Go-ahead for new vision for Granville Street

Halloween celebrations on Granville Street downtown in 2020. Videosnatch

VANCOUVER City Council on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for a new vision for Granville Street, the city’s premiere high street and main entertainment district in downtown Vancouver.

“The ramped up Granville Street Planning Program presents a significant opportunity to breathe life into the Granville Entertainment District, expedite new hotel development, expand tourism, create a signature pedestrian-focused public space, strengthen job space, increase safety, and support a vibrant arts and culture destination in our city – especially live music and a vibrant night time economy,” said Deputy Mayor Sarah Kirby-Yung.

The current lack of daytime activity on Granville Street has seen a rise in vacant storefronts, safety and public disorder concerns, violence related to public intoxication, and concern for people experiencing homelessness.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many of these issues and created a significant strain on local businesses and nearby residents, which has contributed to an overall negative perception of Granville Street.

Growing interest and ideas from businesses, residents, property owners and other stakeholders highlight their support to reinvigorate the area.

Working with community partners, City staff will establish a new comprehensive vision for the area that balances the different needs and aspirations for those who work, live, perform, visit and enjoy Granville Street.

With an objective to re-establish Granville Street as an exciting, welcoming, safe and inclusive downtown destination, the plan will also focus on supporting economic stimulus and cultural revitalization for the area.

While balancing the need to preserve the area’s unique heritage character, staff will explore new opportunities for entertainment, dining and tourism, hotel, retail and office space.