Opportunity for a real sense of community
Everyone knows that Vancouver is a great place to live. The plans for River District will make the dream come true for more people, with affordable homes in a rooted community. The Community Plan is all about bringing the good things in life within easy reach of ordinary homeowners—like walking to school, playing ball in the park, cycling the trails, family meals at a local restaurant.
River District is very much a part of Vancouver, connected to the larger life of the city. The planning process has been highly collaborative, as we work to build a new community that works for everyone who will live here. From toddler to grandparent, everyone is equally important.
A vision that’s coming to life
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River District is Southeast Vancouver’s newest and largest waterfront community. River District, an award-winning project being developed by Wesgroup Properties, will be a complete community with unique sustainability features. Covering 130 acres and including 7,000 homes, River District will include shops, restaurants, schools, daycares, parks and a community centre. Designed by a world-class team of planners, architects and engineers, River District will offer a new way to live, work and play in Vancouver.
There will be five neighbourhoods once the project is complete. In the west, Hill Point is perched atop the north side of the property with views of the Fraser. The homes will be townhomes and low-rise condominiums, set in small blocks around intimate gardens. South of that, fronting the river, will be Pier Point, aptly named after its iconic pier. Condominium apartments here will offer easy access to tree-lined trails by the water.
In the centre, Mill Bay will be the hub of the new community, with retail stores mixed with high-rise homes and townhouses leading down to the bay that bears its name. Above Mill Bay is The Crescent, so called for its distinctive street shape, providing easy and convenient access to and from the community.
To the east is Avalon, named for the extensive park that repeat. The area has a great expanse of public greenspace for sport and recreation. Here, homes will be multi-family, many with excellent elevated views over the river towards Mount Baker.
The rebirth of a way of life on the waterfront
Southeast Vancouver’s past is closely tied to its waterfront. The natural abundance of the river and surrounding pasture brought fishers and farmers. Soon a township sprang up around a growing lumber industry. Eventually, great sawmills— The Dominion, The Canadian White Pine— lined the riverbanks, connected by sea to the wider world, as thousands of workers earned their living here. River District is set to revive the community’s connection with the river as homes, restaurants, shops and community buildings bring new life to the waterfront.
In pre-history, this flatland by the river was the home of bear, cougar and elk. Natural pastureland and coniferous forest stretched all the way to the sea.
The Centre and Restaurant open in May 2011.
Ground is broken for the first time on-site in August.
Construction of the River District Centre and Neighbourhood Restaurant begins on site in November 2010.
ParkLane purchases the site. Environmental remediation begins to prepare the land for housing and to re-establish wildlife habitats.
Weyerhaeuser closes the mill. Most of the equipment and buildings are sold to a mill in New Zealand.
Canadian White Pine Mill is taken over by Weyerhaeuser USA.
The old Kerr Road Dump is rededicated as Everett Crowley Park.
The mill reopens but never again employs more than 500 workers.
The mill shuts down, laying off all 700 workers.
The mill now processes Sitka Spruce, Hemlock and Western Red Cedar, as well as White Pine.
The remaining mills are combined into a single mill.
The original Dominion Mill, known as A, closes.
The first swing shift at the Canadian White Pine sees the mill working through the night.
Returning from WWII, veterans Victoria-Fraserview are promised new homes. 1100 new homes are built in Victoria-Fraserview and Sunset.
Mill workers strike successfully for a 40-hour working week and a raise of 15¢ per hour in 1946.
MacMillan Bloedel builds a new mill— C Mill.
Mill is rebuilt, becoming B Mill. The Dominion is called A Mill.
The mills become unionized in 1939 by the International Woodworkers Association (IWA).
The original Canadian White Pine Mill burns down in a massive fire.
HR MacMillan buys the Dominion for $75,000.
HR MacMillan opens the Canadian White Pine Mill next to the Dominion Mill.
The Dominion Mill saws over 200,000 feet (almost 38 miles) of timber per day.
A large sawmill begins to take shape at the foot of Boundary Road. Owned by Julius Bloedel of Seattle, it is the first in Canada to produce pressure-treated wood.
Pressure-treated wood is ideal for construction and railway ties because it last longer and requires less maintenance.
Soldier William Rowling of the Engineers of the Boundary Commission is granted District Lot 268, which includes River District and land stretching as far as modern-day Killarney.
The area develops as rich agricultural land, including the Rowlings’ cow pasture. Fraserview was originally known as ‘Rowling Heights’.
Simon Fraser traces the Fraser from its source to the Pacific. The river’s importance grows in the life of the new colonists from Great Britain.
The Fraser River is named in honour of the Scottish explorer Simon Fraser by his colleague Thompson.
1000 BC -1808
The Musqueam First Nation came to the area, drawn by the salmon fishery.
The Musqueam take their name from the m-uh-the-kwi (River Grass) on the banks of the Fraser.