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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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  • 47 1425 LAMEY'S MILL Road in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "HARBOUR TERRACE" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2281031

    Main Photo: 47 1425 LAMEY'S MILL Road in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "HARBOUR TERRACE" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2281031
    $599,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2281031
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,360 sq. ft.
    Beautifully renovated, spacious home in fabulous False Creek. Enjoy shopping, artisans, and the theatre district of gorgeous Granville Island -- a vibrant and pet-friendly community ideal for new families and empty-nesters alike. Quiet and private treed setting, just steps to the marina, tennis courts, community centre and water park, and only a few minutes to downtown. This home boasts recent renos including hardwood-look tile (super durable and indistinguishable from hardwood), stainless appliances, new full-size washer and dryer, and private covered balcony. Pets and rentals allowed with restrictions, one parking and locker included. No PTT! Not-prepaid land lease to 2040; strata is in talks with the City to extend to 2050+. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Select Realty
  • 305 1000 BEACH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "1000 BEACH OCEANFRONT" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2280877

    Open House on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 7:00PM - 8:00PM
    Main Photo: 305 1000 BEACH Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "1000 BEACH OCEANFRONT" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2280877
    $1,788,800
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2280877
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,376 sq. ft.
    Waterfront, sunny and quiet. Looking for a unique ocean front condo? This is it. All the windows in this south-facing corner unit are floor to ceiling enabling a sit down view of false creek , the marina & seawall traffic from Granville Isl to the Burrard bridge. Large living space that feels like a house. Two huge bedrooms, two renovated bathrooms, maple wood flooring, granite countertops and high end stainless steel appliances. Living room features new gas fireplace with leggestone floor-to-ceiling surround. Five minute walk to sunset beach, Aquatic centre, False Creek ferries and great restaurants. The famous glass bottom pool, hot tub, squash court, fully-equipped gym and concierge plus two parking stalls, a locker and bike racks. An oasis you’ll love to come home to and call your own. More details
    Listed by Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
  • 308 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Townhouse for sale in "FOUNDRY" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2280433

    Open House on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 10:00AM - 12:00PM AGENT OPEN
    Open House on Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:30PM - 6:30PM SNEAK PEEK
    Open House on Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM OPEN HOUSE
    Main Photo: 308 W 1ST Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Townhouse for sale in "FOUNDRY" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2280433
    • Front entrance
    • Front entrance
    • Living room
    • Living / Dining
    • Dining / Kitchen
    • Dining / Kitchen
    • Stairway
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Powder room
    • Large storage / Small office
    • Second bedroom
    • Master bedroom
    • Master bedroom terrace
    • Master bathroom
    • Views
    • Views
    • Views
    $1,189,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2280433
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    1,208 sq. ft.
    THE FOUNDRY BY POLYGON on West 1st Avenue in False Creek/Olympic Village. Stunning townhouse with gated patio facing Vancouver's skyline. There's plenty of room to entertain in your main floor open concept living/dining/kitchen. High end SS appliances, floor to ceiling windows, powder room and large storage area or small office. Upstairs you have the master bedroom, ensuite bathroom, private patio with city views, spacious second bedroom and an additional full bathroom. California closets throughout. Two parking spaces with bike rack and visitor parking. Quiet concrete construction, gym, playground, & garden. Skytrain, shopping, restaurants, seawall all within walking distance. AGENT OPEN / Tuesday, June 19 10:00 - 12:00 / SNEAK PEEK Thursday, June 21 5:30 - 6:30 OPENS Saturday, June 23 2:00 - 4:00 / Sunday, June 24 2:00 - 4:00 More details
    Listed by Dexter Associates Realty
  • 507 1788 COLUMBIA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2280108

    Main Photo: 507 1788 COLUMBIA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2280108
    $899,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2280108
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    715 sq. ft.
    Brand New, 2 Bdrm+Den, South facing corner unit at Epic at West! Situated at the gateway into the heart of the False Creek, a sought after waterfront community in the Olympic Village, with contemporary Lifestyle featuring high-end S/S appliances, Induction cooktop, Torlys German engineered laminate floor, UV roller window shades, and 5 piece bath with dual vanity. No GST, comes with 1 parking and 1 locker! Act fast! Open House June 23rd / 24th 2-4 pm. More details
    Listed by Homeland Realty
  • 118 1869 SPYGLASS Place in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE REGATTA" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2280027

    Main Photo: 118 1869 SPYGLASS Place in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "THE REGATTA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2280027
    $759,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2280027
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    771 sq. ft.
    Central city location with False Creek at your doorstep. South-facing ground floor home with a spacious layout that will easily accommodate larger furniture. Updated marble bathroom (2015) but room to still add value to your taste. 1 parking & storage locker are included. Reliable building & strata with low turnover. With a Walk Score of 92, you can live the False Creek lifestyle. The Sea Wall is just steps away with shopping, restaurants, Granville Island & more close by. Pets & rentals are welcome. Amenities include pool, sauna, hot tub, fitness room, & party room with live in caretaker. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Select Properties
  • 1102 89 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2279864

    Main Photo: 1102 89 W 2ND Avenue in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2279864
    $1,198,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2279864
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,017 sq. ft.
    Step into this spacious 1017 sqft bright 2 bedrooms + den corner condo built by Pinnacle International. 2 bathrooms, in-suite storage with air conditioning, a fantastic South West exposure & a wide open view of the city & City Hall and Broadway corridor. In addition to having a great lay-out and floor to ceiling windows, this bright condo offers a stylish kitchen w/ gas range, st/steel appl. & granite counter tops. This condo comes complete w/ a balcony, 1 parking, bike locker & great amenities (large gym, lounge room and playground). Located in the heart of trendy Southeast False Creek, steps away from great restaurants & the waterfront walkway, ideal for biking, jogging & kayaking. Easy access to Canada and Expo line skytrain. PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE JUNE 16 SAT 2-4 PM More details
    Listed by KellerWilliamsRealtyVanCentral
  • 606 1450 PENNYFARTHING Drive in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "HARBOUR COVE" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2279058

    Main Photo: 606 1450 PENNYFARTHING Drive in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "HARBOUR COVE" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2279058
    $999,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2279058
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,109 sq. ft.
    RENOVATOR ALERT. HANDS DOWN THE BEST "BONES" ON THE MARKET TODAY! THE SUITE - large windows, house size rooms and an awesome layout - a designer's dream! Huge kitchen which could easily be opened up further into the large living dining room. Wood burning fireplace. Massive king size master bedroom suite. 2nd bedroom and 2nd full bathroom. Large OPEN balcony/terrace. Beautiful setting facing south, overlooking the spectacular gardens. THE BUILDING - HARBOUR COVE - rare freehold Waterfront resort on the Seawall between Kits Beach and Granville Island. Parking and storage. Rentals allowed. Extensively updated and superbly managed with full amenities package including indoor pool. A wonderfully peaceful and healthy lifestyle.Don't pay a premium for someone else's renovations. Priced to sell. More details
    Listed by Royal LePage Westside
  • 308 1530 MARINER Walk in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Mariners Point" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2279096

    Open House on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 10:00AM - 12:00PM
    Main Photo: 308 1530 MARINER Walk in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "Mariners Point" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2279096
    $668,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2279096
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    982 sq. ft.
    Nicely renovated 2 bedroom and den with a townhouse like feel. Your own outside entrance will allow you to easily take your dog(s) out for a walk. This quiet unit features a renovated kitchen with new cupboards , counter tops, backsplash and appliances. Spacious bedrooms, 2 renovated bathrooms including heated floors, open layout with laminate flooring throughout, new washer/dryer, and electric fireplace. Private balcony off living room with beautiful views of the city, mountains, and marina. Top floor so no one above you and only one common wall. An abundance of light and great cross breeze in this corner/end unit with North, South, and West exposure. No restrictions here; pets and rentals allowed. 1 parking, garbage chute and a bike room. Convenient location right on the Seawall and only a short stroll to everything Granville Island has to offer. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Select Properties
  • 1505 1708 COLUMBIA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "WALL CENTRE FALSE CREEK WEST" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2279380

    Main Photo: 1505 1708 COLUMBIA Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "WALL CENTRE FALSE CREEK WEST" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2279380
    $749,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2279380
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    518 sq. ft.
    BEST VIEW ONE BDRM in FALSE CREEK! Don't miss this RARELY available, UNOBSTRUCTED West facing 1 BDRM + Den w/Balc in the highly coveted Wall Centre False Creek. HIGHEST AVAIL of this floorplan Love the professional grade chef's kitchen w/Viking/Blomberg S/S appl, beautiful stone counters & luxurious baths. Lots of natural light & perfectly situated to take in breathtaking sunsets overlooking the Downtown skyline & False Creek! Be the envy of all in this fabulous location - minutes from Downtown, steps to Olympic Village Village, walking distance to both the Canada & Expo Skytrain line & Seawall. Building amenities incl caretaker, gym, meeting room, lounge, gardens & plenty of visitor pkg. 1 Pkg/locker. Sneak Peek: Thurs, Jun 14 5:30-6:30pm. Open House: Sun, Jun 17, 2-4pm and by private app More details
    Listed by Rennie & Associates Realty
  • 506 1633 ONTARIO Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "KAYAK - VILLAGE ON FALSE GREEK" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2279876

    Main Photo: 506 1633 ONTARIO Street in Vancouver: False Creek Condo for sale in "KAYAK - VILLAGE ON FALSE GREEK" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2279876
    $788,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2279876
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    642 sq. ft.
    Beautiful, bright, spacious 1 bdrm & den (potential second bedroom) located in the heart of OLYMPIC VILLAGE! Featuring 10’ceilings, German-imported open kitchens with ample cabinetry, Miele gas cooktop, oven & D/W, Sub-zero fridge. Geothermal A/C & heating, 1 parking. World best class amenities include 6000 square foot GOLD MEDAL CLUB offers all residents an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room & change rooms. A separate fitness room & furnished lounge are located in lobby. The plaza is anchored by Urban Fare Grocery, London Drugs, Legacy Liquor store, restaurants & more. Steps from Canada Line & Expo Skytrain Stations, bus lines, Aquabus & seawall.First showing will be on Jun 20th Wednesday between 12:30-3pm. Limited showing availability please call first to confirm the appointment. More details
    Listed by New Coast Realty
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Listing information last updated on June 18, 2018 at 08:06 PM (UTC)

False Creek, Vancouver ‪バンクーバー‬ CANADA