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Simpson House

5825 Carnarvon Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/11/21

Exterior view of the Simpson House; City of Vancouver, 2007
Oblique front and side views
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Simpson House is a two-and-a-half-storey wood frame residence located in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood of southwest Vancouver, at the southwest corner of Carnarvon Street and West 42nd Avenue.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Simpson House lies in its associative and architectural significance.

Built in 1919, the Simpson House is one of the earliest houses in this area. The introduction of the interurban line along the Arbutus Corridor, along with the streetcar line along West 41st Avenue, introduced this rural area to development.

The associative value of the Simpson House lies in the building’s occupants. In 1948, the owners were Paul Wisnicki and Catherine Chard Wisnicki. For many years they were faculty members at the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture. Catherine was the first woman to graduate from McGill University’s School of Architecture in 1943 and was recognized with an honorary degree from McGill in 1996. She is documented as being an inspiring teacher and a pioneer of the West Coast architectural style.

The architectural value of the Simpson House lies in its Bungalow or Four Square style, with a principal side gable massing expressed with a secondary front and rear gable, balanced in every respect. It is dominated at the front by a full width porch. There is a strong emphasis on natural elements, primarily wood, and in the stone bases for the porch piers and the rough rustic brick pattern in the chimney on the south side.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Simpson House include:
- its location in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood of southwest Vancouver
- residential form, expressed by its wide form and two-and-a-half-storey massing, including side gables with secondary centrally placed gables in the front and rear
- a deep full width front porch with four equally-spaced tall granite bases and wide wood pillars, absent of any railing or balustrade
- original double-hung wood windows with a multi-pane muntin arrangement in the upper sash: most are 3 x 3 except those facing the front porch which are wider; all are set as singles except for the pair in the front gable, upper floor
- wide facia board dividing each of the floor lines
- bevelled lap siding on the main floor and basement (exposed on sides and at the rear)
- shingle siding on the upper floor and attic gable face
- chimney on the south side with a rough rustic brick pattern that retains its width, narrowing only slightly just beneath the roof line
- secondary chimney extending out of the roof peak, also having a rustic brick pattern
- paired French doors with multi-pane glass leading out on to the south deck
- exposed rafter ends
- decorative wood front door
- the multi-pane glass on the basement door features a decorative raised top edge



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.582

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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