Here’s a nifty idea for making the Jericho Lands development an even greater long-term success than you are hoping.  Put money in the plan for a Broadway subway stop.  Wave the plan at the Feds, where you probably have decent connections.  Go transit-oriented.
Here’s the idea, pirated shamelessly.
At the 57th and Cambie property now under development, according to a CBC report:

A unique model for transit funding has been approved along the Canada Line in Vancouver.

The Onni Group —  a real estate development company — will be paying for a new stop at Cambie Street and 57th Avenue, according to Vancouver Coun. Geoff Meggs.

“The area will be significantly transformed as a result of investments that flow from this,” said Meggs Wednesday….
. . . .  Meggs says it’s unique for a developer to pay for a transit station, but highly beneficial for Onni in this case, as the entire development will become more desirable because of the new stop.



  1. I prefer what Meggs said on CBC this morning. In effect, that the City can’t use this approach in the Broadway corridor because it would prejudice Council’s decisions WRT rezonings.

  2. So all of the towers built in Port Moody and Coquitlam in anticipation of the Evergreen Line were prejudicial decisions?
    The obvious answer is for Council to pre-approve an alignment (and station) that includes the Jericho lands.
    If you think about it – there must have been similar forethought to placing a “future” station at the Pearson lands (as well as 33rd Ave.).
    Did that “future station site prejudice Concil’s decision to approve the rezoning of the Pearson lands?
    If so, does the owner of Langara Gardens or any other site that isn’t directly at a “future” station then have a claim against the City?

  3. The decisions by council to build high-rises first, then subways or LRTs a decade or 3 later is nuts. It should be the other way around. We should not allow ANY development on Jericho lands until the Broadway subway goes to Alma at least. Ditto at UBC. When I asked the UBC planner a few years ago where the planned subway stop in the very dense Wesbrook Village (corner of 16th Ave and Wesbrook) is she looked at me as if I am from Mars.

  4. Is the City of Vancouver going to keep that golf course there, with a pricey Canada Line station across the street and thousands of new residents looking for open space and recreational opportunities (including, but likely not limited to golf)? What’s the highest and best (public and/or private) use of that land with a new station in place?

    1. Carving up Vancouver’s public open park land for private development — even with an adjacent rapid transit station — would be foolish when there is so much wastage in the vast tracts of land detached houses rest on within 500m of Cambie.

      1. @MB: Highest and best public use might also be converting that golf course into public open park land. Aside from being publicly owned, it really isn’t open park land at the moment, it’s a highly specialized single use amenity. Point is: does this new station (and development) prompt a City of Vancouver rethink of that open space?

      2. Now you’re onto something. There are far more valuable uses for park land than golf. But converting a park from a single to multiple uses appreciated by a lot more people should never be interpreted as an open door to sell it off to private development.
        The 200-year view is required, and an evaluation of the land should indeed include a monetary calculation, but social value is also a very powerful factor. If a purely financial attitude dominated early Vancouver’s cross-jurisdictional land use, then Stanley Park would have been sold off and subdivided long ago. Try seriously suggesting that now and you would be publicly flogged.

    2. The UBC golf course will go to our native brethren (Musqueam) as compensation for all the injustice they (allegedly) received from the white man and because it was their “traditional territory”. More on this here: They will possibly develop it high density, like Block F in UEL, but that is way off.

      1. Yeah, it’s another classic he-said-she-said story. Native peoples allege the white man committed genocide, Thomas Beyer says he doesn’t remember anything of the sort. Too bad there’s no evidence to support either side…

        1. Probably not so much genocide in BC, but certainly a deliberate destruction of their culture through marginalization, land theft, and maybe worst of all, the residential schools. Not a great legacy.

        2. Perpetual dependency and preferential treatment based on race in Canada makes no sense to me.
          What is the goal here with native-Canadians ? Independence ? Perpetual dependence ? Or equality ? Perpetual “consultation” i.e. payment of money for land that may or may not have been occupied by them 250+ years ago ? You can’t have it both ways. BC is seriously hamstringing its development with an unclear definition of “consultation” or “accommodation”. Many of the land claims are also grossly exaggerated as a tribe of a 1000 people cannot rightly claim to have continuously lived in a 1 M sq km land in N-BC, for example.
          The land claims need to be settled, money paid, and all Canadians treated equally, not this perpetual racism, or made-in-Canada-apartheid system that we have today.
          UBC golf course, btw will remain a golf course until 2083.

        3. Lianne La Havas, the dark skinned British born singer, was on PBS news last night. She said that through all of her life in England she has always been only considered as a woman and a musician. She has a Greek father and a Jamaican mother. Only now, during her first visit to the United States has she been asked about being, and labeled, black. She finds it interesting and surprising. It’s something that has never before been an issue or a subject in her life.
          Let’s hope that one day the same attitude to people will exist and be the norm here in North America, and tribal definitions with historic labels are just perhaps remembered but not part of official governments policies. Some of Europe has moved on past those racial labels. The French know that they are a collection of peoples, as are the Germans and the British. Segregation and tribal lands are out of the question. Bringing up children to think they are special or distinct from a tribal perspective seems awful.
          It will take a few more generations to erase these apartheid tendencies.

  5. Determining public benefits is a complex process, and hopefully is connected in a direct way to the specific context. Yes, a transit contribution can be a consideration, but to say its the only one to be considered would be a stretch. I understand that Richmond’s Capstan Area plan included a potential density bonus for contributing to a new Canada Line station, for which a certain $/SF contribution was required. The developer doesn’t have to seek the voluntary bonus. A carrot approach, not a stick (requirement).

  6. The situation with the Broadway Line is completely different. The public didn’t even vote for extending the line to Arbutus, much less to UBC. Yes, governments can change, and projects can proceed – but projects can equally be delayed. The transit link to UBC could be decades away, and in the meantime residents in the area would have to put up with excess traffic, noise and blocked views.
    Purchasers of the units won’t be buying because of transit if it doesn’t exist; they will be using their cars – they have to. So you won’t necessarily having a “transit oriented” population buying.
    The common thought is that developers can help defray costs of transit. But in many cases they simply pass those costs on to the local residents who pay through a degraded neighborhood.
    Transit should be paid for by ridership and taxes – it’s the only way to fairly plan a city.

  7. The funding of transit using development is very problematic. It is what TransLink refers to as the Hong Kong model. By taking CACs or DCLs from development and using that to pay for transit, it means that the few means by which the city has to fund amenities will instead be used to fund the provincial and federal responsibilities of transit. This is effectively downloading to the civic level. If development precedes transit, this magnifies the problem with increased demand for transit that will only further current bus pass ups as well as encourage more vehicle use for decades, if the transit ever gets built at all. Further it makes form follow finance rather than proper planning principles.

    1. Who states that transit is a federal and provincial responsibility ? Why is the federal government involved AT ALL I wonder ? If Vancouver wants a subway, or Surrey and Langley an LRT, why do folks in PEI, Halifax or Kelowna pay for it ?
      Since when have we decided to abdicate civic fiscal responsibility i.e. locals pay for what they use ? Or is this the usual socialist mantra that OTHERS have to pay for our own desires ?
      Vancouver, Surrey and Langley decided to not raise property taxes, increase transit user fees which are quite low in Metrovan or charge for parking on residential streets, but have their hands out to the feds and province ? This is sound policy ?
      I’d rather see PST, GST and income taxes reduced and local taxes increased to pay for local needs.

      1. OK Thomas if you see it that way, you must be against the Massey Bridge replacement. That is being paid for by residents of prince George, is that fair? Why does transit have to be funded by local population the highways/bridges are not.

        1. Massey is a major highway, for trucks to the US, to to a port, for travelers to Vancouver Island from Kelowna or Abbotsford or Burnaby, for commuters across multiple jurisdictions. Highways need more federal funding than a subway benefiting mainly locals that live nearby.
          Cities need more taxation room, or an allocation of $s per capita from the feds or provinces. Canada’s taxation system is too top heavy. We need to tax less federally and provincially, and more locally.

        2. You could say the same for the Cad Line as many of those people take it on the way to Victoria to go to the island. Also roads in Vancouver are needed for that Journey to the USA from Vancouver. So does that mean that any route on the way to US or a port should there receive federal subsidies which also includes public transportation. This logic is hypocritical.
          You can not subsidize a subway and then subsidize a highway just because it is on the route to a farther destination. This is illogical.

      2. The reason transit infrastructure has mostly been funded by the federal and provincial governments is that they have about 93% of the tax base with cities only getting about 7%. Cities are already getting too much downloaded on them without a tax base to fund it.

        1. That is very true indeed. As such we need to align tax collected with $s spent. It makes no sense to me, for example, that the federal government sends healthcare $s to the province as healthcare is a provincial responsibility. far too much money is collected in GST and federal income and federal corporate taxes, then redistributed unevenly. We need to lower GST and those federal taxes and allow cities and provinces to collect more. Most people live in cities and that is where the money should be spent on transit, homelessness, housing, etc. Cities relay primarily on property taxes, which is too low a tax base. They need more taxation room, but to do that we need to lower GST and PST and federal income taxes which of course is highly unlikely. Quebec and Ottawa collects AND KEEPS far too much and keep the outlieing regions as colonies.

  8. In the Hong Kong model the transit agency IS the developer, or has a very large economic stake in the high density development near stations. Unfortunately, the resulting urbanism is powerfully and rather brutally shaped by massive tower slabs placed close together. They have created a superb metro system out of necessity, largely funded by returns on development, even with land availability being as challenging for city building as it is.
    Though Metro Vancouver may consider using revenue from development (in essence the buyers / renters) to partially fund transit (not a bad idea, really, but not as uniformly spread as road pricing), it may also never be ready accept such high densities.

    1. When TransLink uses the term Hong Kong model, it is used very loosely. It is not just what is done in Hong Kong. TransLink has used land owned by developers to fund transit. But when they do that it means that the land lift from development is not going towards amenities to serve the increased and existing population, it is going to fund transit instead. This is to the detriment of cities and local communities.

    2. I’m not sure I would agree with the notion that public transit is, by inference, not an urban amenity, and a very important one at that. Perhaps the regional / local dichotomy of transit is confusing the issue. Regional transit is big, expensive and fast. Local (neighbourhood) transit is smaller, less expensive and slower. Both are efficacious urban attributes and should be planned with a sense of building sustainable cities for the future at both the neighbourhood and regional scales.

      1. Whether transit is regional or local is not the point. Transit in its many forms should not be funded at the local level because cities do not have the tax base. The federal and provincial levels have the access to the tax base that should cover these kinds of extraordinary costs. Amenities are things like parks and recreation, schools, daycare, etc. There is not enough funding to even cover these kinds of costs.

      2. Agreed re: senior government’s responsibility to fund public transit, knowing that they take the lion’s share of most taxes. Unfortunately, in practice senior governments have been extraordinarily negligent on that file compared to most industrial economies. Therefore, regional organizations like TransLink have had to propose other sources of local and regional revenue and have been put through the wringer with a plebiscite singling out only one form of transportation. To some, that was an irresponsible abdication of responsibility, now illuminated by the brighter light of our new federal government that has recognized the vital role cities play and the revenue shortfall of local government, and is willing to play a greater role for the first time in a decade.
        Something has to give, and if the province cannot make up the 9% local funding shortfall even with the fed’s increased share, then it should let Metro Vancouver form its own elected government with taxation powers and have greater control of its own destiny.

        1. Creating a whole new level of government taxation is inefficient and expensive. The original point was that development should not be used to fund transit. It should be funded by a combination of income taxes, carbon taxes, gas taxes or mileage based vehicle taxes. But most importantly we should be looking at more affordable transit options that allow improved transit throughout the grid system rather than one expensive short corridor with excessive nodal development.

  9. “What is the goal here with native-Canadians ? ”
    Why don’t you ask them? Really, a more patronizing statement is hard to imagine — treating an entire culture as a monolithic entity and a problem to be ‘solved’. Would you like gov’t to decide for you as an individual what the ‘goal’ was with you? Seriously, give it some real thought instead of parroting white man’s burden nonsense.

  10. “Many of the land claims are also grossly exaggerated as a tribe of a 1000 people cannot rightly claim to have continuously lived in a 1 M sq km land in N-BC, for example.”
    Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg-Gotha owns 6.6 billion acres – roughly 4 million sq km if Google can be counted on for accurate conversions. Claiming 1 million square km is clearly both believable and within the boundaries of what’s allowed in our legal system.

    1. Some believe it. Many do not. You cannot carry a deer more than a few hundred meters. So what if you lived on some land a few years, then moved on. That gives you the right to perpetual ownership (or perpertual payments) without defending it ? Isn’t this what nations do ? They defend themselves, have their own armies, their own police, their own currency, their own hospitals, their own school systems ? I see these so called “nations” have NONE of that.
      The British won the war, or rather occupation. Hence it is called BRITISH Columbia. So, what do we want: independence, or perpetual dependence ? Or this racist bias, apartheid made in Canada ? I thought we are all equal ? Apparently not !
      Proudly, Second “Nation” ! Or eighth ? or 27th ? Do people who came here in 1910 have more rights than those that came in 1955 ? Or those that came only in 2000 or last year ?
      Apparently equality is not the goal here. What is the goal ?

      1. “The British won the war, or rather occupation.”
        Are we talking about Germany circa 1945? Again, the precedent exists that violent overthrow of an existing regime doesn’t always equal subsumation by the occupying force and dissolution of a nation. If you want to claim all humans are equal, then by all means, let’s treat them as such. Western civilization has two sets of rules. Which set is chosen has an unsurprising correlation with what will bring the most profit to a small coterie of companies and individuals.

      2. The hearths in archeologically registered Sto:Lo village sites in the upper Fraser Valley date back more than 6,000 years. So says carbon dating commissioned by UBC archeologists. They termed one site “BC’s oldest house.” A large boulder east of Mission was worshiped by the Sto:Lo as a “transformer” stone that was carbon dated and geologically tested to 9,000 years ago (i.e. to the retreat of the ice sheets), and was central to their village life. Their occupation predate even the pyramids.
        There is similar carbon dating results all up and down the coast.
        The Nootka spent half the year in Friendly Cove and winters in Tahsis, 40 km away at the head of Tahsis Inlet. Their village sites are ancient. They both traded and fought neighbouring tribes up to 100 km away, who themselves occupied the same village and hunting / fishing sites for millennia. No one has ever disproven their occupation of Nootka Island for at least 60 centuries.
        The Haida warred and traded with everybody. Records and oral history indicate they travelled over 700 km in sea-going canoes and fought the Musqueam on the north bank of the North Arm of the Fraser below Dunbar St every few decades. The archeological evidence also points toward continuous occupation of villages for hundreds of generations in Haida Gwaii.
        Europeans did not encounter an empty land when they first landed here. Far, far from it.
        So, when disputing the rights of ownership through continuous occupation, one must supply more than opinion.

        1. A friend of mine just got the results from a DNA swab test. He was brought up in Belgium by English and French parents and has been living in Australia for decades. His grandfather was a great story teller.
          The DNA test show him to be be mostly Irish. He likes Guinness and mackerel so he’s not surprised. Does this mean he now owns part of Ireland and can have a seat at the table when they are planning expansion of the Port of Dublin?

        2. “Two sets of rules ? Enlighten us please.”
          To dumb it down significantly because it’s far too nice a day to waste rehashing the past few hundred years.
          Brown people get colonized.
          White people get post-war aid programs.
          Now, turnabout is fair play. Please provide me with a source for your contention that the indigenous people of B.C. fought a war with justifies their loss of traditional territories.

        3. “Does this mean he now owns part of Ireland and can have a seat at the table when they are planning expansion of the Port of Dublin?”
          Faulty comparison. Do the people of Ireland as a collective have a say in this expansion? And anyway, if your friend wants a say in the port expansion, he is not prevented from making his case in a multitude of fashions. Who will stop him?

  11. “So what if you lived on some land a few years, then moved on. ”
    Again, as pointed out, the legal precedent exists for ownership of vast tracts of land without continuous occupation. And that’s why the rest of your argument, which is reductionist to the point of bewilderment frankly, fails the moment it exists. In fact, your knowledge of pre-contact history is shockingly sub-standard for someone offering any kind of opinion whatsoever. And I would caution against invoking the rules of war as a test of property ownership. Unless you think anarchy and bloodshed is a good thing.

    1. I am merely stating a fact. Wars or occupations happened. I do not condone them nor the bloodshed. But they did happen, and in some places they do today. People moved in and took land, often by force, better equipment, better knowledge or sheer numbers. Like the British or French in NA, or the Spanish and Portuguese in S-and Central America. Or the Dutch, British, French and Americans in the Caribbean.
      So, here we are, 200+ years later, pretending that “nations” within a nation exist, yet pretend we are all equal before the law, but somehow some people are not. Are native-Canadians Canadian ? Do they adhere to the same rules and laws ? Or just some? If so, which ones ? If they want their own nation, fine. Let them have the land, but nothing else (i.e. $s). Just don’t ask ordinary Canadians to continuously pay for it AND have their land too.
      Perpetual dependence is too expensive AND too demoralizing for the recipient. It makes no sense to sustain northern communities for example that are utterly unsustainable without massive cash handouts. It makes no sense to send monthly cheques to many band members that are often quite wealthy due to their monetization of the land they own.
      Also, we need to assume that MOST IMMIGRANTS do not care about Canadian history. Most come to better their lives, and see perpetual handouts as it is: demoralizing and unsustainable. Even the British-French thing is of little relevance to most, especially here in the west. Only when you go to school here do you learn it ad naseum. If you come as an adult you do not. It has no meaning for folks in BC. We need to accept this basic fact too if we continue to bring in 300,000+ immigrants annually.
      Plus we pay free university education plus other benefits for up to 1/4 (but not 1/8th) natives, so called Metis. Why is that ? Is that equitable to the other 97-98% of Canadians paying for it ? Perhaps it is time to abolish the racist Indian Act and replace it with something more equal ?

      1. “I am merely stating a fact.”
        Sorry, but it appears to me you were using this ‘fact’ as a justification for your position. Given that, as I pointed out in an earlier comment, there’s no hard and fast rule about relinquishing nationhood after a battlefield defeat, so it’s hardly sufficient rationale to dismiss a land claim. So even if your facts were straight, it wouldn’t necessarily be a rationale for extinguishing indigenous title to land. However, this is another key element you are repeating in error.
        “Only when you go to school here do you learn it (history) ad naseum. (sic)”
        True. Every time some English royal thought it would be peachy to send young men into a meatgrinder, we learned about it in the Canadian school system. No one ever mentioned a war for B.C. soil waged against the existing inhabitants. Given the predilection for chronicling their exploits, one would expect a conquering army in Canada’s early history to make note of their battles in British Columbia. So which war are you referring to Thomas and where might I read about it?”
        Don’t conflate Hollywood whitewashes of American history with the reality of Canada’s actions against First Nations people.
        “People moved in and took land, often by force, better equipment, better knowledge or sheer numbers.”
        This is not war. This is theft by any measure and in some cases it is genocide. With these comments you are clearly, to my mind, comfortable with an anarchistic, ‘might is right’ system for determining property ownership. Perhaps a rethink of your position regarding First Nations land claims as they correlate to your presumed satisfaction with property rights as a central tenet of a civilized society is in order?

      2. “It makes no sense to send monthly cheques to many band members that are often quite wealthy due to their monetization of the land they own.”
        It makes no sense to send dividends to many shareholders that are often quite wealthy due to their monetization of the land they own.
        Change two words and it’s a very different kettle of fish yeah? And that’s why establishing legal title to these lands is critical and the monies you characterize as ‘handouts’ may well be something entirely different.

  12. Thomas: “What is the goal here with native-Canadians ? Independence ? Perpetual dependence ? Or equality ?”
    Perhaps consider the word equity as contrasted with equality.
    At Janette Sadik-Kahn’s recent presentation, she used this slide to illustrate the distinction, although she was talking about road users at the time.

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