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New plaza completed in downtown Vancouver

New plaza completed in downtown Vancouver
SHUTTERSTOCK

VANCOUVER — Crews have finished work on a permanent public plaza in downtown Vancouver.

The plaza is situated in the section of Robson Street that sits between the art gallery and the Law Courts. City officials noted when summer weather arrives and social gathering restrictions are eased, the space will be able to be fully utilized.

“While the pandemic has highlighted the need to provide people with outdoor space to move and safely socialize, we’ve long been taking steps to create more public spaces,” reads a release from the city. “The completion of the public-plaza project at 800 Robson Street is the culmination of Arthur Erickson’s vision for the area dating back to the 1970s.”

The area was turned into a pop-up plaza during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In the years that followed, city officials created a seasonal temporary plaza at this location, enabling the community to pilot the location as a potential permanent plaza.

The area was completely closed in 2016 to begin construction.

Renovations included:

  • An open space for year-round public events with moveable seating and tables, new benches and permanent seating.
  • A level, continuous surface that connects to šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (located on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery).
  • Improvements at the intersection of Hornby and Robson streets for people walking, rolling, and biking. 
    • An “all walk” pedestrian signal.
    • New safety features and enhancements for the bike lane.
  • Improved power connections for performers and speakers, and improved lighting for events.
  • A public art piece called the “Weekend Chime,” by artist Brady Cranfield.

The project was funded through a partnership between the city, the province and TransLink.

“Located in the heart of our city, 800 Robson is Vancouver’s next great public square and will no doubt become an iconic and vibrant destination where people can come together to celebrate, speak out, perform, connect, or just relax,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

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