A busy street full of pedestrians walking near the steam clock in Gastown

Gastown Public Spaces Plan

Following direction from Council (161 KB), we are developing a Gastown Public Spaces Plan which will serve as a guide to:

  • Establish a vibrant, people-focused Gastown with enhanced gathering places, streets, and laneways to support a range of activities.
  • Pedestrianize Water Street seasonally or year-round, starting with a pilot in summer 2024.
  • Improve the street network to support a pedestrianized Water St, including walking, cycling, transit, and vehicle connections and consideration of Cordova as a 2-way street.
  • Advance Reconciliation with the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and the səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and support their visibility on their lands.
  • Evolve and deepen the unique heritage feel of the area, including improved street materials and amenities.
  • Identify phased project timing and funding.

What's happeningPhase 1 engagement summary

Between August 2023 and January 2024, we asked the community to share their thoughts on:

  • Gastown’s public spaces and ideas for how these spaces could be enhanced in the future
  • Factors to consider when creating a seasonal or year-round pedestrian zone on Water Street  

Review the engagement summary (8.6 MB)

Did you know?

The red-brick paving, special lamp fixtures, and popular steam clock were introduced by local businesses in the 1970s as a way to beautify the area. 

Timeline

  • Spring 2023

    Council motion: A people-focused Gastown

    City Council directed staff (212 KB) to develop a vision for Gastown's streets and public spaces

  • June - September 2023

    Prepared for community conversations

    Worked with Local Nations to establish a project relationship and met with local organizations and businesses on issues.

  • October - November 2023

    Gather community feedback on Gastown’s streets and public spaces

    Gather feedback on how people use Gastown streets and public spaces and what would improve their experiences.

  • We are here
  • Summer - fall 2024

    Assess how we can enhance and connect Gastown's streets and public spaces

    Explore and assess a range of options for public spaces in the neighbourhood, including pedestrianizing Water Street seasonally or year-round, starting with a pilot in summer 2024.

  • Summer 2024

    Water Street pedestrian zone pilot

  • Fall 2024 - summer 2025

    Draft and refine the emerging plan for Gastown’s streets and public spaces

  • Summer 2025

    Potential Water Street pedestrian zone pilot (pending)

  • Fall 2025

    Finalize and share the Gastown Public Spaces Plan

    Present final plan to City Council for approval and share with public.

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