Building Permits Database

Vancouver Interactive Building Permits Database

Heritage Vancouver is pleased to announce the launch of the Vancouver Interactive Building Permits Database. This is the result of 17 years of work that has resulted in the transcription of approximately 26,000 permits issued between the years 1901 to 1921. The online searchable database will “go live” at our Celebration on November 23, 2011 at the City of Vancouver Archives. We invite you to attend the launch, and by November 11th nominate your favorite historic house in the City of Vancouver; ten homes will be selected and featured at the launch.

The Project: Transcription & Online Database
The Vancouver Building Permits Database will unlock the secrets of many thousands of Vancouver’s historic buildings and make this information publicly accessible. One of the most frequent questions at the City of Vancouver Archives is “How old is my house?” Until now, the early building permit information for Vancouver buildings has been locked away in chronological register books, not searchable in any way. Now – finally – this relatively inaccessible source of vital information will be made freely available through the release of a long-anticipated online searchable database of these invaluable historical records.

Until this launch of this Database, this type of information on the history of many Vancouver sites has not been readily available. In addition to the invaluable and accurate permit information this will supply to countless building owners and researchers, it will support many different types of research into Vancouver’s history, which could include statistical research, understanding the growth of individual neighbourhoods, support for genealogical research and other types of investigation that have not yet been considered. This will also support those interested in the built environment, including those involved in real estate, as this will provide readily accessible information on the majority of early buildings in Vancouver. The Database will promote the value of many sites through the provision of accurate historical information for both vendors and buyers.

For more information on the transcription and database project, see: