Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dec. 2nd - Discovery of Mole Hill

We enjoyed a great walk this morning along unexplored streets that took us to The Red Umbrella, a small cafe near the bottom of Davie Street. Fueled by a delicious omelet breakfast, we wandered back along Robson Street and into the area known as "Mole Hill". The following info was taken from their website:

The Mole Hill Community Housing Society provides and advocates for secure, affordable housing for low and middle income singles, seniors, and families within enviro-conscious, intact heritage housing, and streetscapes. MHCHS aims to foster a community that integrates partnerships and diverse service groups, and to create open public spaces for the enjoyment of tenants and the wider community.

There are 170 units on the Hill. There are both market and subsidy suites available, ranging in suite sizes from bachelor to 3 bedrooms. 10 units are dedicated to the wait list of the MacLaren Housing Society, which provides homes for persons living with AIDS. The St. Paul’s Heart Home, which provides housing for heart transplant patients and their families while recuperating from surgery, is directly across from St. Paul’s Hospital. Watson House, with a transition home run by the Coast Mental Health Foundation, provides rooms and support for 8 people learning to reintegrate with the community while managing mental health issues.
On the corner of Thurlow and Comox, the Dr. Peter Centre provides both in and out patient care for people living with AIDS, providing support, meals, and harm reduction services.

The houses are preserved with Heritage designation
Mole Hill was created with environmental sustainability and commitment in mind. All the homes are heated with geo-thermal technologies, which minimize the energy consumption necessary for heating by using the earth’s natural underground warmth through energy-efficient heat exchanging pumps. A focus on energy-efficient lighting and appliances also helps minimize energy use. The resources saved in effectively “recycling” the heritage homes was joined by a commitment to use other recycled materials in construction. As well, the gardens were constructed using recycled bricks and lumber. In the alley, there are four spots dedicated to the Vancouver Co-operative Auto Network, and a number of the residents are Co-op members.

The laneways have playgrounds for the children and lush community gardens.
On subsequent walks I hope to document the variety of architectural styles that have left their mark on the West End apartment buildings.

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