On the street where I lived…

banner_image.phpI try to stay away from getting too personal here, but this is hard to keep to myself: I found out my childhood home, where I lived from 1961 to 1972, just sold for over a million dollars!

876 Canyon Blvd. North Vancouver, spring 1961

876 Canyon Blvd. North Vancouver, spring 1961

Although I look back fondly at the 1958 west coast modern post and beam home now, at the time, it was not ideal for raising a family.

My sisters were in semi-basement bedrooms with cold, terrazzo floors, and the front door was at the back of the carport and opened onto a dark hall with a flight of stairs to go up to the living area. The panoramic view of the Vancouver skyline was already mostly hidden by trees when we sold and left in 1972.

Lance LayoutThe siding was originally dark chocolate brown (almost black) with white trim; my parents repainted the siding olive green in the late 1960s. The lower floor, which is now a separate apartment, was originally my sisters’ bedrooms and the family room where we watched Saturday morning TV on the big, old 50s set with rabbit ears that you had to turn on early to warm up the tubes. There was a portable black and white TV upstairs where the family watched Star Trek, Dick Van Dyke, the Jackie Gleason Show, Ed Sullivan, and Twilight Zone (the episode with the gremlin on the wing is probably the reason I hate flying today!)

CHristmas 62 living room

Vertical panelling in the living room, Christmas 1962

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horizontal panelling was added in the 1970s, but the fireplace remains the same

Upstairs, the pegboard cabinet kitchen with peninsula table and laundry is now a family room. Some owner along the way has transformed what used to be the dining room into the kitchen, making the living space a little squishy. I’m not a fan of open concept kitchens – I don’t want bacon grease spitting across the room onto my sofa, and if I drop the roast on the floor I don’t want anyone to see because I am still going to serve it. Besides, I can’t drink and visit while I cook – unless you want something burnt.

The only other major change to the interior of the house is the panelling, which used to be wide and vertical, typical of the 1950s, but is now narrow and horizontal, typical of the 1970s. I like both but prefer the 1950s for its originality.

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In front of the fireplace, December 31, 1964

IMGP0120It’s great to see the original fireplace in situ, with its floating hearth – and that brings a fashion angle into this reminiscence. In December 1964 my father photographed my mother and me on New Year’s Eve in front of the fireplace. My mother was wearing a gold thread embroidered black silk top that was already a couple of years old in 1964. That top, by Charles Dumas, remains in the collection.

9 thoughts on “On the street where I lived…

  1. What an awesome share. Thanks for that. Love those mid-century moderns. I have a dress in my collection that belonged to my mom. My dad had it made for her. Oh to have all the beautiful things my mom used to wear in the ’50’s and ’60’s! They live on in photos, for the most part…

    • I am fortunate to have a few things that belonged to my mom – but not many – she wasn’t a keeper of old clothes!

  2. Oh, this definitely reminds me of the house I grew up in on the West Coast, too! We moved in just after you moved out, but the house was of the same era – and had a lot of the same problems. Ours was just outside of San Francisco and oh yes those semi-basement rooms were cold! Fortunately ours had been added on to on the upper level in back (it was on a hill, so ground level there), so we could reserve the downstairs for guest quarters and an office, but I remember the ’70s and ’80s as a long string of projects to try to insulate and improve those cardboard walls and all-too-permeable picture windows. Not to mention the solar water heater my dad hooked up on the roof! And rather than go through the carport, you had to go upstairs and along a narrow deck that spanned 2/3 of the house frontage to reach the front door.

    Thanks for the visit to your house, and down memory lane.

  3. But, as we say in Vancouver, what’s a million? Sadly, at that price-point in West Vancouver, that’s lot value and the house will soon be a building site.
    Nice house though

  4. I owned this lovely place from 2007 to 2013 – that is my furniture and art! And it was me that adapted the upstairs to have the open plan kitchen (designed by an award winning modernist architect) because I lived upstairs on the upper floor as a single mom with my son and rented out the ground floor as a separate suite – and we needed somewhere for the teens to hang out that was separate from the civilized rest of the house! That family room that used to be your kitchen got so much use! We adored this place – including the plum tree in the back that the bear used to visit, and the lovely flowering garden. So much so that having sold it and bought a house in Vancouver I came across this blog entry looking the address up in case we can rent it back! Crazy I know but the heart is not logical! Anyway great to read your blog – I had seen some archival photos of the original owners, so maybe they were of your family!

    • My mother planted the plum tree. I don’t know if any of the other fruit trees survived, there was a King apple tree, and a Snow apple tree, a HUGE cherry, and a couple of hazlenut trees as well. The photos probably were of our family. We weren’t the first owners – the house was built 1958 or 5,9 if I remember what my parents said correctly, and it was rented out until we bought it and moved in late 1960. It was our ‘Mad Men’ era home!

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