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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

EVENT: City Conversations—The Future of our Downtown Waterfront, June 4


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The Future of Our Downtown Waterfront

WHEN: Thursday, June 4, 2015 12:30 PM  –  2:00 PM

WHERE: Room 1700 (Labatt Hall) Harbour Centre, SFU’s Vancouver Campus, 515 W. Hastings

Free event

A glassy modernist tower looming over historic Waterfront Station. A 30-story tower across the street. Towers replacing the glorious atrium of the historic Sinclair Centre. The city’s best views from its celebration street, hidden for decades by the black maw of a parkade entrance. The only street level views of water and mountains possibly lost. New developments being designed over the train yard. Tens of thousands of people passing daily through the province’s transportation centre, without a reason to linger. A city transportation and development plan lacking an implementation strategy and perhaps needing an update.

Vancouver’s downtown waterfront suddenly is in play, and all these projects and opportunities are on independent tracks. Do landowners and developers make independent decisions, or does the city act as a coordinator, facilitator and advocate for the public?

Our presenters are Graham McGarva, principal of Via Architecture, which is working on designs for a tower at Granville and Cordova Streets, and developments over the CPR rail yard; Anita Molaro, Assistant Director of Planning and Steve Brown, Manager of Traffic and Data Management at the City of Vancouver; and Frank Ducote, representing the citizens’ Downtown Waterfront Working Group. We’ve invited representatives of Cadillac Fairview, owner of Waterfront Station and the adjacent parking lot planned for development; and Port Metro Vancouver.

Then it’s your turn to question, observe, and offer your perspective and opinion. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Because of the number of presenters and interests involved, this conversation will be extended to 2 p.m.


City Conversations is a presentation of SFU Public Square. Sponsored by The City Program and SFU Vancouver.

This event is co-sponsored by the Vancouver City Planning Commission.

Can’t make the event? Follow City Conversations on Twitter and join the dialogue at #CityConv