A walk, run, or bike ride along the length of the 3-km-long south shore seawall of False Creek will necessitate a detour over the next few months due to construction work to widen the cycling and pedestrian paths.
The City of Vancouver says the seawall near Granville Island from Old Bridge Walk, where the island pond is located, to The Castings will be closed until early-May when it reopens in time for the peak summer season. This accounts for roughly half a kilometre of the seawall path east of the island.
Other than widening the narrow path, a number of other upgrades can be expected including the much-needed separation of the walking and cycling routes, the installation of new lighting, seating and signage, and improvements to landscaping. These upgrades will modify the seawall to the same standards as the rest of the seawall in and around downtown Vancouver.
The complete overhaul of the South False Creek seawall from the Burrard Street Bridge to the Cambie Street Bridge will be performed over multiple phases over several years. Built in 1975, it is the oldest section of the seawall and cyclists and pedestrians currently share much of the same path. The upgrades were approved by Vancouver City Council in May 2016.
The municipal government says it will start a new neighbourhood planning program later this year for the 136-acre South False Creek area between the Granville Street Bridge and the Cambie Street Bridge. The waterfront area is currently home to approximately 6,000 residents, but close to 60% of the residents live in nearly 1,900 units on land leased from the City.
A planning process is being conducted as the first leases end in 2021 while the majority of the leases end in 2036. Some leases will also end later in the century, between 2038 and 2046.
If the City decides not to renew the leases, the public lands could be acquired by the municipal government for redevelopment into higher density forms of housing.
Additionally, a major redevelopment on the large vacant gravel site between the Cambie Street Bridge and the Olympic Village is expected over the coming decades. The new housing in this area will complete much of the Southeast False Creek neighbourhood master plan, which began with the construction of the Olympic Village, and will be supported by a new elementary school next to Hinge Park and a new major park.
A portion of the site near the Cambie Street Bridge is currently used as a vehicle storage yard for the Vancouver Police Department and TELUS while the remaining area has been used for various special events in recent years including Cavalia, Vancouver Food Truck Festival, and Enchanted Christmas Light Maze & Market.