British Columbia

Jericho Lands proposal includes new homes for up to 18,000 people in Vancouver's West Side

After years of consultation and speculation, the City of Vancouver has unveiled its plan for the Jericho Lands on the city's West Side which would double the population of the surrounding neighbourhood. 

Area's population would more than double; land owned by consortium of First Nations, federal housing company

One of the two development concepts proposed for the Jericho Lands on Vancouver's West Side unveiled by city planners. Both concepts include three towers and 15,000 to 18,000 residents on the land. (City of Vancouver)

After years of consultation and speculation, the City of Vancouver unveiled plans Monday for the Jericho Lands on the city's West Side which would more than double the current population of the area. 

The city is asking for public feedback on two concepts for the site, both of which would house approximately 15,000 to 18,000 people on a 10 million-square foot development. The area's boundaries are West Fourth Avenue, Highbury Street, West Eighth Avenue and Discovery Street.

The Jericho Lands are made up of 90 acres in West Point Grey — which has a current population of around 13,000 people. The land is currently home to a former garrison, several dozen homes leased to military families and to a private school. 

One of the plans features a diagonal walkway through the neighbourhood with a central gathering space in the middle, while the other would focus more on north-south connectors and smaller community gathering points across the site.    

Both plans also propose dozens of buildings ranging from two to 32 storeys, three taller towers, a mix of community centres, parkland, and wilderness spaces, along with the potential for a SkyTrain station if the Millennium Line is extended to the University of British Columbia. The exact mix of housing options,  size and location of buildings is yet to be determined in either plan. 

Jericho Hill Grounds is pictured in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"What does it mean to create great communities?" said Elisa Campbell, senior director of the Canada Lands Company, which owns part of the land. 

"This is an opportunity to celebrate and enhance the remarkable opportunity of this very unique site ... and unlocking this opportunity to create a great place within the city."

The city will ask for feedback over the next month, with a potential council vote on a long-term direction for the land taking place next year, although future votes for rezoning would also be required. 

If approved, construction could start beginning in 2025. 

Rendering of what the Jericho Lands could look like under one of the two proposals open to comment from Vancouver residents. The area is bounded by West Fourth Avenue, Highbury Street, West Eighth Avenue and Discovery Street. (City of Vancouver)

Owned by three First Nations, federal government 

The future of the Jericho Lands has long been debated, but work on the current proposal only began after 2016, when the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations purchased half of the site for $480 million. Two years earlier, they partnered with the Canada Lands Company, a federal Crown corporation, to purchase the other half the site for $237 million.  

The land is being developed by the CLC and MST Development, the real estate company established to oversee properties jointly owned by the three First Nations. 

"One of the dominant themes is the theme of reconciliation and what it looks like when we put indigeneity and Indigenous culture at the centre of land use planning and development," said Campbell.

City staff said examples in the plan include 20 acres of new parkland, wilderness space on the site, water features on the north end that integrate with Jericho Beach, longhouses and a public space in the middle of the site. 

"We start with the land, we start with thinking about natural processes,and then we layer onto that," said Campbell. 

"We really hope that people will offer their ideas about how to create this great place that will create value for the MST for the citywide public, for everybody in the region, and for all Canadians."

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