Changing the Island & the Bridge

Major changes are proposed for two Vancouver icons that are linked by name and proximity, one largely reviled, the other beloved but faded.

Granville Bridge

This City Conversations precedes the third phase of public consultation on proposals to convert two lanes of the 8-lane Granville Bridge to cycling and pedestrian paths. The bridge was built in 1957 to provide freeway access for automobiles to downtown, but the connecting freeways were never built and the bridge has never even approached capacity. 

Sixty-two years later, the bridge needs significant structural safety work, and the City is redesigning it for current and future transportation needs. 

At this event, you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the six designs and discuss your preferences. 

Granville Island

Beneath the bridge is Granville Island, one of Vancouver’s premier attractions. Its charming mix of industrial funk, art, theatre and food is envied around the world. But it’s tired. The Emily Carr University of Art + Design decamped to Mt. Pleasant, leaving a major building deserted, and there have been no significant innovations in years. A critical article in The Tyee by David Beers and Emma Renaerts detailed the island’s deficiencies. But a new governance group has revitalization plans, and they’re thinking big.

Connecting the two?

The Granville Bridge, with truly scary pedestrian and bike infrastructure, crosses over Granville Island with circuitous ramps and even more circuitous and confusing access. One proposal is to connect bridge and island with an elevator and stairs! 

Our presenters for this edition of City Conversations are David Beers, founding editor of The Tyee; Bethany Dobson, planner for Granville Island; Dale McClanaghan, past chair of the Granville Island Trust and member of the Granville Island Council, and Paul Krueger, Transportation & Public Space Planner, City of Vancouver.

Please join us to learn about the changes, to express your opinions and make your observations. It’s a conversation! And feel free to bring your lunch.



Thursday, November 21, 2019

12:30 - 1:30PM


SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings St.
Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre (Room 1900)

We respectfully acknowledge that this event takes place on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations.


Watch our livestream of the event and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #CityConv

This edition of City Conversations is a presentation of SFU Public Square,
sponsored by SFU Vancouver and SFU's City Program.

Registration Disclaimer

Please note that while City Conversations continues to be free, registration via Eventbrite is requested to help anticipate demand. As this event is free, and free events routinely have a high number of no-shows, it is our policy to overbook. Seating is limited, so please be mindful of those who may find it difficult to stand for long periods of time.

Venue Information

SFU Harbour Centre is located at 515 W. Hastings St, and is located a brief walk from Waterfront station and numerous bus stops. Bike stalls are available outside the main entrance. Nearby parking is available at 500 & 400 W. Cordova St


There are washrooms located on all floors of the building. Accessible, private bathrooms and gender-neutral washroom stalls are available on the first floor in the east corridor.


All floors within the building are serviced by elevators.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this event’s accessibility, feel free to connect with us at or 778-782-5959.

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