Regulating development in Vancouver's heritage areas

We have created regulations and companion design guidelines that preserve and protect the historic fabric of Vancouver's main historic areas:

  • Chinatown
  • Gastown
  • Shaughnessy
  • Yaletown

These regulations ensure that new development in these protected areas is compatible with the area character.

Chinatown regulations

Chinatown's boundaries are Hastings, Union, Gore, and Carrall streets. The historic core is Pender Street, running east and west from Main Street.

Gastown regulations

Gastown is north of Hastings Street, between Richards and Main streets.

Shaughnessy regulations

First Shaughnessy's boundaries are West 16th, Marpole, Wolfe and Richelieu avenues to the north, Arbutus Street to the west, West King Edward Avenue to the south, and the west lane of Oak Street to east.

A heritage conservation area has been established in First Shaughnessy to protect the estate character of this neighbourhood, to provide clarity around conservation and permit development that respects the area’s heritage value. It includes general guidelines, more specific design guidelines, and a list of protected heritage properties.

The historic character of the area is documented in the First Shaughnessy Heritage Conservation Area Historic Context and Statement of Significance  (7 MB)

The Zoning and Development By-law has also been amended to include a new District Schedule for First Shaughnessy.

A heritage alteration permit is necessary for any proposed alterations to protected components – typically the exterior, but in certain cases this may also apply to protected interior features and landscape features.

Yaletown regulations

Yaletown is bordered by Homer and Nelson streets to the north and east, and Cambie, Mainland, and Drake streets to the south and west.

Yaletown gets its special character from its compact collection of buildings made of heavy timber, brick, and concrete. It also features narrow streets with covered loading docks that serve as public space.

The Historic Area District Schedule for Yaletown (HA-3) encourages the conversion and renovation of these buildings. Further, it encourages new buildings that are compatible in order to produce a more contemporary mix of commercial, industrial, and residential uses. It also promotes more activity-oriented uses in the area.