Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish was established by the Redemptorists in 1923. Before then, the district assigned to the Redemptorists was originally under the care of the Oblate Fathers of St. Augustine. The original boundaries as drawn up by the Archdiocese of Vancouver were: Balaclava Street to the east, Blanca Street to the west; English Bay to the north and West 25th Avenue to the south. The south boundary was redrawn in 1966 at West 20th Avenue.
The original church was a modest shoebox structure located at 3425 West Broadway on what were the abandoned premises of a store. The interior was simple: It had an altar, sanctuary and sacristy, a confessional, organ and kitchen chairs for seats. Heating was supplied by two portable oil stoves.
The search for a more suitable site was, however, already underway and in June 1924 the present site, at Crown and West 10th Avenue was secured from Crown Lands at a public auction. The area was encumbered with burnt-out tree stumps and brushwood but it was not long before this was all cleared out and plans for the church were drawn up by September of that year. A section of the site was also earmarked for a school.
Supported by many prayers and sheer hard work, the church building was completed in just one year and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church opened for Divine Services on 15 November 1925. The simple and elegant new building was designed to accommodate 250 people and was expanded in 1953.
OLPH School opened its doors to Grades 1 through 8 in 1927 and has also undergone its share of transformation. In 1943 a high school for girls was opened in the convent then housed at Crown and West 11th Avenue, and in 1947 a co-ed high school wing was added to the main building. Six new classrooms were added in 1955. This wing will be replaced with eight new classrooms in 2014. The school eventually reverted back to a primary program and between 1993 and 2005, additions included a school gym, office, music room, kindergarten classroom and 2nd floor classrooms. The original school structure underwent repairs and renovations after a fire in 2005. Today, Our Lady’s Parish is home to over 800 registered families.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish,
2465 Crown Street
Vancouver, BC V6R 3V9