At the southeast corner of Oak Street and King Edward Avenue in Vancouver, a Shell gas station looks like any other, with the huge roof over the gas pumps, and bright vibrant colours.

But there’s something different here, evident as you get closer and see the gas station site is subtly fenced in. There appears to be no activity, but there’s a sign. Literally — a large, outdoor advertisement of a young woman sipping a beverage, with the headline: “Open for Snacks. Closed for Gas.”

The question: who in their right mind would use this gas station to get food when there’s a supermarket (and a really good Japanese restaurant) right behind the station?

And this is not a redevelopment at this site — indeed, the whole King Edward Mall site has been identified as “unique” in the City of Vancouver’s third phase of the Cambie Corridor Plan (approved in May), and can be redeveloped as “three higher elements of approximately 12 to 14 storeys … above a low- to lower mid-rise podium”.

So while the car snack department is “business as usual”, the gas station part of the operation is likely just having a tank renovation in advance of the mixed-use development project that will eventually be located on this whole site.

Take a look at the Cambie Corridor planning process, which will provide 32,000 new housing units.


  1. Looks like a business opportunity for ‘Gas 2 U’ trucks. We are still driving cars and most of those cars run on gas and we are driving all over the place in pursuit of that gas. Wouldn’t it be better if one electric powered truck could fill many cars with gas rather than many cars driving off to find gas?

  2. The sign might be to let the public know how the leasee of the gas station has been badly treated by Chevron. The sign deserves further investigation.

  3. Agreed – probably a tank replacement.

    That Safeway isn’t on the list of Safeways being closed by Sobeys.
    Demographically, that’s a probably a plum area for consumers who are not price-conscious (that is, conscious of Safeway’s high prices).

    Meanwhile…. over at 4th & Vine, where there is also soil investigation taking place, there are big, big signs proclaiming “We are not closing!!”.

    Maybe those will appear at the Oak & King Edward Safeway store too.

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