Residents upset over high rise plans in Marpole

Dec 19 2017, 8:10 am

As the City of Vancouver continues to grow, high rises and additional density in traditionally single family detached home neighbourhood’s will become more common. Naturally, this change will upset some of those living in the areas. One of those areas currently under pressure is Marpole.

Marpole is one of the city’s oldest communities, and the one visitors see first when entering from the south. It stretches from Angus Drive to Ontario Street, and from West 57th Avenue to the North Arm of the Fraser River.

Because demand for new development is growing, city staff are working on a community plan, a plan that ensures future growth in Marpole meets the needs of the community.

Yesterday, a protest was held as hundreds gathered at the Marpole Community Centre. They claim that they are not against development, they just want it at a slower pace and demand more input in the community planning process. You can’t argue with that. However, are they really just saying leave my community alone?

The reality of the situation is that larger towers are coming whether they like it or not. It should be noted that the area is not going to be run over by condo towers in the next 10, 15 or even 20 years. Although, it will see some much need density at specific high traffic nodes. Granville Street (near 70th) and Marine and Cambie are already rapidly developing.

The area is currently only home to one rapid transit stop and another one is planned for 57th and Cambie in the near future. It’s also home to Langara College, an institution that is growing.


Highrise condo towers for the most part will be constructed near 57th and Cambie (it should be noted that that corner already has 4 rental apartment towers) and Marine and Cambie.


1. Granville

Granville Street serves as the main neighbourhood centre for Marpole, with a variety of shops, services, restaurants and the Marpole Library.

2. Oak

Oak Street is a high-volume, high-speed, six-lane arterial with narrow sidewalks and long blocks
with limited opportunities to safely cross. Oak and West 67th Avenue is a small but important local shopping area.

3. Cambie

The Cambie area is a 10-minute walk from the two Canada Line stations in Marpole – the existing Marine Drive Station and the future station at Cambie Street and West 57th Avenue.

4. Lower Hudson

Lower Hudson includes the low-rise apartment area, mostly south of West 70th Avenue, a neighbourhood shopping area at Hudson and West 73rd Avenue, the Airport Square office tower and a number of cultural amenities such as the Scottish Cultural Centre and Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

The plans would see about 80 per cent of the neighbourhood rezoned for high-density, not necessarily high rise, housing. It would also see the 70-year-old community centre torn down and subsequently replaced. For those that live in the area, a new community centre would be a welcome addition as it is much needed.