Vancouver seeks input on revitalizing the Granville Street Entertainment District

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Vancouver seeks input on revitalizing Granville Entertainment District
Vancouver's Granville Street has been in a slow decline for years. But now council wants to make the entertainment district a must visit destination once again - and its seeking the public's input. Julie Nolin. – Jun 1, 2023

What was once known as the hub for all things Vancouver nightlife, the Granville Street area is in need of a makeover.

At least that is according to the City of Vancouver’s latest public engagement campaign, which is focused on “fully revitalizing” the Granville Entertainment District.

“The planning work that begins (Thursday) will set the stage for a safe, fun, and vibrant Granville Street for generations to come,” Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim said in a release.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver city council approves yet another Granville Street revitalization plan'
Vancouver city council approves yet another Granville Street revitalization plan

The city is asking community members to provide feedback on how Vancouver can balance the preservation of the area’s unique heritage while creating new opportunities for entertainment, dining, tourism, office space and retail.

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“The Granville Street Planning Program is a vital chance to revive and restore the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district,” said Jane Talbot, president and CEO of Downtown Van.

“Through collaboration with residents and stakeholders, we will create a fresh vision for Granville Street that tackles pressing challenges while preserving its distinctive character.

Those who wish to provide feedback can fill out an online survey, attend an in-person workshop, or talk to staff at a pop-up info booth which will be at the Granville Street Block Party on Aug. 26 and 27.

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“Returning Granville Street to centre stage as a dynamic cultural, entertainment and retail hub has endless potential to draw locals and visitors back to the area, and bring back the lustre that the heart of the city has lost,” said Royce Chwin, president and CEO, Destination Vancouver.

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“This was once a vibrant destination and it should be one again.”

The public engagement follows a January decision by Vancouver city council to ask city staff to engage and work with community members to develop a new vision for the area.

A staff report presented to council outlines challenges that have been long plaguing the area, including empty storefronts, crime and safety issues, reduced daytime visitors, and increased violence at night.

“What this plan does is really recognize that this is first and foremost and arts and culture destination, and that’s really what we want to see going forward, is a revitalized destination,” said Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung.

“It’s bigger, it’s bolder, I think council sent a very clear signal to staff that we are 100 per cent behind them in taking bolder action in moving forward.”

According to the report, the plan aims to increase office and business presence, boost opportunities for entertainment, increase dining and tourism, and improve transit.

The planning stage will take 18 months and will cost about $300,000, with the funds being set aside from this year’s operating budget.

A final report is expected next year.

— with files from Catherine Garrett and Grace Ke


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