September 16, 2019

Via Durning, a  gentle black-and-white video from the CBC Vancouver program the 7 O’CLOCK SHOW special series on “Urbanism.”  (Click title for video.)

This footage depicts the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver (near the Port) Gastown and the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver.*

Older buildings (many vacant) on Alexander, Columbia, Carrall and Powell Streets are featured. In 1964 this was an area of the city in transition, where heritage buildings were neglected and vulnerable to idea of modernism.

*In the days when it was necessary to inform people where Gastown was, and before part of it was renamed the Downtown East Side.  And in the days when the fabled ‘7-O’clock Show’ would commission and run a visual essay without narration.

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August 7, 2017

Found on the corner of Abbott St and W Hastings St, in a parking lot adjacent to the Woodward’s development.

The proposed rezoning details are reflective of Vancouver’s Rental 100 Policy:

  • 132 units of secured market rental housing
  • commercial space on the ground floor
  • a floor space ratio of 7.62
  • 74 vehicle parking spaces
  • 167 bicycle parking spaces
  • a building height of 32m

The policy provides relaxations to developers who choose to build 100% secured market rental housing in defined locations. This incentive forms part of the City’s  2012-2021 Housing and Homelessness Strategy, which “identified the need for an additional 16,000 new units of rental housing, of which 5,000 are from purpose-built market rental units.”
In addition, the Strategy “sets aggressive targets for social housing (5,000 units by 2021) and supportive housing to end homelessness (2,900 units by 2021). The City is currently revising the Housing Strategy, noting targets exceeding those set in the current plan.
The Rental 100 Policy and it’s predecessor have been contentious – as illustrated by the court battle between the City and the West End Neighbours Residents Society. There is an open house for the West Hastings Rezoning from 5 to 8 pm on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at Vancouver Community College, Room 240.

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Two related Gastown items:

First: the City of Vancouver wants to talk about the proposed redesign of this historic place — Blood Alley Square and Trounce Alley.  The design work will be by Enns Gauthier (consultants).

  •   Wednesday June 1, 2016  4-7 pm
  • Saturday  June 4, 2016  11 am – 2 pm.

Location:  Blood Alley Square


Second: Westbank Projects and Henriquez Partners Architects are seeking approval for a new 11-storey structure around 33 West Cordova. Thanks to Kenneth Chan at VanCity Buzz (and to Ian for the tip).

There will be a total of 214 rental units in the 163,000-square-foot redevelopment, including 80 social housing units and 134 secured market rental units.

On the ground level, a number of retail and restaurant units are planned, including a wine bar, with frontages on both Cordova Street and Blood Alley, which will receive a new southern frontage as a result of the project.

A large cabaret and entertainment venue in the underground level could provide much-needed additional foot traffic into Blood Alley, where the entrance into the venue is located.


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