Fire Hall No. 5 replacement and new housing

Illustration of the new fire hall 5 building

The City proposes to replace the aging Fire Hall No. 5 in Champlain Heights with a new, larger fire hall that has affordable housing.

Built in 1952, the current building no longer meets the needs of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.

The proposed six-floor building would have a fire hall on the first two levels, housing units on the top four, and a rooftop patio. YWCA Metro Vancouver will provide the housing for low-income, woman-led families and their children.

Because housing is part of the proposed building, we need to rezone the property first.

Related projects

Vancouver's Housing and Homelessness Strategy, 2012-2021

Recent developments with this project

Construction to start mid-August

July 25, 2016 - Proposals from contractors were reviewed and four were invited to provide bids for the redevelopment of 3090 E 54th Avenue.The successful bidder was Mierau Constructors Ltd. Construction should start mid-August 2016.

Deconstruction of Fire Hall No. 5 to begin

April 1, 2016 – A contract for the deconstruction of the existing fire hall has been awarded to D. Litchfield & Co. The first part of the work will be to carefully remove all asbestos. Then the contractor will remove items to salvage followed by the removal of the rest of the building. The deconstruction is expected to divert more than 90% of the building from the landfill. Once complete the site will remain fenced until the construction starts in July 2016.

Visit our April 1 open house to see drawings and the model

March 4, 2015 – Our facility design team has submitted a rezoning and development application for Fire Hall No. 5 and its housing units. As part of the application, our Planning Department invites you to an April 1 open house to see and discuss the model and drawings for the proposed replacement fire hall and housing.

Construction in progress for temporary fire hall

September 23, 2014 – Parkwood Construction has been selected by the City to construct the temporary Fire Hall No. 5 at 3090 Rosemont. Construction will be completed by early 2015.

The temporary fire hall will reuse the portable building and tent from the reconstruction of Fire Hall No. 15. When Fire Hall No. 5 is replaced, the temporary fire hall will be removed from the Fraserview Golf Course perimeter and the grounds will be restored.

Find out what we heard in the questionnaire

July 24, 2014 – Thank you to all 72 people who participated in our online and paper questionnaires about the proposed building design of Fire Hall No. 5. Approximately two-thirds said they support the proposed design for Fire Hall No. 5. The questionnaire results helped us assess the proposed building design and identify related concerns.

Tell us what you think about the proposed design

June 25, 2014 – If you were unable to make it to the open house on June 25, you can still tell us what you think about this proposed design.

Review the open house materials, and then take our brief online questionnaire.

The questionnaire closed on July 9. Thank you to all who participated. Stay tuned for results of the questionnaire and next steps in the planning process.

June 25 open house on the proposed design for the fire hall and safe, affordable housing

June 13, 2014 – The Fire Hall No. 5 project is now in the pre-application phase of the rezoning process. Before submitting the rezoning application for the site, the City is holding an open house to share the proposed design for the new building which would provide safe, affordable housing for low-income, woman-led families and their children above the new fire hall.

Drop by the open house to learn more about the proposed building design and share your views.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Fire Hall No. 5, 3090 East 54th Avenue (at Kerr Street)

Representatives from the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, and  YWCA Metro Vancouver, will also be present to discuss the project.

If you can’t make the open house, an online questionnaire will be available here starting June 25.

New fire hall to include 31 units of non-market housing

December 18, 2013 – Council appointed YWCA Metro Vancouver as a potential lease holder for 31 units of non-market rental housing as part of the new Fire Hall No. 5 building. Low-income, woman-led families and their children would live in the units once they are completed.

Using civic land and facilities to encourage partnerships in non-market housing is a Council priority and part of the larger Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2012-2021.

Council approved an increase of up to $9 million in the project budget to include the non-market housing. The YWCA and government partners will contribute $3.5 million and the City will provide $5.5 million from the 2014 Capital Budget.

Affordable rental housing considered as part of fire hall replacement

June 20, 2013 – The project has been on hold as we consider adding affordable rental housing above the firehall. This would align the project with our Housing and Homelessness Strategy. Interested non-profit societies who would be interested in operating this housing - which would be built above the fire hall with no internal connection - are invited to submit an RFP (request for proposal).

This change in direction will put the project back about one year, so the temporary fire hall will not be installed until spring or summer 2014. A public meeting is being planned for the fall to preview design ideas and get public feedback, prior to submitting a rezoning application.

Park Board approves temporary location on golf course perimeter

February 8, 2013 – At their January 28 meeting, the Park Board unanimously approved the temporary use of a portion of the northeast corner of the perimeter land around the Fraserview Golf Course as the location for the temporary Fire Hall No.5. This location will be in use starting in late April 2013 for approximately 18 months.

Temporary location requested for Fraserview Golf Course

January 23, 2013 – The request to use a portion of the perimeter lands of the Fraserview Golf Course (northeast corner) as the temporary fire hall location (shown as “Option C” in the open house materials) will be presented to the Park Board at their meeting on Monday, January 28. This option was supported by 72 per cent of responses received at the open house and through the web survey and other public input.

Thanks for your input

December 18, 2012 – Thank you to everyone who filled in the survey and attended the open house.The feedback we gathered has been summarized into a report which will be considered by the Park Board in early 2013. The location for the temporary fire hall will be confirmed after the Park Board meeting.

Open house on fire hall temporary location

October 23, 2012 – Thanks to everyone who joined us at our open house on October 20. The display boards that detail the possible locations for the temporary fire hall are now online. If you haven't already let us know which location you'd prefer, fill in the online survey.

October 20, 2012 – Join us at an open house to help decide on the temporary location for Fire Hall No. 5. This is a chance to speak with City staff and the architectural team, ask questions, and offer your feedback on the location you think would work best for the community.

Tell us your ideas for the fire hall's temporary location

October 19, 2012 – Let us know where you think the temporary fire hall should go, by filling in our online survey.

  • The survey is now closed. Thank you for your interest and participation.

Rezoning and development permit application

Open house information boards and feedback

June 2014 questionnaire

Summary of questionnaire findings  (1 MB)

June 2014 open house

Information boards  (6.2 MB)

October 2012 open house

Information boards (4.2 MB)

Council documents

Report: "Appointment of lessee: Fire Hall No. 5 non-market housing component, 3090 East 54th Avenue" (December 18, 2013)  (78 KB)

Why we're replacing the fire hall

Fire Hall No. 5, located at East 54th Avenue and Kerr Street, is scheduled to be replaced. It was built in 1952.

The main reasons are:

  1. The building does not meet current seismic codes. In the event of a major earthquake, this key rescue and emergency operations centre could be severely damaged and non-functional.
  2. The driveway is too short: trucks today are longer and this has meant that pedestrians are diverted onto 54th Avenue (with safety cones) when the truck is parked outside because equipment checks are performed outside daily.
  3. A third equipment bay is needed for an additional fire truck that will be required as the East Fraserlands are developed. This will also require additional crew members and dorm space for them.
  4. Additional space is needed for training and fitness; there is no dedicated space for training in the existing building.

The new fire hall will have:

  • Three bays for trucks best suited to various responses and specializations: fire engines, ladder trucks, wild-land trucks for fires on park land and golf courses
  • Special medical, mobile self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or hazardous materials (hazmat) vehicles
  • A community/training room for the dual purpose of providing workshops and clinics for the public (earthquake preparedness, CPR, blood pressure clinics, and more) and for serving as a training classroom for firefighters
  • A specialized division to service SCBAs for the whole fire department
  • Support areas, service rooms, fitness room and a dormitory

Proposed fire hall

The proposal is for a six-storey building that will contain:

  • Fire Hall No. 5 on the first two floors to serve the Champlain Heights and East Fraserlands communities (13,000 square feet)
  • 31 two- and three-bedroom units of safe, affordable housing for low-income, woman-led families and their children, and amenity space on the top four floors (33,000 square feet)

The City of Vancouver owns the land and will lease the affordable housing units to YWCA Metro Vancouver. We are leading the project and it's a joint initiative with Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services and YWCA Metro Vancouver.

Why affordable housing?

We would like to include non-market family housing with the fire hall because it is:

  • Close to two primary schools, one high school, two community centres, a library and shopping
  • Located on a bus route
  • Good practice to fully use the city-owned land

Noise

The concern with noise is often brought up, but the Fire Department is very conscious of being a good neighbour and it will not be any noisier than living near a fire hall. The noise from the activities of the fire department should not be any more intrusive to the tenants than what is heard by the neighbouring properties. An acoustic engineer will assist the design team to control the noise and make sure the design meets or exceeds current standards.

Budget

The City approved a budget of $13.1 million for the construction of the replacement fire hall; this includes the installation and removal of a temporary fire hall and equipment for the new fire hall. In December 2013, Council approved up to $9 million for the construction of the housing portion of the project. The YWCA and government partners will contribut at least $3.5 million of this cost.

Temporary fire hall

The temporary fire hall will be located at the northeast corner of Fraserview Golf Course, at Rosemont Drive and Kerr Street, to continue providing service during the construction period.

There will be little change to the park during this time, and so you should be able to continue using it. Once the replacement fire hall is complete, the building will be immediately removed, and the park returned to its current state.

Although the temporary fire hall will be located on park land, no trees in the park will be removed for this project.

Timeline

  • July 2012: Appointment of Johnston Davidson Architecture + Planning Inc. as architects for the project
  • November 2012: Selection of temporary fire hall site
  • December 2013: Council approved the addition of housing to the Fire Hall No. 5 project
  • June 2014: Application for development permit for temporary Fire Hall No. 5
  • January 2015: Application for rezoning and development permit for new Fire Hall No. 5 and housing
  • Spring 2016: Deconstruction of existing Fire Hall No. 5
  • Summer 2016: Start of construction of new Fire Hall No. 5 and housing
  • Summer 2018: Completion of Fire Hall No. 5 and housing
  • Summer 2018: Removal of temporary Fire Hall No. 5 and restoration of park

How Fire Hall No. 5 serves the community

Fire Hall No. 5 has served the Champlain Heights and East Fraser Lands communities since 1952. In addition to putting out fires, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services deal with fire prevention, accident response, medical emergencies, hazardous materials exposures, and specialized rescue services. 

The fire hall responds to around 4 calls per day, and 1,600 per year, typically between 1:00pm and 10:00pm. In order of frequency, calls include:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Fire alarms
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Public service
  • Fires with damage
  • Border coverage
  • False alarms
  • Public hazards
  • Hazardous materials

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