The Lonsdale Avenue corridor is without a doubt the heart of Vancouver’s North Shore and the epicentre of this is Central Lonsdale and the Lower Lonsdale Shipyards District. People from all across the region use this area for lifestyle and shopping activities as well as a central destination for travel to and from downtown Vancouver and the rest of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. With a diverse history and great multiculturalism offering a way of life that people in the community love. Many locals take the Lonsdale Quay Seabus or use Highway 1 to drive over Lions Gate Bridge or the Iron Workers Memorial to connect with the mainland. This will not be sustainable as the population density rises.
Lonsdale City Centre will become the new Skytrain station connection to the rest of Metro Vancouver thanks to a recent study completed by the Government of British Columbia in combination with the City and District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver stakeholders. Which is called the Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit Study (BIRT) on behalf of the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project (INSTPP). You can download more info from this report here in PDF format.
At the moment construction on condos and real estate development projects across the Lonsdale corridor are booming and that will increase the current restrictions on local travel given transportation is already an issue here on the North Shore. The roadways and current public transit systems were just not made to handle this level of usage. When the Skytrain comes to the area it will open things up for local businesses to benefit and community members travelling to the downtown core will become much easier and more efficient. Currently the City of North Vancouver is the 5th most dense city centre in all of Canada and that is only going to grow.
One of the main characteristics about the Central Lonsdale neighbourhood is that there are many low rise buildings which lends itself to the potential of redevelopment and rezoning to allow for the Skytrain to connect the area efficiently. As there would be much less ground work needed then if the area was filled with high rises, which eventually it will be. Therefore getting the Skytrain up and running makes sense prior to the inevitable saturation of the area in condo towers. Lower Lonsdale is of course an option as well.
We will be updating this article with more information as it arises over the coming months and years but you can also read Daily Hive, Global News, CBC News, News 1130 and the Stage 2 Engineering Review for more details.