The Heather Street Lands are 21 acres (8.5 hectares) in size and are located on Heather Street between West 33rd Avenue and West 37th Avenue.
The address of the site is 4949 Heather Street, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Historically, the Heather Street site and surrounding areas were used for thousands of years as part of the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
The site was once a forested area of robust resources including elk, bear and other wildlife. The site was primarily a hunting and gathering area for the local communities; it was also near a travel route that members of the Nations communities would use to pass across the peninsula.
In more recent times, the site has been home to educational and government uses. Between 1912-1914 a private school for boys was constructed at 4949 Heather Street, where it operated for four years and closed in 1918. The school building remains today; it is Tudor Revival architecture, designed by the English team of Maclure and Fox, and is Class A on the Vancouver Heritage Registry.
In 1920, the site became the provincial headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and over time it became the regional headquarters and training academy as the RCMP presence grew in British Columbia.
The BC Workers Compensation Board (WCB) had its headquarters, administrative and rehabilitation centres constructed on-site in the 1950s at two significant buildings along West 37th, being 5255 Heather Street, and 657 West 37th until they relocated off the site entirely in 1981.
The RCMP added to its stock of buildings on the site with a forensics laboratory in 1974, and also took ownership of the former WCB buildings at 5255 Heather Street and 657 West 37th in 1970s and 1980s, thereby assuming occupancy of the entire site and buildings. In 2012 the RCMP relocated most of its operations to its new regional headquarters in Surrey, BC, with some remaining RCMP operations to be relocated off the Heather Street lands in late 2019.
In 2014 the site was transferred from Public Services and Procurement Canada to the joint ventureship of the MST Partnership and Canada Lands Company.
The Heather Street Lands are located in the Cambie Corridor in the South Cambie neighbourhood. The surrounding area is residential in character and also include significant parks, schools, large institutions and recreational facilities. This part of Vancouver is undergoing a City planning process referred to as the Cambie Corridor Plan. Phase III of the plan is underway, including the Heather Street Lands.
The site is walking distance from a number of city and neighbourhood amenities, including:
- The Canada Line, which provides a rapid transit connection to downtown Vancouver, the Broadway Corridor, Vancouver International Airport and Richmond Centre.
- Cambie Village retail district to the north and Oakridge Regional Shopping Centre to the south.
- BC Women's & Children's Hospital campus.
- Excellent schools, parks and recreation facilities, including Eric Hamber Secondary School, Queen Elizabeth Park, Oak Meadow Park, Hillcrest Park & Community Centre, and Nat Bailey Stadium.
The RCMP continues to lease two buildings and an area of the site until December 2019. Portions of the remaining area and buildings are under long term lease to the Public Health Services Authority and other portions are regularly utilized for film production and are available for lease through brokerage. A property manager has been contracted, and maintenance and security program is in place.
The Vancouver office of Canada Lands Company is currently located in the Academy building.
Current leasing opportunities
About the planning process
Great things are happening at the Heather Street Lands.
One of the first steps for this project is to embark on the preparation of a Policy Statement through a master planning process that is led by the City of Vancouver. Through the process of preparing the Policy Statement, a phased, multi-year engagement with the community will occur where a number of topics will be discussed from both city-wide and neighbourhood perspectives.
Utilizing a collaborative planning process, the community goals and priorities for this property will be identified. The City?s Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Sites, and other applicable policies will inform the planning vision.
Comparable examples of other Policy Statements for major sites within the Cambie Corridor can be reviewed on the City of Vancouver's website. These examples demonstrate the scope of considerations and time involved in developing a Policy Statement.