Condominium and the City: The Rise of Property in Vancouver

Posted: 30 Jan 2012

See all articles by Douglas C. Harris

Douglas C. Harris

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 16, 2011


Condominium is a form of land ownership that combines private ownership of an individual unit in a multi-unit building with an undivided share of the common property in the building and a right to participate in the collective governance of the private and common property. Introduced by statute across North America in the 1960s, condominium facilitated the vertical subdivision of land and enabled a massive increase in the density of private interests. This article describes condominium and considers the justifications that were offered for this rearrangement of property. It then chronicles the introduction of condominium to the city of Vancouver and maps its spread across the city from 1970 to 2010. In doing so, the article reveals that condominium, a legal innovation without peer in its capacity to increase the density of private ownership in land, has provided the legal architecture of ownership for the remaking of Vancouver.

Keywords: law, property, condominium, strata title, common law, city, urban, Vancouver, Canada, gentrification, legal history

Suggested Citation

Harris, Douglas C., Condominium and the City: The Rise of Property in Vancouver (August 16, 2011). Law and Social Inquiry, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Douglas C. Harris (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1

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