Still Creek Enhancement

Still Creek enhancement

The purpose of this project is to rehabilitate and enhance some sections of Still Creek, one of only two remaining visible streams in urban Vancouver.

The City of Vancouver is working with neighbouring municipalities to:

  • Return creekside habitat to native plantings
  • Remove concrete and naturalize creek banks
  • Add interpretive plaques and boardwalks to provide recreational and educational opportunities

For details of the plan, see the Still Creek Rehabilitation and Enhancement Study.

Still Creek in the news

November 5, 2013 — CBC reports on chum salmon returning to Still Creek.

Still Creek updates by section

2900 Nootka project

As part of the long-term action plan for Still Creek, the City and Metro Vancouver collaborated on a major enhancement project at this site:

  • Removed the concrete flume that had forced the creek into a narrow channel for the past 50 years
  • Reconstructed the creek bed and banks to improve stormwater capacity while providing a more naturalized habitat for fish and other species
  • Provided a seating area as well as a pedestrian bridge and path for public access across Still Creek - improving access to nature and providing an important link in the neighbourhood

The project, completed in 2011, features a permeable asphalt pedestrian path which allows rainwater to soak into the ground while at the same time providing accessibility for people with mobility challenges.

3300 Cornett Road project

As part of the rezoning for the site at 2820 Bentall (Canadian Tire), the City required the developer to:

  • Bring Still Creek to surface, also known as "daylighting"
  • Pay for the daylighting of the creek 
  • Dedicate the required right-of-way 

In the future, when the site to the north redevelops, the creek will be widened.

The new stream channel was completed with a more naturalized habitat in 2009.

3400 Cornett Road project

The design of this project:

  • Removed two abandoned rail bridges along the creek
  • Replaced invasive species with native species
  • Installed fish habitat features

Construction was completed in August 2007.

3003 Grandview Highway project

Improvements included:

  • Replacement of non-native blackberries with native vegetation
  • Creation of a centre island
  • Creation of a viewing platform with interpretive signage to enhance public access and understanding of the Creek

Construction was completed in summer 2005 with a community planting event the following fall.

This creek section, now reshaped and planted with native species, will mature into a naturalized area offering improved biodiversity and rainwater management capability.

Final plans for the public

Draft and preliminary reports for the public

Enhancement project administrative reports

Why Still Creek is important

Today, Still Creek is one of only two remaining visible streams in urban Vancouver.

Located in the east side of Vancouver, Still Creek forms an important part of the Brunette River system.

Still Creek flows for 17 km through densely populated sections of Burnaby and Vancouver, ending in the Fraser River in New Westminster.

How the City developed this plan

The City prepared the Still Creek Enhancement Study working with community groups, property owners, environmentalists, and “stream-keepers”.

The study outlines 10-year actions leading to a 50-year plan for the beautification, protection and restoration of sections of the creek that run through Vancouver.

The purpose of this plan

The revitalization efforts are part of a larger plan to reduce flooding, reconnect people with Still Creek and its natural beauty, and improve long-standing environmental issues throughout the Still Creek Watershed.

The larger plan, the Integrated Storm Water Management Plan for the Still Creek Watershed, is a joint program with Burnaby and the Greater Vancouver Regional District.

Challenges

There are a number of challenges that face the rehabilitation and enhancement of Still Creek in Vancouver:

  • 70% of the creek and its tributaries have been placed in underground pipes 
  • 68% of the Still Creek watershed is covered with roads, buildings and other hard surfaces
  • The creek has been straightened or placed in narrow channels within industrial commercial areas 
  • There is a lack of streamside vegetation to provide habitat, and to provide shade which regulates the temperature of the water in the creek
  • Pesticides and fertilizers, and the illegal dumping of paints, oils and other toxic and hazardous materials have contributed to poor water quality in Still Creek 

The disappearance of Vancouver's streams

Today, most of Vancouver’s streams are gone. Just over 100 years ago, Vancouver was a wilderness with forests of cedar and hemlock trees. After the arrival of European settlers, the area was logged and urbanized. 

Most of Vancouver's creeks and streams were placed in culverts underground as the city expanded, making the need to respect and restore our remaining waterways even more urgent.

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Salmon return to Still Creek

A short clip on the restoration of Vancouver's Still Creek and the amazing return of salmon to an urban stream that used to be among Canada's most polluted waterways.

Presented by Outside Magazine.

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Last modified: Mon, 23 Jul 2012 11:11:23