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Although neighbouring Marpole and Kerrisdale experienced steady growth between 1908 and 1929, the community of Oakridge remained in its natural state until the early 1950s, when the CPR developed its land holdings for residential and commercial use.
Development included the construction of single-family homes and the creation of Vancouver's first shopping center -Oakridge, built on a 32-acre plot of land at 41st and Cambie.
During the 1960s, construction continued and a large number of young families moved into the community. Schools and hospitals were built to meet the increasing demand, and facilities such as the Jewish Community Centre and the Home for the Aged were built to serve the growing community.
Oakridge is a young community, compared with most of the rest of Vancouver. One of the area's predominant architectural forms, the classic bungalow, may not classify as heritage, however it is noteworthy and may be considered a heritage structure sometime in the future. The bungalows are characteristic of the type of dwellings built during the post WWII boom.
Oak Street has a number of interesting churches built along its length, including the unusual Unity Church at 5840 Oak and the Unitarian Church at 49th Avenue, both built in 1964.
Detailed information on the city's heritage and a complete list of heritage buildings is available at City of Vancouver Heritage.
Additional information is available through the City of Vancouver Archives.
In the early 1990s, the Secondary Suites Program resulted in zoning that does not permit rental suites in Oakridge.
In the mid 1990s a planning program was initiated because of numerous rezoning inquiries and applications by institutional owners of large sites. The resulting Oakridge/Langara Policy Statement (1995) includes specific policies to guide rezonings to add housing on various institutional sites. It also resulted in adoption of Development Cost Levies and Community Amenity Contributions to fund the parks, parks improvement, affordable housing, daycare, traffic calming and other needed items.
In 1995, Vancouver City Council approved CityPlan: Directions for Vancouver. CityPlan is a citywide plan that will guide City decisions on programs, priorities and actions through 2021. CityPlan provides general directions for a range of topics and issues in which the City is involved including neighbourhood centres, housing variety and affordability, neighbourhood character, services, safety, arts and culture, public places, economy and jobs, transportation, environment, downtown development, financial accountability, and decision making. [CityPlan]
The Community Visions Program is a component of CityPlan that provides each community with an opportunity to look into its future, determine its needs and aspirations, and set a course that is consistent with CityPlan. Community visioning is being implemented in areas where there has been little or no previous community planning.
Oakridge has undergone extensive community planning and will not be part of the Community Visioning process. It may be included in a "re-visioning" process in the future. [Community Visions]
The zoning types found in Oakridge are listed below. For more detailed information on what is permitted in various zones call 873-7613 or click on [link to bylaws, policies and guidelines].