Travel Blog

7 Jan

Featured Vancouverite: John Henshaw

Hometown: I grew up in Ottawa, Ontario.

How long have you been a Vancouverite? Since 1981, so that’s 31 years and counting.

I’m the owner and principal architect of John Henshaw Architect Inc. We’re an architecture and interior design firm that specialize in residential and commercial designs. I started the company in 1989 and my partner Joy Chao, who focuses on the interior design, joined me in 1998. Our firm has had the good fortune of working on spectacular projects with amazing clients. To see what we do, please visit our website at

Favourite Vancouver architectural element:
There are so many to choose from, but where to begin? I’d have to say the old residential heritage homes in Vancouver. They have such distinctive character and history, plus you don’t get to see houses like this anywhere else in Canada. We’re currently working on a renovation project where the owner wants to restore the heritage look for their residence. For more information, please visit Vancouver Heritage Foundation, a charity that helps to promote relationships that support conversation around heritage buildings.

Other elements include lighting, which is one of the most important element for my designs.

Best way to meet new people in the city:
When I’m out taking walks with my dog, Monty — he’s always a great conversation starter. My partner and I also love wine, so whenever we get to go to wine festivals or wineries, it’s always a great place to meet other people. Also as designers, we attend trade convention shows and get to meet a lot of people within the build and design industries.

Favourite Vancouver neighbourhood:
Gastown — it’s a great location for the urban Vancouverite, not to mention we live in the area, and there are events happening all the time. If you look around, there are old historic buildings, amazing restaurants, and unique boutique shops. For restaurants, make sure to visit L’Abbatoir. Their food and drinks are out of this world, and they provide such great service. For shops, INFORM would be top on my list. Their retail space is stunning and there is no other store of that magnitude.

Do you know someone who would be a great featured Vancouverite? Let us know in the comment box below!

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