History in triplicate: three Port Moody heritage homes now sit side-by-side-by-side

The houses have been shuffled, the paperwork has been filed and three Port Moody homes are officially protected heritage properties, following a final vote by Port Moody council Tuesday.

For applicant and heritage advocate Fred Soofi, Tuesday’s unanimous vote from council was the culmination of a municipal process that started in 2015.

“These things are getting harder to do these days because the land value is going up and this is not for somebody who really wants to make profit,” Soofi said.

Easy as 1-2-3

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The Moisio residence, (formerly at 2614 St. Johns Street), the Siddall residence (formerly at 2901 St. Johns Street), and the Sutherland Residence (formerly at 2830 St. George Street) were all trucked down St. Johns Street in the middle of the night and placed side-by-side on the newly subdivided lot at 123 Douglas Street.

The Moisio residence. photo supplied

As per the heritage revitalization agreement, 123 Douglas Street is now split into three lots, with 2133 St. Andrews Street to the north and 2130 St. George Street on the south side.

City councils frequently grant extra density to an applicant in exchange for the preservation of heritage properties.

“To successfully move and restore these buildings, it’s just an amazing feat,” Coun. Steve Milani said.

Coun. Diana Dilworth lauded Soofi for: “taking what others might consider to be an old home and repurposing them in new and different ways.”

Heritage notes

Built in 1912, the Moisio residence is an arts and crafts bungalow featuring a gabled dormer and a porch, a style popular before the First World War. In addition to working as a millwright at the Thurston-Flavelle Mill, the home’s first owner Esa Moisio also served as a city councillor – then known as an alderman – from 1915 and 1917.

The Siddall residence was built in 1922 and exemplifies the Craftsman style of architecture.

Built in 1944, the Sutherland residence is an example of the wartime development of Port Moody, according to a city staff report.

Royer recused

Due to CityState’s extensive work on the project, Coun. Zoe Royer recused herself from the vote. CityState is a consulting group that focuses on getting building projects approved.

The future of the past

In his comments to council, Soofi advocated greater retention of heritage homes. Whenever demolition of a heritage home has been scheduled, there could be city-wide notifications in case someone wants to buy and move the house, Soofi advised.

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