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1500 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC


An exterior shot of Discovery in Vancouver
Building Information
Developer Qualex-Landmark
Architect Rafii Architects
Management Company Crosby Property Management
Number of Units 176
Number of Floors 24
Year Built 1990
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof Tar and Gravel
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1500 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Bus/SkyTrain accessible
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning BCPED
Title of Land Condominium



The building's logo

The 1990s were a decade of change and development to be sure. It was the decade that gave us the advent of the Internet, cellular phones, and many other shifts that would end up setting the tone for the new millennium and beyond. That said, there is something to be said for the unchanging qualities of timelessness and refinement, and Discovery is a building that has them in spades; while so many things were changing around it, it simply stood by and continued to offer the kind if living experience that it had offered since its inception.

Built in 1990, the 24 floor Discovery has 176 units available for sale and rent.[1] Its development was handled by Qualex Landmark, and the design side of things was taken care of by the prolific Rafii Architects.

The structure, of course, has a selection of amenities for its residents to use to their heart's content, but it could be argued that the single largest one would be its location on Howe Street; not only does this place it in the famed Yaletown district, but it is also extremely close to the Granville Street Bridge, meaning it is also close to everything that Granville Island has to offer as well.


The Granville Street Bridge

Located on 1500 Howe Street, Discovery is one the outer edge of Vancouver's Yaletown neighbourhood, itself a living testament to what redevelopment can do for an area. Originally an industrial district that mainly housed warehouses and rail yards, the 1986 World's Fair that took place in Vancouver necessitated a rapid wave of development that saw many of the older structures swept away, to be replaced with trendy coffee shops, boutiques, and a wide variety of other ingredients for a hip neighbourhood.[2] Should residents want to explore a but farther out, then all they need to do is cross over to Granville Island, a warm community with a laser-like focus on culture and the performing arts.

Prospective residents will be glad to know that the area around Discovery is perfectly walkable, with even terrain and many stores and services located close by to make running the quick errand a simple task. Should one want to travel farther, then all they have to do is take advantage of Vancouver's excellent transit system. Discovery has 44 bus stop options and three SkyTrain stations in the general vicinity, making it easy to reach virtually anywhere in the Lower Mainland even if one does not own or have access to a vehicle.[3]


An example of a bedroom

Discovery is very similar to its contemporaries in terms of construction, being a structure that is primarily made from concrete and finished in the same material. A feature it does lack, however, is a rain screen; surprising, considering Vancouver's unpredictable weather.[4]

Designed by Rafii Architects, Discovery is a building with no small amount of aesthetic appeal despite being few bold design choices having been made. Indeed, the tower's strength seems to come from its simplicity, as its generally symmetrical design is only deviated from on one side, with curvature being employed instead of a straight line. The break in unity, small as it is, still serves as an excellent way to individualize Discovery's design, a design that is only further enhanced by the light coloured exterior finish and the sparing use of metal accents on the facade.

Layout and Features

The 176 units at Discovery come in four primary configurations; studio apartments, one bedroom units, two bedroom units, and three bedroom units. In terms of size, the studios are slightly larger than 250 square feet, the one bedroom residences range from 524-942, the two bedroom residences range from 861-1184 square feet, and the few three bedroom residences range from 1311-2407 square feet.

The features that the units come with include stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, hardwood floors, and tile flooring in the bathrooms. Certain units also have decks.

Floor Plans

Discovery does not have any free floor plans available for public viewing; there is, however, video footage available that shows off the structure's highlights and features.

[5] - View video from "References Section" at the bottom of this page.


Some of Discovery's amenities include:

  • In-suite laundry
  • Whirlpool
  • Fitness centre
  • Storage
  • Workshop


Discovery Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets No
Age No
Barbecues Yes

  • Rentals are allowed
  • Discovery is not pet-friendly
  • There is no age restriction on residents
  • Barbecues are permitted


Discovery was built in an era where sustainability and green living were not major concerns. Thus, Discovery has no green features to speak of. Had it been constructed today, there is a decent chance that it would have been outfitted with a few ecologically sound measures, such as geothermal heating systems or energy efficient lighting setups.

Environmentally conscious residents, however, may wish to take action in order to offset this. For instance, if it is not too inconveniencing, they would very well take transit more instead of driving everywhere. Other possibilities include recycling or actively monitoring and reducing excess water and electricity use.


  • Qualex Landmark was founded in 2001 in Vancouver, and their main focus is on concrete condominiums and wood frame structures; an example of their other work includes Pomaria, the first LEED certified highrise in Vancouver
  • Likewise, Rafii Architects is also a home-grown business, founded in 1983 and having designed buildings such as Meccanica in Vancouver
  • Granville Island was named 'One of the World's Great Places' in 2004 by Project for Public Spaces
  • The Granville Street Bridge that exists today does so because of a 1950s plan to replace the original bridge, a swing span that was erected in 1909


  1. 6717000 - Discovery
  2. Wikipedia - Yaletown
  3. Walk Score
  4. BC Condos - Discovery
  5. Discovery on Youtube

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