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RELEASE: OneCity Vancouver will pedestrianize Gastown and Robson Street

Car-free and car-lite street network to begin with pilots in celebrated historic and entertainment districts

VANCOUVER (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territories) - OneCity Vancouver today announced that its network of car-free and car-lite streets, announced in its platform in September, will begin with pilots in Gastown and Robson Street.

“Addressing the climate crisis means getting people out of their cars,” says Christine Boyle, City Councillor, OneCity Vancouver. “We want to start this process with a pilot project on some of our city’s most popular streets and destinations, while being mindful of the need to move goods around by truck, as well as the needs of people with mobility challenges.”

The pilot would involve a once-monthly closure of Robson between Stanley Park and Hornby, and of all streets in the Gastown area. 

OneCity councillors will also work with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to add Granville Island to the pilot. As it is on federal land, Granville Island is outside of the City of Vancouver’s jurisdiction.

“Granville Island is one of our city’s most beloved destinations, with Vancouverites and tourists flocking to the outdoor musical performances, theatre productions and the Public Market,” says Iona Bonamis 陶思穎, OneCity City Council candidate and senior transportation planner. “A car-free Granville Island would better integrate the Island into the fabric of the city, in accordance with its long-term plan. We will work with the CMHC to identify barriers to pedestrianization and look to remove them, so that people can enjoy Granville Island on foot - as they were meant to.”

This proposal follows successful closures of streets for people during COVID-19, including the beloved ActiveTO program in Toronto, which saw the transformation of major routes like Lakeshore Boulevard into pedestrian- and cycling-only zones.

It is also a natural extension of Vancouver’s own plans, which envision Ontario street transformed into a car-lite to car-free street for pedestrians, cyclists and other users of active transportation, as well as for public gathering and green spaces.

The pilot would only be made permanent after extensive consultation with the industries involved in the city’s supply chain, to ensure that the shipment of goods and services to and from businesses would be able to continue unimpeded.

Election Day is October 15.


OneCity Vancouver communications committee

[email protected]

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