Updates on the two long-awaited initiatives that will massively alter the face of our City

Broadway Plan and the Vancouver Plan

Goodman Report

Granville Street at Broadway, looking south, 1951.

We hope you’re well and enjoying the seasonal change to spring.  We always find this time brings reflection, renewal and abundant opportunity.

On that note, we want to give you updates on two long-awaited initiatives that will massively alter the face of our City: the Broadway Plan and the Vancouver Plan. To say that increased density is on the horizon would be an understatement. This is a necessary change for the future of our City and region, though it will take many years to come to fruition.

Broadway music

The Broadway Plan is obviously key for our readers as many commercial properties, development sites and multifamily buildings fall along the corridor.

The federal and provincial governments are spending billions on the new Broadway Subway ($2.83B estimated in May 2021). Subway construction started in 2021, with opening anticipated in 2025. Upon completion, the subway will be operated and maintained by TransLink as part of the regional transit network.

Since March 2019, the City of Vancouver has been running its Broadway Area Plan review with the Terms of Reference approved in June 2018. The plan is meant to span a 30-year buildout of all amenities along the corridor. The fourth and final phase of the draft plan review and engagement ended March 22, 2022.

The final draft plan goes to Council in mid-May 2022. To review the latest draft, please click here: https://shapeyourcity.ca/broadway-plan

Input received to date will help inform final adjustments to the draft plan, according to the City. The draft plan includes:

  • Land use details: building heights, densities, uses and other policy considerations
  • Built form guidelines
  • Draft public benefits strategy
  • Area-wide policies

Our thoughts:


  • Mixed uses have been considered: strata condo, market rental, below-market rental, commercial, industrial and public amenities.
  • Consideration given to thoughtful redevelopment of some existing rental buildings.
  • Slightly improved transparency in plan drafting on requirements for future rental development: two-tower max per block, frontage minimums, floor plate maximums, etc.


  • 5 floors of residential removed from high-density zones in last draft iteration; previously, 15–25 storeys allowed, now only 15–20.
  • Some rental areas highlighted in the Plan won’t pass the highest and best use test.
  • Lack of certainty about site-by-site possibilities for frontage requirements (still a range), floor plates, shadowing requirements, and numbers of storeys and setbacks.
  • 6,500 SF maximum floor plate is too small for large sites; diminished opportunity to fulfill all the density.
  • Unclear whether heights will be reduced further based on view cones and shadowing requirements.
  • Limited opportunities for condo ownership.

Although the final phase of engagement has closed, you can always contact City Council or the project planners. For the planners’ contact information, check out the website.

Sights on the City: The Vancouver Plan

Concurrently with the Broadway Plan, the City recently released a revised draft Vancouver Plan for the final round of public engagement. The Vancouver Plan is a long-term vision meant to guide land use across the City. It doesn’t supersede any existing community plans (including the Broadway Plan) or provide detailed guidance on future land use. To quote from the draft (p 2):

The land use strategy in Vancouver Plan does not create any development rights. The included maps are for illustrative and engagement purposes only. They will be changed and refined in future phases of work. Vancouver Plan is not rezoning enabling policy and the City will not consider development inquiries based upon the policy illustration.

In short, the Vancouver Plan provides a framework for future community plans and policies rather than directing specific land-use changes in the short term. Its submission to Council is anticipated by early summer 2022, but implementation of such a wide-ranging plan is likely to take years. If approved, and after winding through the implementation process, only then will its concepts trigger the start of new community planning, which in Vancouver has proven time and again to take many years.

Your property

Do you own commercial real estate along the Broadway Corridor? To discuss the impact of the Broadway Plan or future Vancouver Plan on your property, feel free to call us any time: Cynthia Jagger (604-912-9018) or Mark Goodman (604-714-4790).

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