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Now & Then - A Look At Historical Vancouver Rental Ads

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Little known fact: Back in the 1900's, people in Vancouver could rent an entire house for less than the cost of lunch. Don't believe us? Check out these historical rental ads from neighbourhoods and intersections that are still around today. Just for fun, check out the present day rental ads for a quick comparison on the current market rental rates.


We start things off with an ad from The Western Call dating back to 1912. During that time, rentals just off Main Street weren't as popular as they are now. In 1912, one could rent a eight bedroom house for just $22 per month. Oh the good ol' days.


Fast forward to present day, we've found a house at the exact intersection of the historical rental ad that has recently undergone a complete renovation. It has 1BA/2BR + den and is 1,200 square feet. The monthly rental price is $2,500 per month.

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Next, is this ad from The Western Call dated June 16, 1916. The ad lists a six bedroom home for rent on Balsam Street which includes a lawn, flowers, chickens, small fruits, and roses. Sounds lovely, right? Back in 1916, this home rented for $16 per month.


Renters can still live on the very popular Balsam Street but it is definitely going to cost a bit extra. This 1BR/1BA loft is a tad bit dated but had a decent view of the ocean and some outdoor space to contemplate how expensive it is to live in Vancouver. This 800 square foot suite rents for $1,800 per month. There are no chickens, no lawn, and the only small fruits and roses this place has are the ones purchased at the store.

[Independent, May 26, 1900 ]

Back in 1900, renters could live in a furnished room on Keefer Street for only $5 per month. Housekeeping was included in the monthly rent so talk about a steal.


Now on Keefer Street, renters can live in a 1BR/1BA high rise tower. The suite is only 581 square feet, typical of downtown Vancouver rentals. Monthly rental price? $1,425.