BIA touts a new vision for Granville Street



The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association has released their new vision for Granville Street.

The vision was prepared by placemaking consultancy firm Resonance Co. for the Downtown Vancouver BIA, which represents 7,000 businesses and property owners in the central 90-block area of the downtown core.

Granville Street has been struggling in recent years, hastened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail vacancies have nearly doubled in the past decade, with 16 percent of retail spaces vacant in 2020, compared to nine percent in 2010.

There is also a perception of high crime levels. A survey conducted as part of the vision found that Granville Street is now perceived as the most insecure area in downtown Vancouver for both locals and tourists.

The report makes several recommendations, including:

  • connecting Granville Street to existing cycling and pedestrian networks, and future improvements to the Granville Street Bridge
  • explore alternative transit routes in order to narrow the street and slow down traffic
  • encourage a more walkable environment with restaurant patios and outdoor programming
  • greening the street through a pocket park initiative
  • work with BC Housing to improve the living conditions of SROs along the street

Creating a restaurant row is one of the main strategies identified to help attract residents and visitors to the street. The report calls for the creation of a permanent patio program, as well as reducing the timelines for liquor licensing and planning applications.

Landscape architects at PWL Partnership prepared a series of renderings for the report, showing how Granville Street could be transformed through the recommendations.

Bonnis Properties recently released ambitious plans for the 800-block of Granville between Robson and Smithe, that would add new office space and retail in a glass-enclosed structure over several of Vancouver’s most popular performance venues.

To read the full Granville Street reimagining report, click here.