May 2, 2023 Meeting : Strathcona 2033

Below is a summary of comments from the SRA meeting held via Zoom on May 2, 2023. The meeting was a chance for residents to give their answers to four questions concerning the Future of Strathcona.

Guests: City of Vancouver Director of Community Planning Neil Hrushowy and Senior Planner Tom Wanklin.

  1. What do you value about Strathcona?
  • Community. There are many who, when they see a need, step up and do something. People look out for each other. Neighbourliness. Life on the street. Dogs. Kids. Lots of places to interact.
  • Amenities. Corner stores (convenient, walkable, social hubs). Two community centres and two school embedded in the neighbourhood. Culture Crawl.
  • Diversity. Ethnic, economic, political, generational. Generally welcoming and tolerant. Many micro-groups (gardeners, artists, parents, dog owners) provide multiple opportunities to meet neighbours.
  • Layout and Location. MacLean Park serves as a town square. Architecture and lot size promotes closeness. Proximity to downtown.

2. What could be improved to make it better?

  • More affordable housing. Make it easier for artists to live and work.
  • Revisit RT-3 Heritage designation to be in step with current needs and trends. Make permitting easier and cheaper.
  • Calmer traffic. Especially on Glen and Campbell. Put a 4-way stop at Campbell and Union. More speed bumps. Slow bike traffic on Union.
  • Equitable maintenance of sidewalks, sewers, potholes. Bus stops are unsafe and unclean.
  • More amenities and programming for seniors.
  • More places to lock bikes.
  • More places to sit.
  • More involvement from younger and marginalized residents.

3.  What concerns you about the future of our community?

  • Population growth: How do we accommodate more people, when it feels like we’re already underserved by our greenspace, schools, community centres?
  • Surrounding densification: How will we be impacted by the new hospital, expanding port, and residential densification along Hastings and neat the hospital: traffic, housing prices, air quality?
  • Keeping an acceptable level of safety, cleanliness, and basic maintenance.
  • Too much concentration of social housing and services for vulnerable people creates a ghettoization that harms everyone.
  • Prior St. Though funding for the Prior St. underpass is still up in the air, there will be pressure from the expanding port (to move trains more efficiently) and the hospital (to maintain ambulance access).
  • Connectivity between both sides of Strathcona for bikes and pedestrians when the underpass is built and access via Union is cut.

4. What forces will impact Strathcona in the next decade?

  • New St. Paul’s

Pros: more jobs, more local serving businesses, closer hospital

Cons: traffic on Prior, noise, higher home prices (and property taxes)

  • Vancouver Plan

The draft plan classifies Strathcona as a “Municipal Town Centre” suitable to support “a dense mix of housing, jobs and amenities.” Here’s a link to the draft Vancouver Plan.

  • Port Expansion

The Centerm expansion will be completed this year, meaning more ships, more trucks and more trains. More traffic, more air pollution.

  • Chinatown & DTES

It is hard to predict the future of either. Change depends on significant investment from Feds and the province.

Next Steps:

If you would like to continue the conversation, we’ve posted these questions on the Strathcona Neighbourhood Facebook page. Please chime in.

Several follow-up conversations were suggested. Please use this online poll to indicate your interest in any or all of them. (At the moment, none are scheduled. All are interest-dependant.)