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Construction begins on $35-million outdoor ice rink and plaza at Lonsdale waterfront

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Kenneth Chan Jun 15, 2017 4:04 am 2,916

North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale waterfront is already a regional attraction with Lonsdale Quay and the views the area provides of the downtown Vancouver skyline, and it will be further enhanced as a ‘place to play’ when the Shipyards Lot 5 redevelopment is fully complete.

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Construction will commence this summer on the new public event and commercial space on a 1.6-acre waterfront at the foot of Lonsdale next to the Quay.

There will be a 12,000-square-foot wintertime outdoor covered ice rink – the largest outdoor ice rink in the Lower Mainland – that doubles as a covered event space and plaza during summer, an 8,000-square-foot summertime water play area, public plazas, and waterfront walkways.

Artistic rendering of Lot 5’s covered outdoor ice rink that will be operational during the winter months. (City of North Vancouver)

As well, to provide the area with foot traffic, 84,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial and community amenity space will be built, featuring retail, restaurants, cafes, and a 70-room boutique hotel.

Site remediation of the contaminated soils left by the area’s industrial past began in April and is expected to end this month, ahead of the planned construction start later this summer for a completion in late 2018.

The remediation cost of $5 million is being covered by the City of North Vancouver while the actual redevelopment will be funded by Quay Property Management, the owner and operator of Lonsdale Quay.

Site remediation work performed in May 2017. (City of North Vancouver)

This is the final phase of The Shipyards redevelopment, which has restored old shipyard buildings and created new structures to house restaurants like Tap & Barrel and JOEY. Other components of the area’s revitalization have created new residential buildings, retail, plazas, restored piers, and waterfront walkways.

Additionally, the area will be the new and expanded home of two museums. The North Vancouver Museum is set to move into a new 16,000-square-foot space at Presentation House, and Polygon Gallery has a new purpose-built 24,000-square-foot waterfront museum, which will open in time for Canada Day.

In 2014, Seattle-based Roger Brooks International, the tourism and marketing destination consultation firm that conceptualized Whistler Village, provided City Council with a conceptual plan for the area.

That initial concept included a permanent $20-million observation ferris wheel on Burrard Dry Dock Pier, but it was later put on hold due to cost. As a possible trial for a permanent attraction, earlier this week the City of North Vancouver approved the installation of a temporary ferris wheel at the foot of Lonsdale for summer 2018.

More than a decade ago, Lot 5 was originally envisioned as the National Maritime Centre for the Pacific and the Arctic to replace the Vancouver Maritime Museum’s tiny space in Kitsilano. But the $106-million cost of building the 110,000-square foot museum was an issue, and provincial and federal governments were unwilling to increase their level of funding for the project, so the project was cancelled.

The covered outdoor ice rink can be used for events and recreational activities during the spring and summer months. (City of North Vancouver)

Artistic rendering of the exterior of Lot 5. (City of North Vancouver)

Artistic rendering of the exterior of Lot 5. (City of North Vancouver)

Artistic rendering of the exterior of Lot 5, looking down into the covered event space and wintertime outdoor ice rink. (City of North Vancouver)

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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