One of Vancouver’s most famous (and haunted) mansions will soon be given new life. Preparation to transform the Gabriola Mansion at 1523 Davie Street into a multi-residential building has commenced. Developed by Davie Holdings Ltd and designed by Ankenman Marchand Architects, the rezoning application was approved in November 2017, and the development application is currently under review by the city staff.  

Renderings, image via Ankenman Marchand Architects

The Gabriola Mansion was built in 1901 by the sugar baron B.T. Rogers, who was also the first person in Vancouver to own an automobile. It was designed by prominent Arts and Crafts architect Samuel Maclure in the mix of period-specific styles including Romanesque Revival, Arts and Crafts, and Queen Anne. After B.T. Rogers’ sudden death in 1918 his widow, together with Charles Bentall of the Dominion Construction Company, converted the mansion into six apartments and added a new building. Charles Bentall lived in one of the apartments until his death in 1974, and in 1978 the building was refurbished to be used as a restaurant. The building has been vacant for the the last 10 years, but was in the news in 2016 when the body of a murdered Japanese student was discovered there.  

Gabriola Mansion from Nicola Street, image by Alissa Reed

The new development will preserve the landscaping, all of the mansion’s exterior character-defining elements, and all stained glass windows. Heritage elements in the interior areas open to the public, such as the main entry, the grand staircase, and the billiards room will also be preserved. 

Landscape Plan, image via Ankenman Marchand Architects

There will 20 market rental units in total, with 4 studio, 7 one-, 5 two-, and 4 three-bedroom apartments. 16 of the units will be in the renovated mansion, and the remaining 4 will be in an infill townhouse complex. The basement level units will have private patios and additional windows for more light. The units will be geared towards family living, with larger than standard-size kitchens. 

Gabriola Mansion from Davie Street, image by Alissa Reed

While there will be no car parking onsite, 26 off-site parking stalls were secured at 1500 Pendrell Street. 27 bike parking spaces will be provided in the mansion building and 7 additional spaces outside. The project is located in Vancouver’s West End, and is within short walking distance of English Bay, multiple parks, the West End Community Centre, and the shops and restaurants along Denman and Davie Streets.

Infill Townhouses, image via Ankenman Marchand Architects

Known locally as the "last mansion" on Davie Street, the refurbished Maclure masterpiece will be given new life, its presence within Vancouver's ever-changing West End to provide locals and visitors alike a glimpse of the city's long ago Gilded Age. 

Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

Related Companies:  Ankenman Marchand Architects