Condominium and the City: The Rise of Property in Vancouver
Douglas C. Harris
University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law
August 16, 2011
Law and Social Inquiry, Vol. 36, No. 3, 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
Date posted: January 30, 2012