In 2009, I received The Gingerbread Architect as a gift. It’s a great book, and it comes with recipes and ingredients for 12 different gingerbread masterpieces. Since then I’ve made a number of gingerbread houses, including Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in 2012, the Stewart Farmhouse in 2016, the Hotel Europe in 2017, the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2018, the Woodward’s Building in 2019, and Waterfront Station in 2020.
My inspiration this year is Irving House, a heritage site in New Westminster. It is a one and a half storey tall building, and is known to be the oldest house in the Lower Mainland still completely intact! It still stands today in the original location on Royal Avenue.
Built in 1865 for Captain William Irving, the City of New Westminster has owned the house since 1950, and it has since operated as a local heritage centre. The house has mixed Gothic features that were popular in 1800s, but rarely seen in BC as not many buildings have survived from this period.