Hello. I am the pricetags editor for the week. More on me here on pricetags.
My first post here is on this innovative new mixed use high density residential project in Vancouver’s westend at the corner of Nelson and Burrard. Once completed it will be visibly tallest building in Vancouver – higher than Trump Tower and higher than Shangri-La – as it sits on one of the highest spots in Vancouver’s west end.


I was part of the original steering committee about two years ago when the initial vision was set (revised numerous times).
Highlights: two buildings, one with 8 stories and one a 56 story tower. FSR of almost 11. Adult and children daycare. Space for the handicapped and low income folks, some for single mothers (details yet to be worked on). Cafes. Courtyard. Almost 500 parking spaces. Church related office and social space. Of the roughly 350+ units 20% will be social housing units and about 80% market housing condos, some lower end and some very high end with unbelievable views.
Architect is Bing Thom Architects, builder in Westbank and the land owner / developer is First Baptist Church.
Awesome multi-use sustainable urban concept benefiting many in the heart of the city.
Hence it is called: The Heart for the City !
More on this – incl detailed layouts and pictures from the initial open house in fall 2015 – at www.heartforthecity.ca
Open house this Thursday March 10 from 5-8pm. I will be there for about an hour from 5:30 to 6:30. Come by if you are interested and say hello.
Is this an ideal project for this part of the city ? What should be changed, if any, to provide social space, much needed rental units, much needed affordable housing and condos ?
Pictures from the well attended open house yesterday:


  1. Incidentally, this is a very impressive project in many aspects, particularly in its design and in its array of public-serving amenities and benefits. The evocative tower design will be a fitting addition in this high density context, something we have come to expect from Bing Thom Architects. The proposed open elevator lobbies at each level are an innovative idea from an energy-saving perspective and in addressing the potential anonymity of hi-rise living.

  2. You like solar and clean energy but only if it is not government subsidized? But planet-killing fossil fuels are okay to be massively subsidized? Otherwise why would you beat up on the new kid while the big bully runs rampant?
    You might not believe in “the hype” about human caused climate change. I think I’ll go with the findings of 97% of climate scientists rather than somebody who so clearly shows their bias.

    1. I respect the two stated experts for their far more rational view.
      Oil and gas is a huge industry providing massive tax revenues in the billions for Canada alone and employs hundreds of thousands. There is hardly any “subsidies” as alleged. You are able to write off your investment in the same fashion as a windmill or an industrial solar farm, say over a 10-15 year period, similar to what GM or AirCanada gets for buying large equipment.
      Energy is vital for a growing economy.
      More at the open house, in person, if you chose to attend.

      1. Lomborg uses simplistic economics to try to persuade us that it makes more sense to adapt to climate change than to reduce it. In doing so he ignores that humans evolved under conditions conducive to our evolution. He pretends that the thousands of species that will go extinct as a result of failing to act are not important to the human condition.
        In 2013, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that consumer subsidies for fossil fuels amounted to US$548 billion.
        The leaders of the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries agreed in September 2009 to phase-out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies over the medium term.
        The IEA’s latest estimates indicate that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $493 billion in 2014, $39 billion down on the previous year, in part due to the drop in international energy prices, with subsidies to oil products representing over half of the total. Those subsidies were over four-times the value of subsidies to renewable energy.
        If the IEA of all organizations say there are subsidies then there are subsidies. If a consensus of climate scientists believe global warming is a serious threat to humans I’m not going to give much credit to a skeptical Danish author.

  3. This one is quite elegant, which I’ve come to expect from Bing Thom. I wouldn’t live in a big tower, but because design is a public amenity, this project is exemplary to look at and is blessed with both heritage conservation and a social conscience.

  4. It’s nice to see a lot of three-bedroom units. However, I think they’ll be pricey in the upper half where the views are. The layout seem quite rational despite the curvilinear exterior. Going carless here would be entirely possible in this location and would help save money that could otherwise be put towards the mortgage, or banked.
    I was also curious about the seismic aspect, and find the long thick walls extending from the solid elevator core a very interesting solution for its simplicity.

  5. This will be an instant landmark and a noteworthy addition to the skyline, And I hope one that is designed more for locals than some current projects in the news. However, the tower spacing looks tight to me, and wonder if the neighbours would be happier if the highrise and midrise swapped places. Just wondering.

  6. This project is going to city council tonight. Proud to have been on the initial design and planning committee a few years back now. This is a major major project. It will be on the agenda this week at Vancouver city hall.
    It is a major development proposal which sees our church and a premier Vancouver based developer, Westbank partner to build what would be one of the city’s tallest buildings. Architect was Bing Thom, one of Vancouver’s top architects, too.
    A great project to combine faith and work, with many social benefits to the city such as sub-market rentals, day care, adult care, senior housing, space for handicapped & addicted, all on the lower levels financed by high end condos on the top levels. A model of development for the city that desperately needs more affordable rentals and social amenities for seniors, addicted adults and single parents. Easily financed by sale of condos.

  7. Passed 7:1 tonight.
    A big win for the city, renters, homeless, addicted, single mothers, handicapped and seekers of middle to high end accommodations .

  8. Unfortunately, Canada’s extensive clouds and high albedo mean that any solar farm would produce a quarter of the energy that a farm in California would. Save for the Prairies, we’ll get more bang for our buck going with wind, hydro and nuclear (which seems to be the course of action right now).

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