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Heather Lands to advance City’s largest Indigenous-led redevelopment

Press Release

May 30 2022 – The Heather Lands project became the largest Indigenous-led redevelopment to advance in Vancouver after City Council approved the rezoning of the site at a public hearing on Tuesday, May 24.

A joint venture partnership between the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) — collectively the MST Nations — and Canada Lands Company (CLC), the Heather Lands redevelopment will become a unique place that integrates with the surrounding neighbourhood and provides housing, shops and services, job space, parks, childcare, and a xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ cultural centre to support the new community.

The Heather Lands will be a primarily residential community, anchored by a ‘drum beat / heart’ at the north end of the site which includes the cultural centre and plaza, and a childcare facility, along with a park network. It will also provide new job and retail space close to housing in a location near transit routes.

When fully built out, the Heather Lands will include:

  • Buildings ranging in height from 3- to 28-storeys, with:
    • 540 units of social housing
    • 400 units of market rental housing with 25% of the floor area at below-market rent rates
    • 1,670 leasehold strata-titled units
    • 74-space childcare facility operated by the MST Nations
    • Commercial space, including office uses
  • 4.4 acres of park and public open space
  • A xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ cultural centre
  • A site for a Conseil Scholair Francophone (CSF) French language school and associated childcare facility

The cultural centre will be the signature building on the site, to be owned and operated by the MST Nations for the practice and sharing of culture, values, and traditions.

Background

The Heather Lands are situated on 8.5 hectares (21.1 acres), north of West 37th Avenue, south of West 33rd Avenue, and bound by the lanes behind Willow Street and Ash Street.

The site is situated on the unceded and traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ Peoples and was historically used for hunting and gathering. Trails crossed this area connecting villages along the Fraser River with villages at False Creek and beyond. Over the last century, the site’s recent history includes being home to a school, military hospital and RCMP headquarters.

In 2018, Council approved the Heather Lands Policy Statement PDF file (13.4 MB), which provides direction for the redevelopment of the site. The Policy Statement guides the creation of a new sustainable neighbourhood that is a place to welcome and connect all people, and to share the traditions, cultures and values of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ Peoples.

The Heather Lands site will be redeveloped in five phases over approximately 15 years.

Learn more about the Heather Lands

Quotes

Mayor Kennedy Stewart

“This project is a significant milestone and will be a benchmark for the City’s efforts toward Reconciliation,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “It represents an important opportunity for the long-term prosperity of future generations of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ Peoples, and also addresses key City priorities including housing affordability and the climate emergency.”

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