New downtown Vancouver public park approaching completion (PHOTOS)

Mar 15 2022, 10:16 pm

The final finishing touches are now in the process of being installed at the new Smithe Richards park in downtown Vancouver.

Construction first began on the new public park in January 2020, and it is now expected to reach full completion and open sometime this spring. It was originally set to reach completion in early 2021, but there were significant delays due to the pandemic’s impact.

The 0.8-acre urban park at the northeast corner of the intersection of Smithe Street and Richards Street replaces what was previously a surface parking lot.

The key features of the park are now largely complete, including the cafe pavilion building, children’s playground, zig-zagging elevated pedestrian bridge and lookout over Smithe Street, and the overhead sky-frames.

smithe richards vancouver park

Construction progress on March 8, 2022 on the Smithe Richards public park. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

smithe richards vancouver park

Construction progress on March 8, 2022 on the Smithe Richards public park. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

smithe richards vancouver park

Construction progress on March 8, 2022 on the Smithe Richards public park. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

smithe richards vancouver park

Construction progress on March 8, 2022 on the Smithe Richards public park. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

String lighting across the sky-frames have been turned on nightly in recent weeks. The overhead structures can also be used to support public art installations in the future.

Some of the remaining work now entails completing the pavers for the pathways and plaza, decorative fountain and seating areas, and landscaping.

The Vancouver Park Board has yet to announce the tenant for the cafe space. The park’s central plaza with amphitheatre-like seating is designed to be a suitable space for the hosting of community events.

smithe richards vancouver park

Construction progress on March 1, 2022 on the Smithe Richards public park. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

smithe richards vancouver park

Construction progress on March 1, 2022 on the Smithe Richards public park. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

smithe richards vancouver park

Construction progress on March 1, 2022 on the Smithe Richards public park. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

When construction began, the project was budgeted at $14.5 million, including $8 million provided by a community amenity contribution through the 2011 rezoning of the nearby TELUS Garden towers. Dialog is the architectural design firm for the project, while Smith Bros. and Wilson Ltd. is the construction contractor.

Over the past year, as separate projects, the City of Vancouver also reached completion on segments of the Smithe Street bike lane and Richards Street bike lane on the edges of the park site.

smithe richards park vancouver

2020 artistic rendering of the new Smithe Richards park in downtown Vancouver. (Dialog/Vancouver Park Board)

smithe richards park vancouver

2020 artistic rendering of the new Smithe Richards park in downtown Vancouver. (Dialog/Vancouver Park Board)

smithe richards park vancouver

2020 artistic rendering of the new Smithe Richards park in downtown Vancouver. (Dialog/Vancouver Park Board)

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