Belcarra cabin residents ten days from eviction
Residents of cabins in Belcarra say they represent a way of life in Vancouver long forgotten when people would escape to such small abodes all over the Lower Mainland.
In less than two weeks, Metro Vancouver will board-up the doors and windows of seven cabins along Belcarra’s waterfront and turn off the electricity, effectively shutting out those who have lived on the property for decades.
It’s in one of those cabins Jo Ledingham has resided for more than 40 years. She said despite a year of appeals, and ongoing support from both the mayors and councils of Port Moody and Belcarra, the future looks bleak.
The cabins have heritage status through the Port Moody Heritage Register, but Metro Vancouver is claiming the property needs more than $800 thousand in repairs, is a liability and prevents the public from accessing the beach. Those living on the property said they’ve maintained a path leading to the water, the expenses are less than half of that, and they’re happy to pay as they have for years.
“Although the cottages are not architecturally significant, what is significant is this last cluster represents a lifestyle of Lower Mainland people from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s,” said Ledingham. She explained similar cabins on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island have been knocked down and replaced with multi-million dollar waterfront homes.
Being on the heritage list doesn’t mean the cottages have escaped the bulldozers, said Metro Vancouver’s Allen Neilson.
“That will then put in place some time delays in terms of any changes, in terms of demolition permits and so forth, and we of course will respect those time delays,” said Neilson. He said one of the homes, Bole House, has some historical value and will be spared.