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False Creek, Vancouver

False Creek is a short inlet in the heart of Vancouver. It separates downtown from the rest of the city. It was named by George Henry Richards during his Hydrographic survey of 1856-63. Science World is located at its eastern end, with the Granville, Cambie, and the Burrard (which is furthest west) Street bridges crossing False Creek. The Canada Line tunnel crosses underneath False Creek just west of the Cambie Bridge. It is one of the four major bodies of water bordering Vancouver along with English Bay, Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River. In 1986 it was the location of the Expo 86 World's Fair.

History

Human settlement in the Lower Fraser region (including present-day Vancouver; see Lower Mainland) began between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago, following the retreat of the Sumas Glacier at the end of the last ice age. The settlement by peoples now known as the Coast Salish predates the arrival of salmon in the river between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago, an occurrence that took place symbiotically with the emergence of Douglas fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar ecosystems between 4,000 and 5,000 years before present-day. According to Squamish-Sto:lo author and historian Lee Maracle, Vancouver was inhabited by “Downriver Halkomelem” speaking peoples, the Tsleil-Waututh.

Contact between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of present-day Vancouver occurred in June 1792. By 1812, Halkomelem peoples had survived three large epidemics from foreign illnesses such as smallpox, introduced through trading routes, including a 1782 outbreak that killed two-thirds of the population. It has been estimated that shortly before the time of first contact and these epidemics, the indigenous population of the Lower Fraser was over 60,000.

An 1830 Hudson’s Bay Company census documented 8,954 indigenous inhabitants in the region, although the census was probably incomplete due to the omitting of an unknown number of settlements. As a result of epidemics, the population of the Tsleil-Waututh was reduced to 41 individuals by 1812, who invited the neighbouring Squamish to reside in Burrard Inlet.

Shortly thereafter, a group of Tsleil-Waututh led by Khatsalahnough, a leader from Lil’wat (near present-day Pemberton), occupied present-day False Creek. At this time, large sand bars existed at the entrance to False Creek, from which False Creek’s indigenous name, Snauq (meaning “sandbar”) is derived. False Creek, which lies in Musqueam territory, was a shared waterway; in addition to the Tsleil-Waututh, the Squamish inhabited False Creek as well, occupying it year-round.

Prior to European settlement, False Creek extended as far east as what is now Clark Drive, while Burrard Inlet was nearly a mile in width. With land reclamation extending into Burrard Inlet and False Creek for port and industrial uses, the landscape began to change dramatically. Once a vital source for Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, and Squamish food supplies such as sea asparagus, berries, camas, oysters, clams, wild cabbage, and mushrooms, False Creek became polluted with sewage and toxic effluent from sawmills and other industries. As a result, one nickname for False Creek was “Shit Creek”.

In 1913, the Squamish residents of the Kitsilano Reserve, on the False Creek sandbar, were forced to relocate. According to Maracle, the settlement was burned down following the forced evacuation. In 1916, the sandbar on which this settlement was located was built into Granville Island to create new industrial land. In 1917, the eastern basin of False Creek was infilled to create land for the Canadian Northern Railway's Pacific Central Station; transcontinental railway terminals such as this helped earn Vancouver the moniker of "Terminal City". Talk of draining and filling the inlet to Granville Street continued into the 1950s, but that never occurred.

The False Creek area was the industrial heartland of Vancouver through to the 1950s, and was home to many sawmills and small port operations. As industry shifted to other areas, the vicinity around False Creek started to deteriorate. In 1960, BC Forest Products plant and lumber storage facility on the south side of False Creek caught fire in Vancouver's first-ever five-alarm blaze. Every piece of firefighting equipment and all of Vancouver's firefighters fought the blaze for hours, but the facility was totally destroyed.

The future of False Creek south was subsequently shaped by debates on freeways, urban renewal, and the rise of citizen participation in urban planning. Through the 60s, the ruling NPA city government and senior city bureaucrats had hatched a plan - with little or no public consultation - to run freeways through the city. In the same period, the City razed large portions of Strathcona under the aegis of urban renewal. A group of influential citizens formed The Electors Action Movement (TEAM) to oppose the freeway and to radically change the way decisions were made on land use. A key figure amongst these people was Walter Hardwick, a Geography professor at UBC who envisioned the retrofit of this brownfield industrial site into a vibrant waterfront mixed-use community.

First elected to City Council in 1968, Dr. Hardwick led the City's redevelopment team and helped secure the participation of the Federal Government which owned Granville Island. A major public involvement and co-design process followed which established public priorities for an accessible waterfront seawall; mixed-tenure housing including market condominiums, co-op and low-income housing and live-aboard marinas; and a vibrant waterfront market. These plans were formalized in a 1972 Official Development Plan (http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/BYLAWS/odp/fccdd.pdf). The form and mix of development were revolutionary for Vancouver at the time. A third of the site was set aside for housing at 40 units/acre with the balance converted to park, waterfront and community uses.

The North Shore of False Creek (NFC) was further transformed in the 1980s, as it took centre stage during Expo 86. Following Expo, the Province sold the NFC site to Li Ka-shing who brought ideas of a higher density waterfront community to the downtown peninsula. Vancouver's experience with South False Creek and the public participation that shaped it was key to developing NFC as a livable high-density community. For example, Ka-shing's company wanted to develop "islands" of market condos on the waterfront but was soundly rebuffed by the public and by planners who favoured the extension of a 100% publicly accessible waterfront and seawall. The 1991 Official Development Plan enabled significant new density commensurate with the provision of significant public amenities including streetfront shops and services, parks, school sites, community centres, daycares, co-op and low-income housing. Since then, most of the north shore has become a new neighbourhood of dense housing (about 100 units/acre), adding some 50,000 new residents to Vancouver's downtown peninsula.

On December 1, 1998, Vancouver City Council adopted a set of Blueways policies and guidelines stating the vision of a waterfront city where land and water combine to meet the environmental, cultural and economic needs of the City and its people in a sustainable, equitable, high quality manner.

Southeast False Creek (SEFC) is the designation given to the neighbourhood bordered by Cambie, Main, West 2nd Avenue, and False Creek. The 2010 Olympic Village, for athlete housing and logistics of the Winter Olympics, is found in Southeast False Creek. The City of Vancouver has plans to see this neighbourhood developed into a residential area with housing and services for 11,000-13,000 people.

Sports and recreation

False Creek is a very popular boating area for many different activities including dragon boating, canoeing, kayaking, public ferries, charter ships, and visiting pleasure boats. It has 10 marinas with berths for 1500 watercraft and several paddling clubs or boat rental facilities. Since 1986, the creek has been the venue for the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival and other paddling events.

Transportation

Aquabus and False Creek Ferries are two ferry companies that operate daily scheduled service to and from points along False Creek. English Bay Launch provides daily scheduled service from Granville Island on False Creek to Bowen Island. False Creek can also be crossed via Canada Line at Olympic Village Station and Yaletown-Roundhouse Station.

Wildlife and the environment

Several decades following the suspension of industrial activity in the area, a number of shore and seabirds such as cormorants, ducks, herons, kingfishers, owls, geese, crows, and gulls have returned, as well as harbour seals. In an unusual sighting, in May 2010 a grey whale entered False Creek and traversed its length before returning to the open waters of the Strait of Georgia.

Factors working against the further return of wildlife include residual industrial contaminants, spillage from the sewer overflow system into the creek, and the seawall that constrains much of the shoreline with little habitat value. The city has attempted to recreate the natural shoreline in some areas and is working to phase out the antiquated sewer overflow system.

Architecture and urban planning

The False Creek area is an eclectic group of neighborhoods with very different urban planning and architectural techniques/styles. The discrepancies between the north and south shores of False Creek are apparent from the built landscape but, as David Ley from the Geography department at UBC argues, these discrepancies are representative of the social, economic, and cultural movements from which they sprang. The Modern and Post-modern aesthetics that helped to shape western culture during the course of the last century were not wasted on architecture and urban planning either. These movements in art and culture had significant effects on the way people thought about and interacted with their environment and False Creek offers a good example of the disparate design elements and goals that characterize these respective approaches, and of the how the sequence of development changed in response to social pressures.

South False Creek

The south shore of False Creek has had quite a diverse history of land uses since its founding. South False Creek went from being an industrial park, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, to being the populous residential area that it is today. The development of this area, beginning anew in the 1970s, occurred at a critical time in Vancouver’s history when citizens were organizing support for a new picture of the city, one that broke away from the standardized utilitarian cities that were so popular in North America and, instead, pushed for a more livable and diverse built environment. This neighborhood, located on municipally and federally owned land, offered an opportunity for project leaders, often led by TEAM members, to create a new kind of space, what Ley calls a post-modern space. Architecture and urban planning that embrace diversity of design, human-scale proportions, open public spaces, historical and vernacular allusions, diverse demography and the trade of local goods reflect the post-modern goals of inclusion and tradition that were important to the project leaders behind South False Creek. The result is a medium-density area with a variety of architectural designs, ownership opportunities, recreational activities, and modes of transportation, which allows for easier mobility within the community and a more picturesque landscape to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Bike paths, parks, unique three-story homes, a public market, and the intentional preservation of mountain-views, and other characteristics, distinguish the area of South False Creek as one of the earliest conscious attempts to create a more “livable” environment for Vancouverites rather than focusing on efficiency and profitability as modernists are often criticized for doing.

North False Creek

The north shore of False Creek, on the downtown peninsula, has undergone multiple stages of development since its purchase by the province from the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 1980s. Before the BC Cabinet bought the land of North False Creek to begin development for Expo ’86, the land was used for industrial purposes, however, provincial leaders developed a plan to build a sports stadium (BC Place), commercial outlets, and high-density residences on the newly cleared land. The circumstances surrounding the initial development phase of the northern shore of False Creek – strong provincial government involvement, incorporation of corporate partners, the appointment of Arthur Erickson as a project leader, etc. – worked to set the development of the area on a path to modernism with the primary goal being economic profit. BC Place and the accompanying high-density residences and commercial retailers set North False Creek in stark contrast to its southern neighbor, but the differences are more significant than design alone. Yes, the standardized condominiums and streets of the downtown peninsula may offer a more functional or efficient landscape for the modern worker, but even more, this kind of landscape, with its adherence to rational, large-scale, technological spaces, works to keep residents and visitors within the economic dynamo of the city. Although the early development decisions continue to play a role in the experience of the built environment in North False Creek, however, new strides have been taken by the land’s new owner Li Ka-shing, in response to public concerns, to create a more livable and accessible space, although the high-density and mixed use characteristics of the landscape were maintained in this case.

False Creek Listings

False Creek

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  • 606 2055 YUKON Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2341362

    Main Photo: 606 2055 YUKON Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2341362
    $688,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2341362
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    703 sq. ft.
    Well-designed and elegant urban gem in the very popular MONTREUX by Bastion. This open & spacious floor plan, with 9' ceilings, offers quality finishings and features including, hardwood flooring, granite counters, stainless appliances, a heated bathroom floor & electric fireplace. Large DEN/STUDIO space & additional storage/flex space offer many options layout options. Enjoy your private balcony and separate solarium. Located in the heart of two exciting neighbourhoods: South East False Creek with its legacy Olympic Village, parks, seawall, school and community centre; the Crossroads area near Broadway and Cambie. Walk to trendy shops, delicious eateries, cafes & transit. PARKING & storage locker. Visit Realtor's Website for Floor Plans & Video. More details
    Listed by Royal LePage Sussex
  • 1005 181 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE VILLAGE ON FALSE CREEK" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2341268

    Open House on Saturday, February 23, 2019 12:00PM - 2:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, February 24, 2019 12:00PM - 2:00PM
    $1,687,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2341268
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,097 sq. ft.
    A world-class luxury waterfront SW 2 bedroom + Den, 2 bathroom comer unit. Unobstructed Ocean, Park & Downtown view with huge balcony 393 Sq Ft. Features are 9' ceiling-mounted radiant capillary heal ing and cooling syste m, automated exterior blinds in balcony. Eggersmann Gennan eco-wood cabinetry, high-end applications, Miele & SUB-ZERO fridge. Brand NEW Engineer Hardwood floors, Paints, Stove, Kitchen counter top with Faucets and Sink. Gold Medal clubhouse provides an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, s team room and 6,000 SqFt fitness. LEED GOLD certified waterfront building close to community centre, London Drugs, Urban Fare, seawall and Skytrain. Open House: Feb. 23 & 24 (12-2pm). More details
    Listed by Royal Pacific Tri-Cities Realty
  • 402 181 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE BROOK" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2341148

    Main Photo: 402 181 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE BROOK" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2341148
    $769,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2341148
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    716 sq. ft.
    Brook - The Village on False Creek showcases contemporary architecture in a spectacular waterfront setting. This 1 Bedroom & Pantry/Den home is LEED certified with high end luxury finishes including Eggersman German cabinetry, solid hardwood flooring, Miele gas stove & dishwasher. Spa like bathroom with double sink & separate bathtub & glass shower. Expansive floor to ceiling windows & high ceilings allowing for plenty of natural light. East facing balcony enjoy the morning sun, entertain, or relax. Exclusive access to the Gold Medal club with pool, sauna, steam, expansive fitness facility & yoga studio. Steps to trendy dining and many other amenities. Waterfront lifestyle at its finest steps away from the seawall. Parking/1 Storage Locker included. More details
    Listed by Rennie & Associates Realty
  • 413 1425 W 6TH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Modena of Portico" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2341221

    Main Photo: 413 1425 W 6TH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Modena of Portico" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2341221
    $1,950,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2341221
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,460 sq. ft.
    A Perfect Urban Home. Whether you're downsizing or moving up market this luxury space will check all your boxes. A fabulous floor plan with generous sized rooms great for family and entertaining. Beautiful view over Granville Loop park, to English Bay and Vancouver skyline all framed by the North Shore Mountains. This special home includes a large private 2 car garage and on floor private storage room. Located in super civilized South Granville District, you will be steps to Granville Island and Sea Wall, and moments from many galleries, boutiques and restaurants. You must see this home to appreciate all it has to offer, you won't want to leave. This is Modena of Portico, designed by Perkins & Co. and built by Bosa. OPEN Feb 23rd SAT 2:00-4:pm Feb 24th SUN 2:00-4:pm More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Downtown Ltd.
  • 1409 1788 COLUMBIA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "EPIC AT WEST" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2340612

    Main Photo: 1409 1788 COLUMBIA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "EPIC AT WEST" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2340612
    $849,800
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2340612
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    700 sq. ft.
    Welcome to quiet and spacious 1 bedroom with solarium, balcony and flex room at EPIC AT WEST by Executive group. With plenty of windows offering stunning false creek and downtown views, spacious open living area, gourmet chefs kitchen with stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops and breakfast bar, this 2018 beautifully maintained owner occupied home comes with remainder of the new home warranty. Walking distance to Olympic village skytrain and false creek amenities offering over 43,000 sqft of upscale retail at your doorstep, 8,500 SF rooftop patio with clubhouse and kitchen, media with dining area, fully equipped fitness center, dog spa with washing area, lobby with concierge and visitor parking. Open house Saturday February 16th from 2pm to 4pm More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Little Oak Realty
  • 1101 1565 W 6TH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "6th & Fir" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2340495

    Main Photo: 1101 1565 W 6TH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "6th & Fir" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2340495
    $1,188,888
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2340495
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    936 sq. ft.
    Beautiful southwest facing 936 sq ft two bedrooms, two bathrooms, corner suite with wonderful mountain and city viewing. This suite boasts a spacious open floor plan, bamboo hardwood floors, marble bathrooms, gourmet kitchen, air conditioning, large balcony & curtain wall style. It also has exercise centre & yoga studio on the main level. Very convenient location, steps to all shops on South Granville, and close to the Granville Island. 5 minutes driving to downtown! Open House: Sunday, Feb. 17th from 1:00-3:00 PM. More details
    Listed by Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
  • 330 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2339912

    Main Photo: 330 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2339912
    $1,159,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2339912
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    994 sq. ft.
    Live in luxury in this wonderful Olympic Village home. Own this 2015 built large 2 bedroom with added bonus features like extended extra-large outdoor space, beautiful waterfall countertop, built in fridge, wonderful light fixtures throughout and completely upgraded bathroom. With Wild Tale & Flying Pig serving great food and drinks late into evening, live theatre a block away and the seawall 2 blocks, this is truly an amazing place to live. Open houses: Friday 10-12, Saturday + Sunday 2-4pm More details
    Listed by Sutton Group-West Coast Realty and Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 18 ATHLETES Way in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "KAYAK" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2340170

    Main Photo: 18 ATHLETES Way in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "KAYAK" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2340170
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Bedroom
    • Bathroom
    • Bathroom
    • Floor Plan
    • Fitness Facility
    • Indoor Pool
    • Neighbourhood
    • Neighbourhood
    • Neighbourhood
    • Exterior Front
    $749,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2340170
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    706 sq. ft.
    Welcome to KAYAK in the heart of OLYMPIC VILLAGE with the seawall, Canada Line, parks, shops, restaurants, cafes & entertainment just steps from your front door. With direct access from the sidewalk this well-maintained open concept 1 BDRM+FLEX City Home features over-height 11' ceilings, laminate flooring, composite stone counter-tops, a full S/S appliances package with gas range & insuite laundry. Relax and unwind in your spa-inspired bathroom with soaker tub and walk-in shower. The entrance patio faces onto a tree lined street and is a great place for your BBQ. Five star amenities include access to the Gold Medal Club (pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room), concierge, and a large fitness centre in the building. 1 parking stall included in this desirable RENTAL and PET FRIENDLY building. More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 4 1355 W 4TH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Townhouse for sale in "GRANVILLE ISLAND VILLAGE" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2338515

    Main Photo: 4 1355 W 4TH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Townhouse for sale in "GRANVILLE ISLAND VILLAGE" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2338515
    $639,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2338515
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    879 sq. ft.
    Rarely available large 1 bedroom, 2 storey townhome in fantastic False Creek location. This unit has vaulted ceilings with skylights letting in lots of natural light. Cork floors on main with wood burning fireplace. Updated Kitchen with quartz countertops. Downstairs you will find a large master bedroom with patio and ensuite bath as well as a large laundry room. Short distance to Granville Island, Kits Beach, Granville shops, downtown and Seawall. This large complex has been substantially upgraded over the years. OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16TH FROM 12-2PM. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Sabre Realty Group
  • 1709 ONTARIO Street in Vancouver: False Creek Townhouse for sale in "The One" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2338532

    Open House on Saturday, February 23, 2019 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 1709 ONTARIO Street in Vancouver: False Creek Townhouse for sale in "The One" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2338532
    • Main Entry
    • Living Room
    • Living Room & Bedroom/Family Room
    • Bedroom/Family Room
    • Bedroom/Family Room
    • Bedroom/Family Room
    • Bedroom/Family Room
    • Dining Room
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen & Living Area
    • Bedroom
    • Bathroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bathrom
    • Master Bathroom
    • Infinity Pool
    • Upstairs Patio
    $1,288,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2338532
    Bedrooms:
    3
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    1,266 sq. ft.
    Spacious & bright 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom concrete townhouse in the heart of Olympic Village! Open concept kitchen & living space makes this the perfect home for family & entertaining. Enjoy over height ceilings, engineered hardwood flooring, spacious bedrooms, master bedroom w/ walk in closet & double sinks & the only TH in the complex with two patios! Cool off in the summer with AC (included in maintenance fees) or head upstairs to the rooftop infinity pool! The One offers everything you need in a home: fitness centre, hot tub/sauna, playground, garden spaces & just steps the False Creek seawall, Community Centre & all the shopping you need! You don't want to miss this gorgeous home. Pet & Rental friendly. 1 parking & 1 locker included. More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
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Listing information last updated on February 19, 2019 at 04:05 AM (UTC)

False Creek, Vancouver ‪バンクーバー‬ CANADA
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