District of West Vancouver has allocated $170,000 to improve the grounds as a park at the Klee Wyck historic home site.
“The house is not salvageable, but the grounds and gardens are historically significant,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Booth.
Booth said in this budget, the district is also considering additional funding for the next steps—telling the story of the trailblazing Dr. Ethlyn Trapp.
District is also exploring building community gardens on the site, which would also contribute to the food security goals, Booth noted.
“Discussions on how to best use the property have been happening since 1972, and this Council has finally made some decisions about that,” she said.
District of West Vancouver plans to demolish the historic Klee Wyck house and the four greenhouses in the fall of 2020.
“The entire house is uninhabitable in its current condition and the District has no life cycle cost provision to maintain this structure,” says a recent district report on West Vancouver assets.
The house was used as an artist studio from 1980 to 2011, but hasn’t been used for that purpose since 2012. The studio was used for storage until 2016, but is currently in poor condition and no longer in use.
The four greenhouses served as the district’s nursery until 2012, but are also in poor condition, according to the report.
Klee Wyck house, a rustic estate property situated on the banks of the Capilano River on Keith Road, was owned by Dr. Trapp, a physician and a humanitarian who lived there until her death in 1972.
Dr. Trapp deeded the property to West Vancouver in 1960 and named it ‘Klee Wyck’ in honour of her good friend and world-renowned artist Emily Carr who wrote her autobiography with that title. Carr was a frequent visitor and did much of her painting and writing in this house.
From 1980 to 2012, the house was being used to host arts program but the artist studio occupancy agreement was terminated in 2012. After that, it was used for storage.