Former Vancouver home of Canadian music icon Doug Bennett proposed as protected heritage property

    1 of 3 2 of 3

      A piece of Canadian rock and roll history stands to be preserved in Vancouver.

      The owners of 2146 Semlin Drive have applied with city hall to designate the single-family home as a protected heritage property.

      In exchange for conserving the residence, owners Mike Walker and Adrienne Tanner have proposed to subdivide the lot, create two parcels, and develop a new detached home with a secondary suite on the non-heritage parcel.

      The seven-bedroom home has a 2021 assessment of $2,623,000.

      Based on tracking by real-estate site Redfin, 2146 Semlin Drive was last sold for $1,450,000 on September 2, 2010.

      Formally known as the Kilpin Residence, the property is famously associated with the late singer and songwriter Doug Bennett.

      The Ontario-born musician and former Georgia Straight art director was cofounder and frontman of the Vancouver-grown rock and roll band, Doug and the Slugs.

      The band scored radio hits, including “Too Bad”, “Day by Day”, and “Making It Work”.

      Bennett passed away in 2004. Ted Okos has taken his place in the group.

      Doug and the Slugs cofounder John Burton recalls on the band’s website that he met Bennett at a party in Kitsilano in early 1977.

      The two went on to create music together.

      “I think Doug was one of the best Canadian songwriters of the last 40 years, if not of all time,” Burton wrote.

      “He wrote about the Canadian experience as only few Canadians could have, or ever did, and deserves to be recognized for his accomplishments along with artists like Gordon Lightfoot and Leonard Cohen,” Burton continued.

      The home at 2146 Semlin Drive sits at the “brow of the hill”.

      The home was among the properties featured in a 2011 house tour by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.

      In a guide for the tour, the VHF related that the 1911-era residence was first owned and built by English-born craftsman George Kilpin.

      The home sits at a “strategic corner location at the brow of the hill”, commanding mountain and city views.

      The Kilpin family lived there until 1920.

      Other long-term occupants were shoe-store owner Harry Wilson and wife Susie. They were followed by the Scacchi and Fera families.

      “In 1987 the house came into the possession of its best known owner and resident, Doug Bennett, the lead singer of the very popular Vancouver group Doug & The Slugs,” the foundation recalled.

      “It is said that during the decade that Doug and Nancy Bennett lived here, the dining room walls featured a mural depicting the band’s perspective on the history of Canada,” the VHF continued.

      Without mentioning names, the foundation also related that the “current owners had lived in a bungalow in the neighbourhood for 10 years, and were drawn to this house for its generous room size, its panoramic views and the luxury of its private setting”.

      “They also admired the major rehabilitation conducted by the owners before them, which included the preservation of the home’s comfortable and efficient layout while introducing a few modern improvements,” the VHF stated.

      Moreover, “With its amazing setting, and surrounded by granite garden walls, it feels like the kind of home many would aspire to end up in; definitely a standing testament to the grand homes of Grandview.”

      The proposal to preserve the home and its associated plan for an additional residence is included in the agenda Monday (October 18) of the Vancouver Heritage Commission.

      Video: Check out Doug and the Slugs performing one of their biggest hits, "Too Bad".