There are big changes on the way to North Vancouver’s waterfront.
The former Wallace Shipyards/ Burrard Drydock, once a thriving industrial worksite, is being transformed into a public square that North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto hopes will be the envy of the region.
Located just east of Lonsdale Quay, the “Lot 5″ property was handed to the city as a part of a deal with Pinnacle Development which is putting residential towers up in the area.
From 1906 it served as one of Western Canada’s most prominent shipbuilding facilities, until its decline and closure in 1992.
Now, Mussatto says there’s a chance to turn it into the beating heart of the city.
“We are going to have the gathering place in the Lower Mainland, and everyone’s excited.”
Year-round gathering place
The marquee feature of the development will be its free year-round facilities.
Mussatto says the 60,000 square-foot space will be covered, and will change use with the seasons.
“We’ll have an outdoor skating rink in the winter months, with a sort of loop trail beside it so you can sort of go off the ice and skate on a trail… and in the summer time it converts over to a water play area for family and kids.”
The planned ice rink will be larger than the existing one in Vancouver’s Robson Square.
Mussatto says the space will be mixed use, with retail and restaurants, and will mesh with the existing Friday night markets held in the area.
It will also feature other space for public ameneties like outdoor chess and table tennis, and link into the nearly completed Spirit Trail which will connect to West Vancouver.
He says with the existing Lonsdale Quay and the growing Success of the densifying lower Lonsdale area, he expects families to flock to use the area.
“If you’re at our waterfront and you look across at the City of Vancouver you see nothing but an amazing skyline. It’s just a great spot.”
Mussatto says planners are currently hammering out a detailed design, and hope to break ground by year’s end.
He says they’re hoping to see the facility open by the summer of 2018.