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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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  • 220 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "The Residence at West" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2327998

    Main Photo: 220 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "The Residence at West" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2327998
    $825,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2327998
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    685 sq. ft.
    Welcome to The Residence at the West! Located in one of the most desirable neighbourhoods, Olympic Village, False Creek waterfront community. Just steps to the seawall, restaurants, shopping & more.. Functional open concept floor plan, European kitchen with premium appliance package and granite countertops. Floor to ceiling windows which allows plenty of natural light. Good size bedroom with Retractable glass sliding walls. Spa-style bathroom with rainfall shower. The flex space is large enough to accommodate den/office and extra storage for clothing & linens. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Masters Realty
  • 901 1616 COLUMBIA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "BRIDGE" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2327939

    Open House on Saturday, December 15, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, December 16, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 901 1616 COLUMBIA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "BRIDGE" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2327939
    $898,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2327939
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    732 sq. ft.
    Olympic Village at its best! Extra large one bedroom & Den with a large (300 SqFt) patio/sundeck with unobstructed views of water, mountains, and city skyline. Situated on the 9th floor with floor-to-ceiling windows, a lot of natural light, and a functional floor plan, this unit has it all. Open Chef ’s kitchen with high-end Miele/Sub Zero appliances, composite stone countertop and a spacious breakfast bar. Large bedroom with dedicated access to the sundeck, and a den with natural light for your office or nursery use. The BRIDGE: A LEED Gold-Certified, with a concierge, A/C system, and access to the GOLD MEDAL Club:Private clubhouse, fitness studio, Sauna, Steam room, indoor pool and hot tub. Cafes, restaurants, shopping, seawall, Science World, and a Skytrain station just steps away.. More details
    Listed by Sotheby's Int'l Realty Canada
  • 806 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "West" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2328059

    Open House on Sunday, December 16, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 806 1783 MANITOBA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "West" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2328059
    $659,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2328059
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    597 sq. ft.
    Welcome to Residences at West! Bright, open 1 bed and den home located in the heart of Olympic Village. Shops, restaurants, and the seawall steps outside your door. Enjoy your chefs kitchen, complete with stainless steel Blomberg and Fulgor Milano appliances along with gourmet quartz countertops. Hotel inspired bathroom with double vanity sinks. Building features a gym, wifi/party lounge, rooftop courtyard and daycare facility. Walk score of 97, transit and skytrain station minutes away. Parking and storage included. Balance of 2-5-10 Warranty. Open this Sunday Dec 16 2-4pm. More details
    Listed by Engel & Volkers Vancouver
  • 704 77 WALTER HARDWICK Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "KAYAK-VILLAGE ON FALSE CREEK" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2327765

    Main Photo: 704 77 WALTER HARDWICK Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "KAYAK-VILLAGE ON FALSE CREEK" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2327765
    $1,699,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2327765
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,292 sq. ft.
    Luxury Living at KAYAK in the Olympic Village in this amazing WATERFRONT Community on False Creek, LEED Platinum certified building and neighbourhood, the most sustainable in the city. This two bedroom + den+ Solarium has it all! Northwest facing. You have got views of the water, mountain and downtown lights from all rooms. Wide open living plan with hardwood floors and gourmet kitchen, perfect for entertaining. German kitchen cabinetry, Miele appliances and gas cooktop; wall oven, Sub-zero fridge/freezer; 10 ft + high ceiling; Fabulous amenities-concierge, 24 hr security, lounge areas, garden & exclusive access to Gold Medal Club featuring a gym, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna/steam room, & Yoga room. Steps to Seawall. Must see! More details
    Listed by Royal Pacific Realty Corp.
  • 219 1869 SPYGLASS Place in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE REGATTA" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2327588

    Open House on Sunday, December 16, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 219 1869 SPYGLASS Place in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE REGATTA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2327588
    $1,448,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2327588
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,399 sq. ft.
    Spectacular, rarely available, 2 BR/2 Bath 1399 sq. ft. NW end unit in paradise. Gorgeous False Creek and City views. Enjoy the close up boats passing by and gorgeous sunsets while barbequing on a generous 14 x 10 balcony. Spacious floor plan accommodates house-sized furniture. Resort style living steps away from water taxi, a short stroll to restaurants, shops, Canada Line and an easy walk to Olympic Village and Granville Island. 2 parking, pets and rentals OK. Building features indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise facility and party room. Open Sunday Dec 16th 2-4. More details
    Listed by Maude, Mackay & Co. Ltd.
  • 305 1678 PULLMAN PORTER Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "NAVIO NORTH" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2327377

    Main Photo: 305 1678 PULLMAN PORTER Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "NAVIO NORTH" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2327377
    • Front Exterior
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Dining Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Den/Flex Room
    • Den/Flex Room
    • Balcony
    • Balcony
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bathroom
    • Master Bathroom
    • Bedroom
    • Bathroom
    • Views
    • Exercise Room
    • Rooftop Lounge
    • Exterior
    $2,599,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2327377
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,616 sq. ft.
    Welcome to Navio North by Concert, a LEED GOLD Certified Building! Brand NEW, Spacious 2 bdrm, 2 bath + den in heart of S.E. False Creek. Sprawling 1616 sq.ft. of LUXURY living featuring high ceiling open concept kitchen, living & dining areas. BREATHTAKING VIEWS of False Creek, Seawall, Science World & Mtns can be seen from floor to ceiling windows. ONLY unit in building boasting a 535 sq.ft. WRAP AROUND, covered BALCONY! Entertainer's gourmet kitchen has top of the line appls by Bosch & granite & Quartz waterfall counters. Bonus! In-suite storage. Huge master has walk-in closet, dream ensuite bath w/heated floors & double sinks. False Creek Community Center & 2.7 acre park right at your doorstep. In house Concierge, Gym, & lounge. 2 parking & locker included. 2-6-10 warranty covers the unit for workmanship and materials! More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Sabre Realty Group
  • 201 138 ATHLETES Way in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE VILLAGE FALSE CREEK "SHORELI" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2327454

    Main Photo: 201 138 ATHLETES Way in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE VILLAGE FALSE CREEK "SHORELI" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2327454
    $2,198,800
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2327454
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,476 sq. ft.
    View, Seawall, Lifestyle! The Village in F-Creek is front row, huge & open 2 bedroom, flex room. Just Updated!! North facing water views & downtown skyline impress either at daytime or night. Open FP with 9.5+ ceilings, gourmet kitchen, Italian cabinets, Sub-Zero, Miele c-top & dishwasher are a chef's delight. A perfect estate unit for living, entertaining & just steps from the famed SEAWALL. Private with only 2 UNITS per floor. Walk, bike ride, shop, live, close to transit & the downtown. Aqua-bus to Granv-Island, walk to Urb-Fare, London Drugs, Craft Brewing, Tap & Barrel and Legacy Liquor Store & Terra Breads! Fitness, pool, sauna, yoga, green space & dog run, lush landscaping are all things "Village". Move IN TODAY! More details
    Listed by Rennie & Associates Realty
  • 521 159 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "TOWER GREEN AT WEST" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2327069

    Open House on Saturday, December 15, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM Refreshments will be served
    Main Photo: 521 159 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "TOWER GREEN AT WEST" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2327069
    $649,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2327069
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    519 sq. ft.
    Live near it all! Built in 2017, this North facing (quiet side of the building) 1 bdrm condo is steps away from; restaurants, shopping, banks, groceries, an easy access to both the Canada and Expo Line. Stroll through the neighbourhood with a coffee in hand to the hearby dog park, or the seawall taking in breathtaking city views. This lifestyle includes; a rooftop patio, fitness room, wifi room, daycare facility and on site care taker.. Take advantage of this 1 year old condo available in the heart of it all.... Easy to show. OPEN HOUSE, SATURDAY DEC. 15th (2:00-4:00) Refreshments will be served, come on by... More details
    Listed by Royal Pacific Realty Corp.
  • 225 2008 PINE Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "MANTRA" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2326646

    Open House on Sunday, December 16, 2018 12:00PM - 2:00PM
    Main Photo: 225 2008 PINE Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "MANTRA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2326646
    $649,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2326646
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    651 sq. ft.
    RARELY do you come across a PERFECTLY laid out floor plan with the BEST use of space you will ever see! More kitchen cupboard space than most 4,000 sq ft houses! Not only do you have a den, but also a second den so to speak that's listed as an office that has no closet but windows and would probably be considered a bedroom by Vancouver standards these days! This GORGEOUS unit is an AWESOME concrete, 5 star building with tons of windows for light is one you don't want to miss! Has a 51 sq ft deck and a storage locker size you just don't find in newer construction in the city! Two dogs or cats and rentals allowed. The Mantra by Cressey is a BOUTIQUE development in a GREAT location with BEAUTIFUL finishings that the pictures will tell! Open House on Sunday, Dec 16th from 12 to 2! More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Advantage Realty
  • 713 159 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "TOWER GREEN" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2326361

    Main Photo: 713 159 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "TOWER GREEN" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2326361
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Dining Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Bedroom
    • Bedroom
    • Enclosed Balcony
    • Bathroom
    • Flex Room
    • View
    • Floorplan
    • Rooftop Garden
    • Rooftop Garden
    • Party Room
    • Party Room
    • Gym
    • 2nd Floor Rooftop Garden
    $655,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2326361
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    576 sq. ft.
    TOP FLOOR, South facing, unobstructed City Hall views in an unbeatable false creek location. 8’4 ceilings and efficient 1 bed+ enclosed balcony + flex space layout make this unit feel open and spacious. Kitchen features functional U shape design and full size appliances. No wasted space allows for plenty of in suite storage. False creek lifestyle at its best with the seawall at your doorstep and only about a 500 metre walk to both the Canada and Expo Lines. 1 parking, 1 storage. More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Downtown Ltd.
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Listing information last updated on December 15, 2018 at 01:07 AM (UTC)

False Creek, Vancouver ‪バンクーバー‬ CANADA