There’s a small convenience store tucked deep in a quiet residential quarter in East Vancouver.
Opened in 1921, the shop at 959 East 35th Avenue has unceasingly served patrons in the neighbourhood of Kensington.
It has survived for almost a century, and it is not about to go away soon.
“The grocery store has been an important fixture in the neighbourhood and will remain as such,” Sandra Moore of Birmingham & Wood Architects and Planners wrote the City of Vancouver.
Moore’s letter provides the design rationale for the development proposal to preserve the grocery store.
According to Moore, the plan includes retrofitting the shop with “era-specific wood windows and siding to match typical 1920’s Vancouver corner store typology”.
“The existing character building will retain its massing, primary roof form, and period details,” Moore wrote.
The store is on the ground floor of a two-storey structure. Above it is a dwelling unit that is as old as the business.
As Moore noted, the property at 959 East 35th Avenue is “valued for its historical connection to the development of the Kensington neighbourhood, as a rare example of a surviving and functioning neighbourhood store, for its continuous dual commercial and domestic use since 1921”.
Moore letter’s also gives a peek into past of the neighbourhood.
“The building is important as the last surviving local store on a residential street in Kensington, which historically housed numerous local businesses such as butchers, cobblers and barbers on almost every block,” Moore wrote.
Alterations inside the store and the dwelling unit are also included in the proposal.
The plan likewise involves adding a new two-and-a-half storey home to the east of the store.
According to Moore, the proposal utilizes incentives available for character retention of homes in single- family residential zones.