Eastern Core Strategy

False Creek flats

The Eastern Core Strategy is a transportation and land use strategy for the lands surrounding the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, and False Creek Flats.

The City's goal is to connect the area to its neighbouring communities, creating opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists, while keeping its industrial and transportation functions.

The strategy aims to transform the Eastern Core into a green enterprise zone with a focus on sustainable jobs.

Read about this project in-depth

Related initiatives

Public consultationeastern core study area map

Public survey

June 13, 2012 — The City held a survey to gather public feedback. The survey closed on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

Open houses

June 4, 2012 — The City held three public open houses in the first week of June 2012 to give the public a glimpse of the future with a concept plan for the Eastern Core and viaducts.

September 2011 — The City launched the re:CONNECT public ideas competition to generate fresh ideas for alternate uses of the viaducts and the Eastern Core. The competition had three areas of focus:

  • Connecting the core considers the big picture; a plan for the viaducts and all of the Eastern Core.
  • Visualizing the viaducts considers the land currently occupied by the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.
  • The wildcard considers ideas that push the envelope. Applicants were encouraged to propose an idea that could revolutionize the way people think about the area.

Staff will consider the best and most relevant ideas when drawing up the final plan.

Policies and reports

Studies and analysis

Here are some of the key documents staff used when creating the Eastern Core strategy:

Council reports and decisions

The July 2011 report to the Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic outlining the viaducts and False Creek Flats planning strategy:

In 2004, Council met to discuss the work program, staffing, and budget for False Creek Flats planning. Read the Council report:

Policies

Project details

Objectives

The City’s key objectives for the Eastern Core are to:

  • Focus on green jobs and green economy in False Creek Flats, exploring a range of development potential in the west and south
  • Maintain and improve the light industrial and transportation focus of the area
  • Maintain or improve existing rail functionality and goods movement capacity
  • Improve street, pedestrian and cycling connections in the area, and between neighbouring communities
  • Respond to the challenges of climate change affected by sea-level rise, increased rainfall, and storms

Process

The Eastern Core strategy will be developed through a combination of studies, public input, and recommendations from an urban design team.

The process will consist of five stages:

 

View the viaducts process chart

Public involvement

The City gave members of the public two opportunities to have a say in the future of False Creek Flats: an ideas competition and a series of public workshops.

re:CONNECT public ideas competition

In September 2011, the City launched a public ideas competition to generate fresh ideas for alternate uses of the viaducts and the Eastern Core. The competition had three areas of focus: connecting the core, visualizing the viaducts, and the wildcard (ideas that pushed the envelope).

The purpose of the ideas competition was to encourage the public, as well as urban designers, to think creatively about the future of the viaducts. The best ideas were selected by a panel of experts in architecture, urban design, academia, and sustainability.

Members of the public were encouraged to vote online for a people's choice winner. Staff will consider the best and most relevant ideas when drawing up the final plan.

Public workshops

After considering the information from the design competition, studies, and stakeholder consultation, the City gave the public another chance to comment on the draft plan.

The City will host a series of public workshops, and use the feedback when creating the final detailed plan.

Project background

The City started the Eastern Core strategy by studying the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.

Area history

The False Creek Flats were originally tidal mud flats that were filled in during the early 20th century.

The area evolved as follows:

  • 1913: The Great Northern Railway was extended along the shores of False Creek Flats. Primarily built on piles and low trestles, it formed the foundation for the filling of the flats.
  • 1917: The flats had been filled in as far east as Main Street.
  • 1920: False Creek Flats was an established rail corridor, with a passenger rail station on Terminal Avenue.
  • 1960s: Residential, retail, and commercial growth around the flats increased dramatically, and many commercial and industrial suppliers were established along Terminal Avenue.
  • 1980s and 1990s: The City began to create new policies to support False Creek Flats' industrial potential.

Heritage buildings

There are a number of designated heritage buildings in the area, including: 

  • Thornton Park: Built around 192A3, and named after Henry Thornton, general manager of CN rail
  • CN Railway Station: 1919 Class ‘A’ neo-classical building that serves as a civic landmark and functions as the passenger rail / bus depot
  • 750 Terminal Avenue: 1937 Class ‘A’ Industrial-Modern building
  • 242 Terminal Avenue: 1937 Class ‘B’ Industrial-Modern building
  • 250 Terminal Avenue: 1924 Class ‘B’ industrial-Modern building