

March 15, 2013
Just completed adding in detailed, expanded descriptions for the work being on, for Vancouver 1912, covering 2,894 permits. The expanded descriptions came from a secondary source, a daily publication entitled "Daily Building Record" which luckily published daily building permit reports, as this detailed info wasn't retained by the City, and does not exist at the Vancouver Archives. This database now contains the most comprehensive building permit data, more than any other source or repository.

An example of the expanded descriptions would be "Repairs", and now would be "Repairs; move one-storey house", or "Dwelling/house" becomes "Dwelling/house; two-storey frame and brick house".

We'll continue to update Vancouver 1913 and forward, and also the permits in the municipality of Point Grey 1912 and forward.

 

February 5, 2013
We're working through transcribing (from the hand-written ledgers!) Vancouver 1917 & 1918. Should be online March/April 2013.

Also adding in more detailed descriptions for Vancouver 1912 in the Remarks column, luckily found in an alternate source, as the surviving permit registers at the Archives do not contain this info. An example would be "Repairs", with the additional info could now be "Repairs; move one-storey house". We have about four more months in 1912 to complete the additions.

 

December 31, 2012
Just transcribed and uploaded:

  • Approx. 105 permits within the historic municipality of South Vancouver, Oct 1911-1921 for the following District Lots (DL): 662, 740

 

December 28, 2012
Just transcribed and uploaded:

  • Approx. 225 permits within the historic municipality of South Vancouver, Oct 1911-1921 for the following District Lots (DL): 326A, 326B, 332, 713, 741, 743, 744, 745, 746, 747, 749, 750, 753, 754, 755, 756

 

November 10, 2012
We've discovered additonal info for Vancouver 1912-forward permits in a secondary souce, which were not included with the 1912 original ledgers. Instead of having only the work done category listed (ie: Dwelling, Factory, etc.), the full description is being added slowly to this field. Prior to 1912, the ledgers contained this info, and had been transcribed. We're about half-way through 1912 adding in the new information, which takes time manually going through almost 3,000 permits! The additional decription is marked [DBR], for the source Daily Building Record.

 

August 21, 2012
Vancouver permits from Jan 2, 1912 and forward are being updated with expanded descriptions; the original 1912 and on permit books only contained a value category (ie: Dwelling House, Factory, Repair), and don't tell exactly what was being done. The alternate sources of permit reports in The Province, and Daily Building Record captured the expanded descriptions, as the official suppliment register from the City does not seem to have survived.

So, instead of "Dwelling House", and updated entry might list "Dwelling House; move 1-storey frame residence [DBR]". We're included intials from the alternate source in the description field "[DBR]" for Daily Building Record or "[VP]" for Vancouver Province.

 

June 16, 2012
We're now at 23,846 transcribed and uploaded permits.

Just uploaded:

  • All permits for District Lot 391&392 for South Vancouver, Oct 1911-1921 are now in the DB. They're listed as either '391&2' or '391-2'
  • All permits for District Lots 751 & 752 (Commerical *Street*/20th area) for South Vancouver, Oct 1911-1921
  • Additional permits for District Lots 636, 644, 647, 648, 650 for South Vancouver, Oct 1911-1921

 

April 16, 2012
All permits for District Lot 526 for South Vancouver, Oct 1911-1921, have now been uploaded.


April 11, 2012
Have just uploaded all recently transcribed permits for Vancouver 1915. For this year, 616 permits were issued (under the historic pre-1929 boundaries of Vancouver). All of the permits can be viewed at once via this search link: http://bit.ly/HAP3iB


April 1, 2012

South Vancouver 1911 to 1921 is about 65% complete in transcription. The remaining 45% is still to be transcribed.


March 25, 2012

To help show the three historic pre-1929 municipalities (before amagamation) of South Vancouver, Point Grey and Vancouver, we've created a map showing the historic boundaries. This will be incorporated into the site as an additional resource, probably by mid-April 2012.


January 29, 2012

Again, thanks to volunteer transcribers, we're now working through Vancouver permits for 1916 & 1917. The recently transcribed data for Vancouver 1915 is about halfway through being double-checked, and will be posted to the database when complete.

 


December 18, 2011
Thanks to volunteer transcribers, we've just completed ahead of schedule the Vancouver 1915 permits. Once double-checking the data is complete, the permit data will be uploaded to the database probably by the end of December 2011.

 


November 24, 2011

We're having an issue with the lot numbers in some entries appearing as month/day, which we're working on fixing (manually...).

 


November 23, 2011

Online database launched with 22,941 historical searchable building permits, dating from 1901 to 1921 for Vancouver.

 

Future updates

Slated for Fall 2012
Point Grey previously missing permits 1 to 99 located in alternate form from the ledgers; currently being transcribed. Issued permits date from approx. May 1912 to July 1912, and covers many important First Shaughnessy homes.

Slated for Early 2012 - DONE
Vancouver permits for 1915 currently being transcribed

Slated for Early to mid-2012
Vancouver permits 1916 to 1921 to be transcribed; dependant upon volunteer availability for transcriptions

Slated for Late-2012
Remaining 40% of South Vancouver permits, dating from 1911 to 1921 (approx. 3,000 permits remain)

Slated for Late-2012
Previously missing Vancouver permits 1905 to 1908 located (from newspaper reporting); have been transcribed