Our History

Mole Hill is the last surviving block of pre-World War One housing stock in Vancouver, the most significant example of Vancouver’s Victorian and Edwardian era domestic architecture.Henry Mole emigrated from England in 1855. Arriving in the Pacific Northwest via the Panama Canal, he farmed in Shaughnessy and later built a house in Vancouver’s West End, residing there with his wife Elizabeth and their children until 1901. By then the area had transformed from a “heavily timbered and swampy” forest into a peaceful residential neighbourhood, consisting of blocks of the elegant Victorian wood-framed dwellings which characterized the early development of the city. Throughout the 20th Century the West End was redeveloped and dozens of blocks of Victorian and Edwardian houses were replaced by apartments. The only block which survived is Mole Hill. Today, Mole Hill is governed by the Mole Hill Community Housing Society which is frequently recognized for achievements in heritage conservation, construction, landscaping and the provision of social housing.

Henry Mole's residence at 1025 Comox Street in 1995
Henry Mole’s residence at 1025 Comox Street in 1895. L-R Henry Mole, Mary Paull, John Mole, Ann Mole Jane Paull


Learn about the early days of Vancouver’s West End, and the history of Mole Hill.

West end looking south

Mole Hill People

Some of the characters and personalities who have shaped Mole Hill’s history.

Mrs Elizabeth Ann Mole 1893


Mole Hill was saved through the actions of a large group of preservationists.

Activist signs on Comox Street in the 1990s challenged the Parks Board’s plans to demolish the block for redevelopment.

Mole Hill Today

Today, Mole Hill is a unique, park-like block which includes social housing, daycares, a farmers market and numerous other community assets.

Molestock 2017
Molestock 2017