Controversial seawall expansion moves forward


Last week, blogged about the anonymous donor who has offered the city $10 million to fund expanding the Vancouver seawall from Kitsilano Beach to Jericho Beach. The announcement caused an immediate commotion both in favour and against the new seawall. Despite this, city seawall expansion plans continue to move ahead.

Yesterday, July 10, the Vancouver city council passed a motion to work with the park board to explore options for expanding the seawall, including potential extensions from Jericho beach to Kitsilano, and along the Fraser River.

According to The Georgia Straight, the motion (made by NPA councillor George Affleck and amended by Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal) calls on city staff to support the Vancouver park board in their efforts to assess options for the Jericho beach to Kitsilano link, and to look into potential environmental impacts, residential security and seawater levels in the area.

Sarah Blyth, chair of the city’s parks board, has formalized the seawall price tag. Completing Vancouver’s famed seawall with a 2.5-kilometre stretch linking Kitsilano and Jericho beaches would carry a “preliminary” cost of about $10 million.

Here’s an article from The Province that shares three sketches of the proposed seawall expansion in Kitsilano. Further details will be disclosed at a parks board meeting July 23.

Last modified: July 11, 2012

12 Responses to " Controversial seawall expansion moves forward "

  1. christina says:

    Our governments cannot manage the money effectively on projects this will be another tax payers nightmare…..

  2. GB says:

    $10 Million – hah!

    They’ll have to spend 10 times that amount expropriating the riparian rights of the waterfront property owners, without even breaking ground.

    Also, what’s with the mystery donor routine?

    Let the sun shine in onto this completely misguided boondoggle.

    Maybe an Access to Information request is in order?


  3. Kenneth CVappie says:

    Hopefully this will not destroy the Jericho Foreshore between Trafalgar and Alma, which is really once of the most beautiful, peaceful little beaches in the city. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I’d love to see the seawall expanded as long as it’s costs, both monetary and environmental, aren’t too high

  5. Robin MacEwan says:

    I am a resident of the Jericho beach area and I’m 100% AGAINST the sea wall expansion. I think what makes our city great is that we have many different landscapes that are unique to area. This attempt to homogenize the landscape in order to connect Jericho to the rest of the sea wall will simply transform Jericho Beach Park into a ‘mini’ Stanley Park. It will take away from much of the unique features of the area such as the rocky shoreline where starfish wash up, the unobstructed view of the city without a big, busy ‘sea wall’ in the way, not to mention the natural tranquility of the beaches here; being able to walk in peace on the beach or in the parks without being bombarded by the traffic of a sea wall. Paved sea walls are extremely busy places; they attract cyclists, roller bladders, long boarders, increase tourist flow, traffic flow in general and loitering. There are few places in the city where one can find tranquility and the area between kits beach and Jericho beach happens to be one of them!

    I am all for getting outside, biking and exercising, but we can still do these things without building a sea wall in this area that will have unknown environmental effects and social effects. Increasing accessibility to areas is not a bad idea; but I caution that increasing traffic flow with a project like this will change the culture of the community that resides here.

    Furthermore, this project will be far more costly than ten million dollars for tax payers in an already ridiculously expensive city to live in. Vancouver has the highest rent, fuel and overall cost of living in Canada right now. If anything, this project will likely be another reason to INCREASE the cost of living in this area, and in the city as a whole; I can just see the cragislist ad now “$1475 -Studio suite, great deal! steps from the kits sea wall…” Honestly, I am not just a rich resident of this area saying “not in my back yard;” I am a renter, I have four roommates in the upstairs suite of a house that costs about $5000 per month to rent.
    I see no long term or short term benefits to this project from a resident’s perspective.

    I am interested to hear the counter points and am willing to stand against this project all the way.

  6. S. Morris Rose says:

    What’s been quoted in press reports- including the referenced post in this very blog- is that the donor has offered “tens of millions” which is quite a bit different from “ten million.” Might want to edit that first sentence.

    This sounds like a promising development to me. The Point Grey Road corridor is a problem for all but the most gutsy bicyclists, and access to the coast along that stretch is sharply limited. What’s not to love?

  7. Miss Jones says:

    What’s not to love S. Morris Rose? Erm EVERYTHING! This is such a bad idea. Robin & Kenneth – I’m right with you! It absolutely will destroy the foreshore between trafalgar & Alma. Can we please just have some natural coastline in the city?! Next they will build a Cactus club in one of the green spaces on that strip – or better yet – another Donnelly group pup…cause we don’t have enough of those! Seriosuly – if you find cycling difficult on that bit of road – go 2 blocks back – 1 even – it’s lovely and quite and no traffic – adds no more time to your journey. Please leave the coastline alone. I am a renter in this neighbourhood and it will change so much of what is wonderful about living here – it will feel like the middle of the city – so samey. I live in Kits for a reason – please think about this – do we really NEED this? No, we actually don’t.

  8. sully says:

    Bad idea in my opinion. Bummer for cyclists who have to use cornwall and yes it would be nice to share the west side with the rest of Vancouver but in my opinion the environmental price that would be paid for the birds and wildlife that depend on that ecosystem as a source of food is too much. A floating walkway would cover and kill off ocean plant and small animal life plus it would trap petrol and binge water from powered vessels and commercial ships (ie. Granville Island, Burrard Civic Marina, Coal Harbour and RVYC all have these problems in their waters). People should enjoy what natural habitat we have in our beautiful city without disturbing it. The development of this city has grown so much, do we have to build everywhere? Aren’t there some places in this city we can just leave alone?

  9. Elvira says:

    KEEP KITS BEACH WILD – say NO to the Point Grey Foreshore Seawall extension. Join my Facebook Group –
    Worst local idea in years – since the last time this came up in the 90s. And remember it was abandoned at the time. Not feasible.
    The wild and natural Point Grey Foreshore stretches from Kitsilano to Jericho. The last of the quiet beaches in Vancouver. Most of the time this makes for an easy and wonderful walk – a walk that I’ve been doing for 40 years! (FYI – I’m a local renter.) Especially wonderful at low tide. At high tide the beach becomes impassable at certain points. This would mean a very high 10 ft min seawall that could still be prone to flooding. There is also a major erosion problem on the cliffs. Do we really want this quiet beach to go the way of every other seawalled beach full of joggers, skateboarders and cyclists? Better to promote it and encourage people to take a quiet walk.
    I challenge the Parks Board, the City Council and any one who supports their idiotic plan to first take a walk on this beach before they go any further.
    This is NOT a preserve of the rich mansioners who live on the cliffs – it’s a quiet natural beach for EVERYONE to use and enjoy. I highly doubt that the rich homeowners on the cliff ever use the beach — they jet off to some private island. In fact Mr Lululemon, who is currently building a mega structure on this stretch of Point Grey Rd supports the seawall — because it will relief congestion on Point Grey Rd – less traffic outside his south windows – supposedly! Can’t see how building the seawall will fix the traffic congestion? Brilliant idea though Mr Lululemon — fix YOUR traffic problem by destroying OUR beach!! What drug is he on? The Pt Grey beach homeowners may also support the seawall because it will take care of their erosion problem. Less chance of their homes falling into the ocean.
    Who is the anonymous donor couple anyway? What vested interest do they have? Are they property owners on the beach or near by who stand to benefit? We need to know who’s buying influence and pulling the strings? The political process has to be transparent in a democracy.
    By the way the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans, manages the foreshore along that stretch of beach, it has nothing to do with the homeowners and the City.

  10. Gilby says:

    Why can’t Vancouver City Coucil just give us a break from development for a while?
    They seem to want to turn every square inch of this place into a lame resort.

    Give it a rest. Any place in this city that has any kind of history or character is being replaced by ugly condo towers. Vancouver (Condocouver) needs a bit of character-rape-relief.

  11. Carla says:

    I agree with Gilby. Give us a break on the development. In any case, this is one of the most beautiful and natural places in Vancouver so can we just leave it that way. If you don’t want to get your feet wet or dirty your hands by having to touch the rock as you meander along the rocks at low tide, ……then GO TO STANLEY PARK, thank you very much.

  12. Adam says:

    Glad to see Alan Garr write a sensible editorial (in today’s Courier) and come out against this ridiculous idea. I’m guessing anyone in favour of this hasn’t ever walked that beach and seen what would be lost if the paving crew is allowed to wreck this corner of the city. And the pols are scrambling to take credit for this?!