West End community plan

West End community plan

The West End is a liveable neighbourhood that is home to a unique mix of people and places.

It is a community that features a range of housing, land use, heritage buildings, transportation options, and amenities.

Because demand for new development is growing, City staff have prepared a community plan to ensure that future growth in the West End meets the needs of the community.

In 2013, community members supported a set of emerging and refined plan directions, including the West End Community Values, which helped shape the community plan. The plan focuses on neighbourhood character, housing, local business, heritage, and transportation and parking.

Use this map to explore the directions for the West End villages, neighbourhoods, and corridors. You can navigate through the map to find more information on these three areas of the West End.

Related projects

Recent developments with this community plan

Want updates on the plan's implementation? Check out our newsletter

January 20, 2015 – Want to know what's next, now that the West End Community Plan has been approved by City Council? We'll be sharing newsletters to keep you informed about the progress of the plan, future events, and other important updates.

You can find all the newsletters in the Documents tab.

Final West End Community Plan document now available

December 9, 2014 – Over the summer and fall, we’ve been busy creating a colourful, easy-to-read version of the West End Community Plan. Want to take a look? It’s now available in both PDF format and as a hard copy. If you’d rather flip through the printed plan document, it’s available at several locations in the West End: Joe Fortes Library, West End Seniors Network (Barclay Heritage Square), and Gordon Neighbourhood House.

We also created a fun and informative infographic with highlights from the West End Community Plan.

The Bute Street Plaza pilot project is now complete, and staff are reviewing pilot feedback

September 19, 2014  –  With the Bute Street Plaza pilot project complete and Bute Street reopen to traffic, staff are reviewing more than 500 comments from residents, local businesses, visitors, and stakeholders. This feedback will help determine the future of this space and the improvements that need to made to make it even better. So far, more than 80% of survey respondents support the plaza and would like to make it permanent. 

A detailed summary of the feedback will be posted here.

If you didn’t have a chance to share your thoughts, please share them by email: westendplan@vancouver.ca.

Tell us what you think about the public plaza at the "Heart of Davie Village"

July 25, 2014 – Share your thoughts on this public space to help identify short term improvements and to inform the future use of the space.

The online questionnaire closed on September 14, 2014. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts on the Heart of Davie Plaza. Stay tuned to find out what we heard, and for the next steps with the plaza.

Next steps on the public plaza at the "Heart of Davie Village"

June 3, 2014 – To identify short-term improvements and inform the future design and use of the plaza at Davie and Bute streets – the "Heart of Davie Village" – the West End planning team and VIVA Vancouver will collect input through in-person surveys on location and a local resident survey. Summaries of the results will be posted here when completed.

During the West End planning process, the community recognized Davie Village as a LGBTQ hub and requested public space improvements at Davie and Bute, the "Heart of Davie Village". The City launched a pilot project in summer 2013 to create rainbow crosswalks and a temporary public plaza (see the August 2, 2013 update).

Zoning amendments passed by Council

January 23, 2014 – After Council heard from speakers and read letters, it approved the proposed zoning amendments to help implement the community plan. Amendments are explained in the January 9 update, below.

Speak at a public hearing on proposed West End zoning amendments on January 23

January 9, 2014 – As part of implementing the new West End Community Plan, amendments have been proposed to the:

  • Zoning and Development Bylaw for social and market housing, and residential and commercial developments
  • Downtown Official Development Plan
  • Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan

The proposed changes include adding definitions for "social" and "secured market rental" housing, and rezoning portions of Davie, Denman, and Robson Streets.

City Council will consider the proposed amendments at a public hearing on:

Thursday, January 23, 2014, 6:00pm
City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue, Third Floor
Council Chamber

West End community plan approved by Council

November 20, 2013 – The West End Community Plan, Rezoning Policy and Infill Housing Guidelines were approved by City Council.

However, planning in the West End doesn't stop here. 2014 will be a busy year as we begin implementing the plan through the preparation of a Places and Spaces Plan ("Public Realm Plan") and a Laneway Infill Toolkit. Council will be considering the recommended zoning and bylaw changes at a public hearing early in 2014 (date to be confirmed).

Stay tuned for more updates on plan implementation in January 2014.

Draft community plan questionnaire now closed

November 18, 2013 – Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts on the West End Draft Community Plan. Stay tuned to find out what we heard and next steps in the process.

City releases West End community plan Council report

November 6, 2013 – The City released the West End community plan Council report, including the new plan, design guidelines, rezoning policy, and zoning changes, to be considered by City Council.

Tell us what you think of the draft community plan

October 25, 2013 – If you are unable to attend one of the draft community plan learning sessions, or prefer to provide input in the comfort of your own home, this is your chance. Review the draft community plan and then take a brief online questionnaire and provide your feedback. The questionnaire is open until midnight on November 13, 2013.

Learning sessions on the new draft plan

Sign up for a learning session with the West End planners to dive deep, find out more about the plan, ask questions, and share your thoughts. Find information on learning session dates and times: 

  • Friday, October 25, 1:30pm–3:30pm
  • Saturday, October 26, 9:30am–11:30am
  • Saturday, October 26, 1:30pm–3:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 29, 1:00pm–3:00pm
  • Tuesday, October 29, 6:30pm–8:30pm

City releases draft plan

October 22, 2013 – The City released the West End community draft plan, design guidelines for laneway housing, and a rezoning policy.

Council's motion on next steps for the community plans

September 27, 2013 – On September 25, 26, and 27, Council met to discuss the Community Plans: Next Steps report.

Staff to update Council on next steps for community plans

September 17, 2013 – Staff published the report "Community Plans: Next Steps" about the process and next steps for community planning work in Downtown Eastside, Grandview-Woodland, Marpole, and West End. Council will discuss this report on Wednesday, September 25 at 9:30am, at the City Finance and Services Committee meeting.

New rainbow crosswalk and temporary public plaza in the "Heart of Davie Village"

Rainbow crosswalk at Davie and Bute Streets

Volunteers painting picnic tables in colours of the rainbow, at the public plaza near Davie and Bute Streets

August 2, 2013 – Through the West End planning process, the community identified Davie and Bute as the "Heart of Davie Village" and desired special improvements to the public space at that location. Partnering with VIVA Vancouver and the West End BIA, we recently launched a new pilot project: "Heart of Davie Village".

City crews painted rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Davie and Bute Streets to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Pride and to mark the historical and cultural importance of the Davie Village. The eight colour rainbow scheme reflects the original Pride flag colours from 1978, symbolizing diversity and inclusivity, characteristics that help define the community.

To further enhance the area, we are piloting a new public plaza on Bute Street between Davie and the lane south of Davie. Including colourful picnic tables, enhanced landscaping, and decorative lighting, it provides a space for recreation and play, gathering and socializing, and programming and events. It is intended to be a "canvas" for creative use by community groups and others. Big thanks to the volunteers who helped us paint the picnic tables!

We will be polling nearby residents and businesses this fall to see what people think about the plaza and if it should be permanent.

Update on West End Community Plan timeline

August 1, 2013 On Tuesday, July 23 Council directed staff to review the schedule for the four Community Plan processes currently underway.

Staff will look at progress to date and feedback gathered through the consultation process so far, in order to identify options for possible additional steps and a revised timeline and budget for each of the four plans. Staff will present a report and recommendations to Council on this matter in late September.

The staff report will be available online prior to the meeting and community members will have the opportunity to provide comments in writing (via mail or email) or in person, on the day of the meeting.

Details on the specific meetings dates and times will be posted here as soon as they are available.

What do you think of the new, updated West End community plan directions?

June 20, 2013 – If you can't make it to one of our planning open houses (June 19, 22, 25), or would prefer to provide input from the comfort of your own home, this is your chance. Share your thoughts and help us move toward the creation of a draft plan for the West End.

This questionnaire closed on July 19, 2013. Thank you for your interest.

Laneways 2.0 Self-Guided Tour

June 7, 2013 – Take the Laneways 2.0 self-guided tour and explore the opportunities within West End’s laneways to help build upon the last set of productive community walkshops in March, where we explored opportunities to improve the West End’s laneways. You can download a copy of your self-guided walking tour below or pick up a printed guide at the West End Community Centre. Once you're done, let us know your thoughts either online or by mailing in your completed feedback form.

The feedback form closed on July 5, 2013.

Tell us your thoughts on the Cardero Street Mural

We are seeking feedback on the mural and the level of support from nearby residents for repainting the Cardero Street Mural.

If there is general support, VIVA Vancouver will help us organize a repaint party and we will notify interested volunteers and local residents.

The questionnaire closed on June 16, 2013.

Laneways 2.0 Walkshop

We need your help building upon the last set of productive community walkshops in March, where we explored opportunities to improve the West End’s laneways. We would like to invite you to attend a follow up walkshop to dive a bit deeper into the ideas and concepts.

The results from the walkshop will be used to support the directions of the West End Community Plan. A community plan happens only once every 30 years, so this is your opportunity to help shape your future community! 

Open houses on refined community plan draft directions

May 22, 2013 – Drop by one of our June open houses or look for us at the West End Car Free Day to review the refined draft directions. The feedback we received during our April open houses helped further shape the directions. Join us at an event to go over the directions and share your thoughts as we move toward the creation of a draft plan.

Event date and time: Sunday, June 16, noon – 6pm
Event location: West End Car Free Day, Denman Street between Davie and Robson

Event date and time: Wednesday, June 19, 4 – 7pm
Event location: Best Western Sands Hotel, 1755 Davie Street

Event date and time: Saturday, June 22, 1 – 4 pm
Event location: Strawberry Festival at Barclay Heritage Square

Event date and time: Tuesday, June 25, 4 – 7 pm
Event location: Blue Horizon Hotel, 1225 Robson Street

What do you think of the West End community plan directions?

April 4, 2013 – If you can't make it to one of our planning open houses (April 4, 6, 9), or would prefer to provide input from the comfort of your own home, this is your chance. Share your thoughts about the West End’s emerging plan directions.

The survey closed on April 23, 2013.

Plan directions open houses

March 11, 2013 – Since the planning process launched in April 2012, we've received a wide range of feedback from residents, businesses, and other stakeholders, which has helped shape a set of directions. Drop in to an open house to learn more about the directions and have your say. Your input will help refine the directions and create a draft plan.

Event date and time: Thursday, April 4, 4-7pm
Event location: Best Western Sands Hotel, 1755 Davie Street

Event date and time: Saturday, April 6, 11am-2pm
Event location: West End Community Centre, 870 Denman Street

Event date and time: Tuesday, April 9, 4-7pm
Event location: Blue Horizon Hotel, 1225 Robson Street

What do you think of the housing issues we have identified in the West End?

March 11, 2013 – Were you unable to attend our housing info session Feb 26? View our consultation materials under the Documents tab, then give us your comments by filling out our questionnaire. Materials provide you with an opportunity to find out more about the housing issues facing the West End, and also what we’ve heard about housing from both the community and the area housing providers. The feedback you provide here will help inform the draft West End Community Plan directions that we will be coming out with April 4, 6, and 9.

The survey closed on March 24, 2013.

Laneway use "Walkshops'

Attend a "walkshop" and think about how West End laneways could be used in the future, including surface and landscaping treatments, pedestrian facilities, benches, lighting, traffic calming, parking, and infill housing possibilities. Learn about the history and character of the laneways, and observe and discuss how we design these places. The walk will be followed by a two-hour facilitated workshop where you can share your ideas for laneway improvements.

Commercial street "Walkshops'

The West End’s four commercial streets (Davie, Denman, Robson and Alberni Streets) are part of the community planning process. Attend a “walkshop” and consider the design elements that make up a vibrant, active and viable commercial street. Learn about the history and character of these streets, and observe and discuss these important community places are designed. The walk is followed by a two-hour facilitated workshop that provide an opportunity to share what is working, and where there are opportunities for improvements.

Information session on housing in the West End

Affordable housing and homelessness are important issues in the West End. Find out what we've heard about housing from both the community and the area housing providers, and the housing issues faced by your community. City staff will be on hand to answer your questions at this drop-in session.

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 5:30 to 8 pm
    Denman Room (note change in room), Coast Plaza Hotel, 1763 Comox Street

Phase 2 launch survey summary released

December 2012 – We have summarized the responses to the survey that we conducted online, and at our October 2012 community open houses.

The survey gauged support for, and received feedback on, the six core community values and three lenses for dialogue that emerged from Phase 1, as well as the "Action While Planning" initiatives that took place over spring and summer 2012.

Phase 1 consultation summary released

November 2012 – Six core community values emerged from the ideas, interests, and opportunities we received through our broad range of Phase 1 consultation activities and events.

Community open houses

Staff will share what we heard through Phase 1 of the planning process, and outline the process and ways to get involved as we move into Phase 2.

October 30, 2012
Blue Horizon Hotel - Garibaldi Room, 4:00 to 7:00pm
1225 Robson Street

October 27, 2012
West End Community Centre - English Bay Room, 11:00am to 2:00pm
870 Denman Street

October 24, 2012
Sands Hotel - Capilano Room, 4:00 to 7:00pm
1755 Davie Street

Information boards:

Open house handouts:

Cardero street mural

Cardero Street MuralSeptember 23, 2012 – In partnership with the West End Community Plan team and VIVA Vancouver, a local West End artist/resident brought together a group of interested volunteer artists and local residents to design and paint an on-street mural on Cardero Street, between Comox and Nelson. The painting session was open to anyone who wanted to join in, and it was a great success. The program brought together a diversity of participants, and the colourful mural artwork was greatly appreciated by passersby.

Pride Festival

August 5, 2012 – At the Pride Festival at Sunset Beach Park, our team met lots of people who stopped by our tent to talk about the West End, filled out surveys, shared their thoughts on our ideas board and learned more about the planning process.

Pride street mural

Pride Street MuralAugust 4, 2012 – Our “Express Your Pride” street mural painting session on Bute Street south of Davie filled the area with colourful artwork when we invited passersby to grab a brush and paint something on the roadway to express their pride.

Cultural asset mapping

July 27, 2012 – Staff from Cultural Services and the West End Planning Team hosted a cultural asset mapping session at the West End Community Centre. Participants were asked to identify and map cultural assets in the West End and explain their significance. For this session, a wider, inclusive definition of culture was used that included businesses, organizations and programming. The results from this session helped identify key cultural assets in the West End as well as ideas, opportunities and values related to them.

Neighbourhood character walking tours

July 25 and 28, 2012 – Staff from our planning team and the Transportation department hosted two walking tours in the West End to explore the community’s unique character. The walks covered the various West End neighbourhoods, including west of Denman, English Bay-Beach Avenue, Nelson Plateau and Nelson Slopes, and north of Robson. During the walk, we discussed: building forms and architecture of different eras; streetscape and public realm; laneways; heritage; and parks, mini-parks and open space. Staff recorded participants’ observations and discussions during the tour to help identify key ideas, opportunities and values related to neighbourhood character.

West End Farmers Market

West End farmers marketJuly 14, 2012 – The West End community planning team had a tent in Nelson Park adjacent to the West End Farmers Market. Information about the planning process and upcoming events was provided, and staff were on hand to answer questions and explain how to get involved. Hard copies of the Community Survey were available to fill out, and people shared their ideas for the future West End on the ideas board.

West End Ideas Fair

June 23, 2012 – The West End community planning team hosted an Ideas Fair on Barclay Street at Barclay Heritage Square, to coincide with the West End Seniors’ Network’s Strawberry Festival, where West Enders could see some of the ideas that have been generated, have discussions with circle members, and meet their neighbours.

Staff also displayed the winners of the Photo Contest, shared what we’ve heard so far at our launch events and open houses, and provided general information about the West End community planning program. The contest is over, but the site will remain open through to the end of 2012 for people to submit photos, add comments, and rate images.

Jane’s Walk Recap & Dialogue | Home: An Exploration of 3 Vancouver Communities

June 19, 2012 – Staff revisited the May 6 "Jane's Walks" at a special recap session at the Museum of Vancouver. This event brought together planners and tour leaders from Marpole, Grandview-Woodland, and the West End, along with residents for a reflective dialogue that explored similarities between the three neighbourhoods currently undergoing community plans.

Walk leaders and planners reflected on the tours, highlighting what they saw, themes that emerged during the walks and the flavour of the conversation. This set the stage for an open dialogue, moderated by Spacing Vancouver’s Erick Villagomez, that explored how the themes that emerged were expressed in each of the three communities.

West End Car Free Day

June 17, 2012 The West End community planning team had a tent on Denman Street during West End Car Free Day. Information about the planning process was provided, surveys and community circle discussion guides were available, and people shared their ideas for the future West End. Staff were on hand to answer questions and discuss opportunities to get involved in the planning process.

The City’s Transportation 2040 team also had a tent with information about Phase 2 of the Transportation Plan update

West End photo contest

West End Photo Contest

Show us your hidden gems, your favourite routes, the places you like to visit, or the ones you choose to avoid, in this community planning photo contest.

Three winning photos will be chosen - one in each category: Hot Shots (the cool urban vibe), Green Scene, and Gems (spectacular places or people) - through a people's choice rating process.

The contest is over, but the site will remain open through to the end of 2012 for people to submit photos, add comments, and rate images.

Open houses

May 2012 – The City of Vancouver held three open houses throughout the West End:

The City of Vancouver held three open houses throughout the West End:
  • Best Western Sands Hotel: Saturday, May 12, 2012
  • Empire Landmark Hotel: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
  • Central Presbyterian Church: Thursday, May 17, 2012

The events provided an overview of the planning process, highlighted key information about the community, and showcased an assortment of opportunities for local residents to have their say and get involved.

Storytelling event

May 10, 2012 – The City of Vancouver launched the West End Community Plan with a local storytelling event at Denman Cinema. Local residents shared personal stories that explored the theme of home and the richness of the neighbourhood.

This event was also part of the work being done by the Mayor's Task Force on Housing Affordability, and members of the public were invited into an open ideas competition called re:Think Housing.

West End walking tour

May 6, 2012 – Part of the Jane's Walk series, this walking tour was coordinated by the City of Vancouver and its partners Museum of Vancouver and Spacing Vancouver.

Residents joined local resident Christine Ackermann and architect Graham McGarva to explore what makes the West End unique. City of Vancouver planner, John Grottenberg, was on hand to answer questions about the West End Community Plan and discuss opportunities to get involved.

West End Community Plan stakeholder workshop

January 28, 2012 – City planning staff held a workshop at the Coast Plaza Hotel to help define the issues and opportunities that will be part of the plan's terms of reference.

During the workshop, participants identified:

  • Key planning issues
  • Areas in the West End that need special planning attention
  • Opportunities to strengthen the process and help improve broad community participation

Community plan documents

Related zoning documents

Commercial zoning

Residential zoning

Implementation newsletter

Background reports and documents

About the West End

Public engagement

October 2013 learning sessions

June 2013 open houses

Laneway walking tour

April 2013 open houses

Information sessions


West End community surveys

Other documents

Details of this community plan

The West End planning process took place over 18 to 21 months, starting in April 2012. It was completed in four phases:

Launch: April - September 2012

  • Focus on community issues, opportunities, goals and objectives
  • Get involved through: open houses, citizen circles, walking tours, Great Places photo competition, public forums

Policy development: September 2012 - May 2013

  • Develop the West End Community Plan policies
  • Get involved through: a public speakers series, workshops and open houses, walking tours

Drafting the plan: June – September 2013

  • Create a draft plan
  • Get involved through: open houses, walking tours

Plan approval: October – December 2013

  • Present the draft plan for final public input and to Council for approval
  • Get involved through: public presentations, open houses, Council meeting

Work leading up to this community plan

The West End has evolved through the years to meet the needs of the community and Vancouver as a whole.

Previous planning efforts

In 1986, Council adopted the West End Commercial Policy Plan to ensure commercial services were available and accessible to area residents.

A year later, the West End Residential Areas Policy Plan lead to new residential zoning and guidelines, and included measures to provide future services, facilities, and park space for the community.

In 2010 and 2011, staff conducted two public surveys that identified community priorities and needs.

The results of these surveys provided a head start for the West End Community planning process, and helped focus its scope.

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West End community information


Learn more about living in the West End, from its history, community, services, and attractions, to upcoming initiatives and events.

West End community information

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Last modified: Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:46:10

West End community plan infographicNeighbourhood Champions Network