The City of Vancouver is seriously considering the vacant space underneath the south end of the Cambie Street Bridge for a new skatepark.
Currently, the space underneath the bridge – between the main bridge structure and the southbound exit ramp onto West 2nd Avenue – is an unused site covered with gravel. It is located just east of the Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station.
The new facility, dubbed Skate Plaza 1.5, is intended to be temporary to replace the existing Vancouver Skate Plaza underneath the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viadcuts, which will be demolished under the approved Northeast False Creeks Plan.
The demolition of the Viaducts and the construction of the new district, necessitates the removal of the Skate Plaza until a permanent replacement facility is built at the northwest corner of the intersection of Quebec Street and the future reconfigured Pacific Boulevard.
Before the 21,000 sq. ft. Skate Plaza is demolished, a new temporary replacement facility will be made ready to use as the existing skatepark is a highly used facility.
“The loss of this amenity would leave thousands of users without a safe space to engage in an independent, active, and social sport,” reads a previous City staff report, adding that a survey found that skatepark users are likely to use Vancouver’s streets as an alternate skating location.
Design concepts such as lighting, public art, and an integrated plaza with pedestrian access are being contemplated. It will use innovative materials and have design features that allows the facility to be relocated and reused to another location once the temporary plaza reaches the end of its life.
Further consultations will be held over the months to come, and a detailed design will be finalized in fall 2018. The City has contracted van der Zalm Landscape Architects, New Line Skateparks, and Daniel Yabar (Spain) to design the temporary facility.
The new temporary skatepark will likely be ready sometime next year, assuming the viaducts demolition continues as scheduled.
Meanwhile, the permanent replacement skatepark in Northeast False Creek is set to be built between 2021 and 2025.
This spring, a new three-acre temporary park will also open on the Concord Pacific lands as another interim public amenity space during the district’s construction period.
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