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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

1-10/55
  • 1005 1450 PENNYFARTHING Drive in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Harbour Cove Phase One" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2197215

    $1,198,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2197215
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,126 sq. ft.
    WATER VIEWS for this Completely Reconfigured and RENOVATED unit at Harbour Cove Phase One! FEATURES Island Kitchen, Marble Counters, Porcelain tiles, Engineered Hardwood Floors, Customized lighting & switches, Built-Ins and Organizers throughout PLUS Murphy Bed wall unit in guest bedroom, Heated floors in bathrooms, the WORKS! Yes, the unit is all done up and ready to move in. Great outlook towards False Creek Harbour, the Mountains, the City & Granville Island. OUTDOOR space for entertaining with VIEWS as well. Preview available 18 Aug from 4-6pm. Open Sunday 20 Aug 2:15-4:00pm. More details
    RE/MAX Real Estate Services
  • 311 429 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Maynards Block" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2197160

    Main Photo: 311 429 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Maynards Block" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2197160
    $898,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2197160
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    846 sq. ft.
    Gorgeous one of a kind 2 level 846 sq. ft. LOFT with 1 bedroom and flex room in the iconic Maynards Block Heritage building. 17.7ft vaulted ceilings with floor to ceiling windows, custom drapery, 2 bathrooms and a spectacular 538 sq. ft. private deck off the main living area with built in stone outdoor fireplace. A perfect outdoor oasis for entertaining! The front entry opens to an outdoor communal garden on the second floor only accessible by your neighbouring residents. Amenities include state of the art fitness centre, yoga studio and 24 hour concierge. TWO side by side parking stalls next to the elevator and 2 storage lockers! Steps from Canada line, seawall, shopping and exceptional restaurants! First showings at Agents Sneak Peak August 15 5-6pm. More details
    Engel & Volkers Vancouver
  • 507 445 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "MAYNARD BLOCK" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2197077

    Open House on Saturday, August 19, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 507 445 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "MAYNARD BLOCK" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2197077
    $598,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2197077
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    620 sq. ft.
    This bright and spacious east facing, 1 bedroom and den is located in the heart of Olympic Village. The functional layout features an open concept kitchen with S/S appliances, engineered hardwood flooring, tile flooring, granite countertops, in-suite laundry, sizeable in-suite storage, large exterior balcony and much more. Comes with 1 parking. Amenities include a gym, yoga room, multi-purpose room, and concierge. Walking distance to transit (2 min walk to Canada Line, Millennium Line, major bus lines to UBC), shops, restaurants, groceries, seawall, VGH and Olympic Village. In excellent condition as it is original owner occupied and never tenanted. Great for living in or investors. Open house Aug. 19 and 20th 2-4pm. More details
    RE/MAX City Realty
  • 906 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE RESIDENCES AT WEST" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2196738

    Open House on Saturday, August 19, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 906 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE RESIDENCES AT WEST" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2196738
    $699,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2196738
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    597 sq. ft.
    RESIDENCES AT WEST - the best 1 bedroom and flex floorplan in the building! Appreciate the spacious living and dining areas - the perfect spot to enjoy the views of the city lights. The gourmet kitchen offers sleek stainless steel appliances, quartz counters, and plenty of storage and countertop space. The bathroom fit for a hotel offers an oversized vanity with double sinks. Located in the coveted Olympic Village, live with the city's best restaurants and bars and the Seawall and your doorstep. 1 parking and storage included. ***OPEN HOUSE: SATURDAY & SUNDAY 2-4PM*** More details
    Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 205 1365 W 4TH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Granville Island Village" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2196028

    Open House on Saturday, August 19, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 205 1365 W 4TH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Granville Island Village" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2196028
    $638,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2196028
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    740 sq. ft.
    Granville Island Village, 740 sf / 1 bedroom + den (large enough to be a guest bed room). Facing the quiet north side with beautiful water, mountain, and city views. Updates include kitchen, S/S appliances, bathroom & laminate flooring. Large bedroom with walk-in closet & views. Building upgrades include newer windows, rain screening, re-piping & resurfaced balconies. 1 parking & 1 storage included. Pets & rentals allowed. Steps from Granville Island with markets, marinas, seawall & restaurants. Don't miss this one. Public Open Aug 19 & 20, 2-4pm. More details
    Luxmore Realty
  • 803 1887 CROWE Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "PINNACLE LIVING FALSE CREEK" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2196136

    Open House on Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:30PM - 7:00PM
    Open House on Saturday, August 19, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 803 1887 CROWE Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "PINNACLE LIVING FALSE CREEK" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2196136
    $1,199,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2196136
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,095 sq. ft.
    Pinnacle at False Creek - modern, elegant and tastefully appointed - bring your most selective buyers. This sleek two bedroom, two bathroom, corner unit boasts a functional layout with tons of natural light flooding in from floor to ceiling windows. Features include solarium, custom wine room/flex space, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, large master bedroom with huge spa-like in suite, generous walk-in closet, and balcony with views of False Creek, the City and mountains. Building amenities include gym, sauna, parking and storage. Fabulous location, steps to Canada Line, the Seawall, shopping, restaurants and coffee houses and parks. Sneak Peak Thursday, August 17th, 5:30 - 7:00 PM, Public Open Houses Saturday, August 19th and Sunday, August 20th, 2:00 - 4:00 PM. More details
    Dexter Associates Realty
  • 713 1887 CROWE Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2196156

    Open House on Saturday, August 19, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE
    Main Photo: 713 1887 CROWE Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2196156
    $1,050,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2196156
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,161 sq. ft.
    PINNACLE LIVING FALSE CREEK! Live in Olympic Village where you are surrounded by trendy shops, craft breweries, coffee corners, and restaurants. Ride your bike or take a stroll onto the seawall and enjoy the view of False Creek. Transportation friendly with the Canada Line nearby. Spectacular unobstructed city views of beautiful Vancouver. 2 level Penthouse Suite comes with plenty of outdoor space including 2 private patios and a huge rooftop garden you can access directly from your suite. 2 Bed 2 Bath and spacious Den, large and perfectly laid out floor plan for comfortable living. Unit has been well-kept. Ample storage in suite plus a large storage locker. Concierge. Parking stall included. And AC! A Must See! Open House Saturday August 19th 2-4pm. Or call for a private viewing. More details
    RE/MAX Select Realty
  • 708 522 MOBERLY Road in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "DISCOVERY QUAY" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2196007

    Open House on Saturday, August 19, 2017 1:00PM - 3:00PM
    Main Photo: 708 522 MOBERLY Road in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "DISCOVERY QUAY" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2196007
    $1,188,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2196007
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,312 sq. ft.
    One of the most desirable areas to live in, beautiful False Creek. Much sought after Discovery Quays! Offering 1312 sq ft beautifully renovated 2 bed, 2 bath upper unit, offering open floor plan, gorgeous kitchen with oversized island featuring granite counters, spacious dining area which opens up into bright living area. Master bedroom with its own ensuite, ample sized 2nd bed, powder bath all renovated. Large deck overlooking park w/city views. Awesome spot to enjoy your morning coffee, or later day wine! Great floorplan, gym, rentals & bbqs allowed. Steps to seawall, transit, parks, shops & restaurants. You are buying into an amazing lifestyle! Open House Sat. Aug 19th 1-3pm More details
    Sutton Group-West Coast Realty (Surrey/24)
  • 509 1490 PENNYFARTHING Drive in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Harbour Cove" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2195620

    Open House on Saturday, August 19, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 509 1490 PENNYFARTHING Drive in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Harbour Cove" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2195620
    $1,298,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2195620
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,112 sq. ft.
    Gorgeous 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath suite beautifully renovated featuring the very finest of finishes. Situated in highly desirable "Harbour Cove" just steps to the False Creek seawall leading to the exciting Granville Island shops and restaurants and to the famous Kitsilano Beach. South facing balcony overlooking lovely gardens and cityscape views. Wonderful amenities abound at Harbour Cove including indoor pool, racket courts, exercise room, library and gorgeous garden walkways. Just minutes to downtown Vancouver, this suite has everything you are looking for! OPEN HOUSE Aug 18, 4-6pm & Saturday Aug 19, 2-4pm. More details
    Angell Hasman & Assoc.Rlty.Ltd
  • 709 88 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2195413

    Open House on Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:00PM - 5:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 709 88 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2195413
    $598,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2195413
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    517 sq. ft.
    Rare in market. For someone who wants to get a good-sized unit the great Olympic Village. Steps to the seawall, Craft Brewery, Tap & Barrel, Community Centre. Air conditioned, inside quiet unit of 517 s.f. One bedroom with den and one parking. 19 months new building with a stunning sunny infinity pool, gym, amenity room and playground. High-end finishes inside include Miele SS gas cooktop, Fisher & Paykel double-door fridge, engineered hardwood floors, quartz counters and huge closet with organizers. All measurements are approx. to be vertified by the Buyer if deemed important. OPEN HOUSE on Aug 19 (Sat) 3-5pm & Aug 20 (Sun) 2-4pm More details
    Selmak Realty Limited
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Listing information last updated on August 17, 2017

False Creek, Vancouver ‪バンクーバー‬ CANADA