Keep the beat in the ‘Heart’ of Mount Pleasant!

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We love the ‘Heritage Heart’, the unique commercial/cultural district defined by the intersections of Main, Broadway, and Kingsway. We bet you do too.

BUT we are at risk of losing the ‘heart’ of Mount Pleasant and the local independent businesses and cultural groups who have homes there.

Did you know that the Heart of Mount Pleasant was ranked # 1 on Heritage Vancouver Society’s 2019 Top Ten Endangered Watch List?

The recognition of this district as the ‘heart’ of the community and the name “Heritage Heart” were born from the 2010 Mount Pleasant Community Plan (MPCP) and subsequent Implementation Package (IP), which were co-created by the City of Vancouver and the community through the investment of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours. They document the ‘heart’s’ importance as a vibrant shopping, cultural and gathering spot, not only to the neighbourhood but city-wide. Both documents also include the policy of “retaining the existing scale and character” of this small portion of Mount Pleasant.

To protect this treasured district, we are asking that the Broadway Plan formalizes this policy and that the City go on to create and implement a management plan for the “Heritage Heart” that deals holistically with the social diversity, independent businesses, affordable rents, historic architecture, smaller store frontages, public spaces and unique personality of Mount Pleasant.

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Where Main St. meets Kingsway in the “Heritage Heart”.

Our Vision? When transit users emerge from the future Main Street Broadway Subway station, they will arrive at Mount Pleasant’s vibrant and distinct ‘Heritage Heart’, not a generic “could-be-anywhere” intersection.

The clock is ticking; the time to act is now! The draft Broadway Plan is expected Fall 2020. Join us as we call upon the City to include a commitment to creating a management plan for the ‘Heritage Heart’ within the Broadway Plan.

Here’s how you can join our campaign:

First, let your voice be heard, please sign and share our petition to protect our much loved unique commercial/cultural district!Signthepetionbutton copy

Sign Change.org petition to City of Vancouver Mayor & Council to “Keep the beat in the ‘Heart’ of Mount Pleasant here.

Or, copy and paste URL to petition: https://www.change.org/p/vancouver-mayor-and-city-council-keep-the-beat-in-the-heart-of-mount-pleasant

Note: After you sign the petition, change.org will solicit for a donation on this issue, this is how change.org operates – they give exposure in exchange for money. Please do not donate to this issue through change.org.

Second, stay informed!

Yes, I support this campaign! Please keep me informed by adding my name to your contact list:

And finally, if you’d like to help us cover the administrative costs of running this campaign, please donate to our FundRazr page here.

We are a small but dedicated grassroots organization and, as such, any financial support, small or large, is very much appreciated. Thank you!

SavetheHH

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What Does The Mount Pleasant Community Plan Say About The Historic Old Mount Pleasant Village?

Main Street and 8th Avenue looking north 1922 VPL 5279 Philip Timms

Mount Pleasant is the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver outside of the downtown peninsula and the city’s first suburb. The hub from which the historic Old Mount Pleasant Village developed in the late 1880s and early 1900s occupies the area on Main Street (between 6th and 12th Avenues) and the Triangle Block – formed by Kingsway, Main Street and Broadway. Many of the buildings from that era still exist and have consistently provided affordable housing and commercial spaces.

1897-1901 Goad Fire Insurance Map showing Old Mount Pleasant Village/Heritage Heart when Main Street was named Westminster Avenue, Kingsway was Westminster Road and Broadway was 9th Avenue – map courtesy of Library and Archives Canada Online MIKAN no. 3807867                                                                                                       

The Mount Pleasant Community Plan (MPCP) was adopted in November of 2010 after an extensive public planning process which began in March 2007. The subsequent Implementation Package (IP), which built upon the Plan, was adopted in October of 2013. Both documents contain principles and policies to address issues and guide development over 30 years. During the planning process the Triangle Block came to be affectionately referred to as the Heritage Heart.

So what do the Plan and Implementation Package say about this section of Mount Pleasant?

  • This neighbourhood warrants ongoing promotion as a heritage area of the city (MPCP p. 9)
  • Recognize and preserve all heritage buildings (MPCP p. 11) 
  • Apply the broader definition of ‘heritage’ that goes beyond buildings and includes streetscapes… (MPCP p. 21) 
  • Upgrade the heritage register recognizing buildings built since 1940, and other aspects of heritage (e.g. important working class homes…) ((MPCP p. 21) 
  • Retain the existing scale and character of Main Street (from 7th to 11th Avenue)…and older more affordable housing (e.g. 3 storey walk-ups)… (MPCP p. 23) 
  • Create a ‘Cultural District’ by preserving and enhancing the heritage ‘heart’ (triangle north of Broadway between Main Street and Kingsway) and the surrounding area at current scale (MPCP p. 24)
  • Sustain and further encourage a wide variety of independent businesses…Develop without big box stores (MPCP p. 8)
  • Mount Pleasant is one of Vancouver’s most historic and heritage-rich neighbourhoods. The community is incredibly proud of their heritage… (IP-Section 4/Public Realm p. 92)
  • Celebrate the old Mount Pleasant village location with public art, paving and interpretive panels (IP-Section 4/Public Realm p. 96)
  • Recognize and celebrate the “triangle block” as the historic heart of the community (IP-    Section 4/Public Realm p. 51)
  • Protect and enhance Mount Pleasant’s many and varied heritage resources (IP-Section 5/ Public Benefits Strategy p. 129)
  • Mount Pleasant prospers as a community known for its wide variety of locally owned shops and restaurants, attracting shoppers and diners from across the city (IP Section 4/Public Realm p. 58)

Calladines Grocery Trucks on Main Street Between 7th and 8th 1918 CVA 99-5163 Stuart Thomson

 

In 2015 the city put out a call for public nominations as part of its Heritage Register upgrade. In keeping with the principles and policies of the Plan and Implementation Package, the Mount Pleasant Heritage Group (MPHG) put forth a nomination to create a Main Street Heritage Precinct in the Old Mount Pleasant Village/Heritage Heart area of the neighbourhood. The city is in the process of developing themes for the Heritage Register and reviewing nominations. A report is due later in the year.

Heritage has come to be defined more broadly and to include intangible heritage assets, assets that contribute to the cultural and social fabric of a healthy community. It is important that the city recognizes that this unique area – with its human scale heritage and older, modest buildings providing relatively affordable housing and spaces for the neighbourhood’s treasured small and independent businesses – is a distinctive neighbourhood high street cherished not only by the local community, but also by the entire city. The MPHG believes that this historic hub and vibrant shopping and gathering spot is worthy of preservation as it meets our collective needs for local identity, sense of place, and connection to our neighbourhood.

NW Corner of Main Street and 10th Avenue looking north 1920 VPL 7434 Philip Timms

 

 

 

 

 

You can access the Mount Pleasant Community Plan and Implementation Package documents here.

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