THE City of Vancouver is launching a public engagement program to explore ways to support and possibly expand small stores in residential neighbourhoods that it says are historic and cherished assets in its communities.
Often known as corner stores, these businesses are typically located in residential areas away from main commercial streets. Existing shops currently offer food, groceries, services or speciality items. Corner stores provide a convenient way for people to access goods or a distinctive neighbourhood place to grab a coffee, gather with friends, and socialize. These stores also provide an important small-scale space for entrepreneurs, supporting a diverse and vital local economy.
A public survey and additional information are now available on the City’s Shape Your City engagement site at shapeyourcity.ca/corner-stores
The survey is open until October 10 to gather feedback on how residents feel about corner stores and potential opportunities for expanding uses, locations, and building types. Everyone can also map their favourite corner stores on the website and share stories about their experiences with them.
Feedback gathered through the survey will be used to inform future policy and regulatory changes expected to take place in 2024. Results from this engagement process will be available later this year.
Corner stores contribute to the City’s goal of creating complete, connected, and culturally vibrant neighbourhoods and support its objectives around improving access to daily needs, as outlined in the City’s Climate Emergency Action Plan and the Vancouver Plan.
Currently, there are approximately 88 active businesses operating as corner stores. Approximately 40 per cent are neighbourhood grocery stores and 60 per cent are other types of businesses.
In 2020, a Council motion advanced quick start actions on zoning changes to support existing businesses operating as neighbourhood corner grocery stores. The changes were approved in January 2021 and next steps were outlined for further work to support neighbourhood grocery stores and other small-scale neighbourhood businesses as part of the Vancouver Plan and Complete Neighbourhoods program.