Vancouver reveals final plans for Northeast False Creek

Community groups are cautiously optimistic about the City of Vancouver's final plans for a post-viaduct Northeast False Creek. The city revealed the plans, which will roll out over the next 20 years, Wednesday afternoon.

'We really see this as addressing a past injustice,' says Hogan's Alley advocate

The city has revealed the final design for northeast False Creek, which will come to fruition over the next 20 years. (City of Vancouver)

Community groups are cautiously optimistic about the City of Vancouver's final plans for a post-viaduct Northeast False Creek.

The city revealed the plans, which will roll out over the next 20 years, Wednesday afternoon. Staff will present them to council for approval on January 31. 

The plans were prompted by the city's decision to tear down the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts in 2015, offering an opportunity to redevelop the downtown neighbourhood.

The city is expecting up to 12,000 new residents to move into the area during that time. 

"I think the most exciting part of this project is really to create a vision for the last remaining waterfront in downtown Vancouver," said project director Kevin McNaney.

Some highlights of the plans include:

  • Roughly 1,800 new affordable housing units.
  • A new "destination park" that will accommodate festivals and events.
  • A new ice rink and community centre near the B.C. Place stadium. 
  • New transportation routes that will replace the viaducts and connect Chinatown to the downtown core.

​McNaney said that if council approves the design, city staff will put forward an implementation plan by spring.

​New park still years away

Patsy McMillan with the False Creek Residents Association said, overall, the plan presented a well-balanced opportunity for growth.

But she reiterated her group's ongoing focus on the new waterfront park being built in the area, which she says residents have been waiting for since Expo '86.

"Our biggest concern has always been the park," McMillan said. 

"The amount of park space, when it might happen and the timelines of it happening — and we're still talking about 10 or 15 years away."

McMillan said she supports more density in the area — but only as long as the city builds the right amenities to accommodate the influx of new people. 

'Addressing a past injustice'

The group representing Hogan's Alley, which was once home to many black residents, also expressed tentative support for the plan.

Hogan's Alley was a four-block long dirt lane that formed the nucleus of Vancouver's first concentrated African-Canadian community before it was torn down to make way for the viaducts.

"The African-Canadian community is very eager to see the vision that's being set forth," said Stephanie Allen with the Hogan's Alley Society.

"We really see this as addressing a past injustice and the time to do that is now with the viaducts coming out."

Allen said the group still has questions about the area's affordability, sustainability and integration into the greater community.

"These historical injustices that happened under the viaducts where our community once was can be addressed through this process," she said.

The city says the final plans were designed after hearing from more than 17,500 people at over 90 events in the past 18 months.

About the Author

Maryse Zeidler

@MaryseZeidler

Maryse Zeidler is a reporter for CBC News in Vancouver, covering news from across British Columbia. You can reach her at maryse.zeidler@cbc.ca.