July 19, 2024

Housing Finance Development

It's Your Housing Finance Development

TransLink’s newly renovated Lonsdale bus loop to be demolished

Almost exactly four years ago, TransLink’s Lonsdale Quay bus exchange reopened following a lengthy reconstruction to improve its passenger amenities and circulation flow, and the ability to handle more and longer buses.

The 18-month construction project entailed rebuilding the bus loop island, improving accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers, and installing new concrete pavers, ceiling panels, lighting, digital wayfinding, and public art. Improvements were also made for the pedestrian crossing from the bus loop island to the SeaBus ferry terminal and the rest of Lonsdale Quay.

However, the major renovation investment of $14.7 million will be short lived, following the provincial government’s announcement today that the site will be demolished for a new major mixed-use transit-oriented development, with hundreds of units of housing as the primary use.

The bus exchange is within a concealed parkade-like lower level of the 1980-built, six-storey office building at 151 West Esplanade, which is a 300,000 sq ft office building containing the corporate headquarters office of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). By 2027, ICBC will fully relocate to a newly built office building, known as The Hive, at 2150 Keith Drive, located next to SkyTrain’s VCC-Clark Station in Vancouver.

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Completed renovations at Lonsdale Quay bus exchange. (TransLink)

lonsdale quay bus exchange renovations

Completed renovations at Lonsdale Quay bus exchange. (TransLink)

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Renovated Lonsdale Quay Bus Exchange. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

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Renovated Lonsdale Quay Bus Exchange. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

During today’s press conference, Premier David Eby said the aim is to begin building demolition and construction soon within a few years.

“The planning work will take place while ICBC begins their transition to their new site at VCC-Clark Station and completes it over the next two years. That two-year planning process is going to be vital,” said Eby.

“First the wrecking ball, then shovels in the ground once ICBC moves their last employees over to VCC-Clark Station.”

Rob Fleming, BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, added that the provincial government envisions what will be an “award-winning transit-oriented development” that not only adds significant housing and community amenities, but also improves the public spaces and connectivity of the Lonsdale waterfront. They will be working closely with local First Nations and TransLink on the design and planning process.

“We are glad to see the province support transit-oriented development, and we hope they continue to invest in public transit as well,” Dan Mountain, a spokesperson for TransLink, told Daily Hive Urbanized.

“TransLink will work with the Government of BC on ensuring the exchange is well integrated with the new development, but it’s too early to know what that will look like.”

Lonsdale Quay’s bus exchange is the second-busiest transit hub on the North Shore, with about a dozen bus routes including the R2 RapidBus, over 5,000 riders using the bus exchange on an average weekday, and nearly 20,000 SeaBus trips per weekday.

The 2020-completed renovation was Lonsdale bus exchange’s first upgrade since it was built in the 1980s.

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Renovated Lonsdale Quay Bus Exchange. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

lonsdale quay bus exchange

Renovated Lonsdale Quay Bus Exchange. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

lonsdale quay bus exchange

Renovated Lonsdale Quay Bus Exchange. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

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“Shimmer Time” public art wall at Lonsdale Quay Bus Exchange. (TransLink)

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