A man walking his dog in front of Nelson Park

BC Hydro right of way request for Nelson Park

In June 2018, the Vancouver School Board accepted a proposal from BC Hydro to construct an underground electrical substation at the Lord Roberts Annex School site adjacent to Nelson Park.

BC Hydro is currently seeking permission from the Park Board to bury transmission and distribution lines through Nelson Park for the new substation.

Public engagement

A Park Board-led study, including an impact assessment and the development of mitigation strategies for the adjacent BC Hydro substation and associated transmission and distribution lines proposed through Nelson Park, will commence in early 2019. A thorough public engagement process will also take place in spring 2019.

The purpose of this engagement is to:

  • Inform the community of the project and process
  • Share the impact assessment and possible mitigation meansures
  • Provide an opportunity for the public to provide feedback

Staff will report back to the Park Board for a decision in fall 2019. Any work that impacts Nelson Park is subject to approval by the Park Board and City.

Previous proposal

BC Hydro engaged the public on a similar topic in 2017 under the SEED proposal which also included the construction of a substation beneath Emery Barnes Park in Yaletown, which was ultimately withdrawn.

Nelson Park overview

Nelson Park is the largest non-waterfront park in downtown, located in the core of the West End.

At just under three acres in size, it includes an off-leash dog park, community garden, pathways, and passive open space encircled by mature trees. A small playground supplements a larger one on the adjacent school grounds.

The park was renewed in 2008 and is well used, serving the densest neighbourhood in the city, which is among the densest in North America.

With a number of residential towers proposed nearby, and no opportunities anticipated to acquire parkland of significant size in this area, it is anticipated that the pressure on this park will continue to increase. Therefore, a thoughtful review of the proposal from BC Hydro is essential to help ensure high quality park services for existing and future residents.


Here is our progress and planned steps.

  • We are here
  • February to
    April 2019

    Phase A: Impact assessment and mitigation strategies development

  • May 2019

    Phase B: Public and stakeholder engagement

  • Summer 2019

    Phase C: Public and stakeholder engagement

  • Fall 2019

    Presentation to Park Board