Restart Smart Vancouver

Pop-up plazas and parklets support ongoing recovery efforts

June 12 2020 –

Today, we're installing our first temporary pop-up plaza at 27th Avenue and Fraser Street to help residents safely return to community life. 

Pop-up plazas are the latest measure we're taking to provide people with more space to resume everyday activities. The plazas will be designed with temporary seating to give people the opportunity to eat, visit, rest, and enjoy the weather while maintaining a safe distance from others.

About pop-up plaza partnerships

City staff are working with stakeholders, Business Improvement Associations (BIAs), and neighbourhoods over the coming weeks to create more pop-up plazas across Vancouver to help businesses reopen and give residents more public space to enjoy their communities.

Each pop-up plaza will have a partner who will act to steward and integrate the space into the neighbourhood’s fabric.

We want your feedback on pop-up plazas to help improve them over time and determine if any should remain in place after the recovery.

About our recovery efforts

The plaza initiative is part of our wider recovery efforts to help people and businesses adapt and operate through a pandemic. To create more space for people to safely return to public life, we repurposed road space for several initiatives, including Room to Queue, Room to Move, Room to Load, and Slow Streets.

We're also installing parklets in the Downtown Eastside today to support local residents as services reopen and additional space is needed. We worked with partner organizations to create the temporary parklets at five initial locations:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health Clinic, 569 Powell St
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Clinic, 59 W Pender St
  • Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC), 302 Columbia St
  • Evelyne Saller Centre, 320 Alexander St (extension of existing parklet)
  • Gathering Place, 609 Helmcken St (outside of the DTES)

These parklets are part of a broader plan to provide safe outdoor spaces for people in the DTES. The plan includes Room to Queue programs for Cheque Day and other road re-allocations, consideration of City-owned sites for community use (example: 58 West Hastings), and local park use for heat response and shower programs.

These initiatives are part of our wider recovery efforts to help people and businesses adapt and operate through a pandemic.

  • Slow Streets: since May 22, we've installed 24 km of the planned 50 km of Slow Streets. These are routes for walking, cycling, and rolling that make it easier to exercise and access businesses in your local neighbourhood.
  • Room to Queue: since April 14, we've installed barriers in 17 essential service and business locations. Room to Queue widens sidewalks for queuing at businesses by repurposing curb lanes. This provides space for people to line up while giving pedestrians room to pass by safely.
  • Room to Move: Repurposing parking space and travel lanes to support physical distancing and important travel connections. On April 8, this was successfully piloted when we closed eastbound lanes on Beach Avenue to all vehicles from Stanley Park to Hornby Street, effectively.
  • Room to Load: Creating short-term loading and pick-up zones near businesses with high turnover and increased curbside needs.

Restart and recovery

Vancouverites have been doing a great job of reducing the spread of COVID-19 by staying home and staying put. As we shift into recovery and restart, we are asking you to:

  • Stay strong – keep 2 m apart, do not attend large gatherings, and stay home if you are feeling unwell
  • Stay local – support local businesses and your neighbourhood

Review the Restart Smart Vancouver plan (331 KB)