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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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  • 315 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2290587

    Open House on Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, July 22, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 315 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2290587
    $1,050,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2290587
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,117 sq. ft.
    Real Estate is about location & size - this bright, contemporary, large corner 2-bed + large den + flex gives you 1105sf of space, steps from the seawall and the Olympic Village’s community and shops. Contemporary grey lower cabinets contrast with white quartz counters and lacquer uppers in a HUGE kitchen with counter for 4 and blomberg/fulgor SS appliances. Neutral grey wide-plank floors & floor-to-ceiling windows showcase a huge layout for house-sized furniture, between satellite bedrooms and 4-piece master ensuite with marble backsplash and dual sinks. SW-facing unit is bathed in light with views over Mount Pleasant, steps to 2 skytrain stations. 1 parking, 1 storage (plus TONS in-suite), gym, amenity room and Concierge, in a 3-year new building under 2/5/10 warranty. OPEN SUN 2-4 More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 620 38 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "The One" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2289685

    Open House on Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:00PM - 3:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:00PM - 3:00PM
    Main Photo: 620 38 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "The One" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2289685
    $723,800
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2289685
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    588 sq. ft.
    MOVE-IN ready unit in sought-after "Olympic Village" in great conditions. Enjoy the city lifestyle with close proximity to the seawall, Main Street and many local establishments and shops. This beautiful 1 bedroom unit offers a practical lay-out with 9' ceilings, clean interiors, in-suite storage/flex room, solarium as well as north facing balcony. The kitchen island is a great gathering place, where you will be making magic on your full-sized gas stove and oven, while allowing everyone to be jealous of your new HOME!! BONUS feature: extra large parking space, MODO car-share currently on-site & large roof-top pool offering a great oasis to enjoy! Also recreation space for rent and kids play-area on-site in garden setting. More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 280 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Townhouse for sale in "JAMES" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2289695

    Main Photo: 280 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Townhouse for sale in "JAMES" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2289695
    $699,999
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2289695
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    618 sq. ft.
    THIS IS THE ONE YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!! This UNIQUE one bedroom TOWNHOME built by Cressey is located at the James in Vancouver's vibrant False Creek Community. With a "Walk score" of 95 your location can't beat! You are a stone's throw away from The Seawall, shopping, downtown & transit! Modern contemporary kitchen with gas stove, full size fridge w/ice maker, quartz countertops, electronic blackout blinds, 11 ft ceilings, HEAT PUMP / AC, California closets in laundry room as well as Master Bedroom built in bed, desk and closet oasis. 5 star amenities concierge, bike room, gym, yoga room, steam room, amazing roof top, amenities room & garden! 1 parking, 1 storage, PETS & RENTALS ALLOWED!!! Easy to show! More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Sabre Realty Group
  • 310 1869 SPYGLASS Place in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Venice Court - The Regatta" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2289755

    Open House on Thursday, July 19, 2018 5:00PM - 7:00PM Buzz 024
    Open House on Sunday, July 22, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM Buzz 024
    Main Photo: 310 1869 SPYGLASS Place in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Venice Court - The Regatta" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2289755
    $715,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2289755
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    680 sq. ft.
    I spy with my little eye, a lovely home on Spyglass Place along Vancouver's False Creek Seawall. Welcome to this warm & inviting 680 square foot, 1 bedroom condo in Venice Court. You'll appreciate the spacious floorplan from kitchen through to living room & out to your private, south-facing balcony. The suite also features a beautifully renovated bathroom and large bedroom with two full closets. You'll find it a walk/bike paradise (WalkScore 92, BikeScore 100) with everything out your front door. Hop on AquaBus to Yaletown, BC Place, Granville Island, English Bay & more. Canada Line to YVR too. The unit comes with 1 parking & locker. The perfect spot for living with pets as the complex is pet friendly and there's an off-leash park nearby. Looking to rent it out before you move in? Perfect. The complex also allows rentals. The building's amenities are numerous as well: indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, gym, party room & a live-in manager. With this home in The Regatta at False Creek, all your needs are covered. More details
    Listed by Royal LePage Sussex
  • 1103 181 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2290190

    Open House on Sunday, July 22, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 1103 181 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2290190
    $828,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2290190
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    688 sq. ft.
    Olympic Village (BROOKE) at False Creek. This spacious 1 bedroom unit features 9' high ceilings, Miele kitchen appliances with island, radiant heating/cooling & view of city & mountains. Conveniently located at Vancouver's waterfront community, just steps to seawall, Waterfront Community Centre, Science World, Urban Fare, London Drugs, Craft & many other shops/restaurants. The building comes with a gym & furnished lounge in building, but can also enjoy the amenities at Gold Medal Club which offers indoor swimming pool, exercise room, hot tub & sauna. More details
    Listed by Richland Realty
  • 603 1661 ONTARIO Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "SAILS" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2290528

    Open House on Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, July 22, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 603 1661 ONTARIO Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "SAILS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2290528
    $1,398,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2290528
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,100 sq. ft.
    Welcome to SAILS - One of the Olympic Village's most sophisticated & high end developments! Inside this luxury LEED certified home you'll find one of the most desirable 2 bed + 2 bath + flex corner layouts, spanning over a bright, open & efficient 1100 sqft! Appointed w/ Sub-Zero & Miele appliances, Eggersmann cabinets, gorgeous 5-pc master ensuite, overheight ceilings, geothermal heating/cooling & a large entertaining sized balcony! The location is as good as it gets, just steps to The Seawall, Urban Fare, London Drugs, Craft, Tap&Barrel, Creekside Rec Centre and ALL that Olympic Village has to offer! Owners have full access to the exclusive Gold Medal Club that offers an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room & gym. RARE 2 parking + 1 storage incl! OPEN HOUSE: Sat/Sun July 21/22, 2-4pm. More details
    Listed by Rennie & Associates Realty
  • 211 456 MOBERLY Road in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2289515

    Open House on Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, July 22, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 211 456 MOBERLY Road in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2289515
    • Sea wall
    • Waterview
    • back of building
    • Back of building with water
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Living Room
    • Dining Room
    • Washroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bedroom
    • 2nd bedroom
    • Balcony
    • W/D
    • View
    • Gym
    • Sauna
    • Amenties Room
    $918,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2289515
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    803 sq. ft.
    Welcome to Pacific Cove! This quiet 2 bedroom, 1 bath 803 sq ft condo was tastefully renovated in late spring 2018 with both balconies overlooking a beautiful tree lined street. Features include Kitchen Aid appliances - stove, fridge, microwave/convection oven and dishwasher. A stainless steel double sink with garburator and water filter system in the kitchen and stacking Bosch washer and dryer in the bathroom. Luxury ??vinyl flooring, custom blinds, new light features, new kitchen and bathroom cabinets, stone countertops and new tile flooring in foyer, kitchen and bathroom. Master suite has sliding doors that open onto a balcony and the second bedroom has a built in Murphy bed and desk. Building has a social room and a full gym. Centrally located on the seawall and walking distance to the Olympic Skytrain station, bus stops, water taxis, False Creek Elementary, restaurants and Granville Island. Open House July 21 and 22, 2 – 4 pm More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Downtown Ltd.
  • 203 1550 MARINER Walk in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Mariners Point" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2288697

    Main Photo: 203 1550 MARINER Walk in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Mariners Point" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2288697
    $529,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2288697
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    830 sq. ft.
    Welcome to Mariners Point, the best location in False Creek. Views of the Marina and the Sea Wall and water are literally foot steps away. An Amazing quality of life awaits and meets superior location with this rare opportunity to own in a fantastic community. Recent renovations and warm paint welcome you and make you feel like you want to stay. Large kitchen features lots of cupboard space. Open layout with breakfast bar is great for entertaining. Generous size bedroom with a huge walk in closet. Office space could be closed as a den if wanted, open to the living space. 1 parking spot is included, as well as additional may be available for rent, storage locker included Open House Cancelled -- More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Little Oak Realty (Abbotsford)
  • 903 1661 ONTARIO Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "SAILS" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2288294

    Main Photo: 903 1661 ONTARIO Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "SAILS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2288294
    $1,398,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2288294
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,100 sq. ft.
    Immaculate 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom N/W corner unit for sale at SAILS in The Village on False Creek. This lightly used home has fantastic City and Mountain views with over an 200 square foot west facing patio to take in the afternoon sun. This luxury LEED Certified Building features state of the art heating/cooling system, Miele S/S appliances, European cabinetry and luxury faucets throughout. Amenities include access to the Gold Medal gym, indoor pool, infrared sauna and steam room. Steps to Urban Fare, the Seawall and restaurants. One parking and one storage locker included. More details
    Listed by Engel & Volkers Vancouver
  • 504 1510 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2288027

    Main Photo: 504 1510 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2288027
    $538,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2288027
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    836 sq. ft.
    Big views of False Creek and the Downtown Skyline. 836 square foot 1 bedroom + den. Steps from the Marina & Granville Island. Call for your appointment to view. More details
    Listed by Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
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Listing information last updated on July 19, 2018 at 11:09 AM (UTC)

False Creek, Vancouver ‪バンクーバー‬ CANADA