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Improvements will lead to more vibrant public plaza downtown

April 13 2016

Porch Parade seating installation for VIVA Vancouver's Robson Redux

A plan to transform the 800-block of Robson into a permanent plaza will go to Council next week for approval, after three years of public consultation and engagement. 

This plan is a step forward to ensure that the public space at the 800-block of Robson and the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza, known as Block-51, remains vitalized as a permanent public space.

Improvements will enable residents and visitors to: 

  • Socialize 
  • Engage 
  • Display civil democracy and creative expression

800-block of Robson Street

If approved, the block will be closed to motor vehicles, including buses. Today, there are more pedestrians than drivers using the 800-block of Robson for travelling.

Turning the block into a permanent plaza will allow the space to mimic its original design from 40 years ago, which had it closed to vehicles.

This summer, VIVA Vancouver will once again animate 800 Robson Street for use and enjoyment by the public. The design process for the permanent plaza would begin shortly after a Council decision. A construction timeline is not currently set.

View the staff report 

Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza

We are redeveloping the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza with a goal to create a space that reflects and respects:

  • The needs and desires of the public 
  • Its location at the historical entry to the Vancouver Art Gallery building
  • Its relationship to Robson Square 

Over the last three years, we invited feedback from the public to envision a new design for the space. 

Construction details

In the first phase of construction, beginning next week, you will see trees being removed in preparation for work to begin.

The trees on the site are reaching the end of their life expectancy and will be replaced by a greater number of new trees to provide shade and visually complete the avenue of maple trees along Hornby Street.

The Province of BC plans to remove the fountain, which will open up the space and make it more usable for events.

Site to be closed in July

The site will be closed for construction starting in July after several large events are complete.

We will work with the Vancouver Art Gallery to find alternative event and filming locations during construction.

Completion is tentatively scheduled for December.

Final plaza designs and project details

Final plaza designs were released in November 2015.

View plaza project details 

Get more information on  Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza and 800 Robson (Block-51)