The Kitsilano Ratepayers’ Association was formed.
A two-storey bathhouse opened on Kits Beach.
Harvey Hadden purchased land to be designated Hadden Park. Here is the Covenant.
The Canadian Pacific Railway wanted to build a hotel on what is now Kits Beach Park. Instead, the Park Board bought the land as part of their plan for a continuous beach park.
The Kitsilano Pool opened.
With rezoning, the name Kitsilano Ratepayers’ Association was changed to the Lower Kitsilano Ratepayers’ Association. The association worked hard to successfully prevent many commercial proposals including shipbuilding, the auto industry and City Hall.
At the dedication of Hadden Park, the Mayor of Vancouver congratulated the Lower Kitsilano Ratepayers’ Association “who struggled through the early years to acquire the foreshore now known as Kitsilano Beach and who first drew our need to Mr. Hadden’s attention. In fact, they were instrumental in getting Harvey Hadden to purchase and donate Hadden Park.”
The Lower Kitsilano Ratepayer’s Association was formed.
The Lower Kitsilano Ratepayers’ Association proposed the foreshore west of Maple Street for the St Roch and in 1957 supported the next proposed location east of Chestnut Street. But in March 1957 the Association strongly opposed the final proposal—and current location, as it violated the deed of Hadden Park, which came with a covenant requiring the city to maintain the land in a natural state and the beach for bathing.
The Maritime Museum opened as a Vancouver centennial project in Hadden Park. As many members of the Lower Kitsilano Ratepayers’ Association were involved in successfully acquiring Hadden Park as a gift to the city, they opposed the building of the Maritime Museum in Hadden Park, as did many people citywide who were alarmed that city council abrogated the covenant so soon after accepting the gift on the condition of restricting development.
In the mid-‘70s the Association was engaged in rezoning Kitsilano and Kits Point. Cornwall Street to English Bay and False Creek to Kits Beach became the new boundaries of the Association.
The Burrard Civic Marina opened in Vanier Park.
The Federal Government turned over the land that had been a Royal Canadian Air Force supply depot to the Vancouver Park Board. The site was enlarged with fill excavated during construction of the MacMillan Bloedel building on Georgia Street.
Vanier Park (12 hectares) opened, the northern waterfront built with landfill from excavating material from the MacMillan Bloedel building downtown. The majority of the park has been leased for park purposes until 2064 (Federal) and 2042 (Provincial). Remaining portions of the park have been leased to the City without stipulations for park use. Any significant changes to the park or park use need to be approved by not only the Park Board and City, but by the land owners.
The Museum of Vancouver and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Gordon Southam Observatory opened in Vanier Park. The association supported these developments as public anchors of Vanier Park.
The Vancouver City Archives opened in Vanier Park.
The Vancouver Academy of Music, a renovated RCAF warehouse, opened in Vanier Park.
The Lower Kits Point Ratepayers’ Association changed its name to the Kitsilano Point Residents’ Association (KPRA) as there were many rooming houses and rentals in the area and there was a desire to include all residents—not just owners.
Through the ‘80s and ‘90s
The KPRA successfully defended the value of waterfront parks from a constant barrage of development proposals that included turning Vanier Park into a permanent festival park with booths and buildings like the PNE, a children’s safety village, a longhouse, a lighted soccer field, a restaurant, a paved parking lot between Chestnut Street and the Vancouver Museum, thereby preserving the parks’ green space for the enjoyment of citizens and visitors from around the world.
During this time the KPRA worked constructively with the Children’s Festival and Bard on the Beach (which opened in 1990 in Vanier Park) to mitigate the impacts of traffic, parking, noise, food smells and damage to the park. The KPRA worked with the city and event organizers to establish a compatible site, traffic and parking plans. The association developed a good relationship with the film industry, leading the initiative to establish mutually agreeable guidelines for hours of operation, parking, noise control and advance notice—a template that became the standard for filming in other neighbourhoods.
The KPRA was also active in the Kitsilano Citizens’ Planning Council in the ‘90s. Neighborhood committees were formed to discuss and advise on development, zoning, traffic and parking plans. The results in Kits Point include traffic lights at Arbutus, roundabouts, bicycle routes and resident parking.
The KPRA supported the original fireworks festival proposal and worked with the city to mitigate the impact of such a large public influx such as closing the neighbourhood to non-local traffic that addressed the serious safety issues that arose in the first year of the event.
In the late ‘90s the KPRA spent three years working to resolve an onslaught of 20-60 tour buses, large and small, diesel and trolley, from circling the neighbourhood. The business case developed by the KPRA was successful in establishing a Good Neighbour Agreement in 2000, drawn up by the city’s lawyers, that specified one stop for scheduled tour buses in Kits Point at the Vancouver Museum and Space Centre to serve all institutions. The Good Neighbour Agreement the KPRA initiated was one of the first—if not the first of its kind—and became a leading template used by the city to avoid and resolve various types of neighbourhood conflicts throughout Vancouver.
The KPRA introduced the KPRA Email UPdate to communicate with residents on issues in the neighbourhood.
The KPRA went to city council and defeated a proposal to bring amphibious vehicles to the Burrard Civic Marina, the city’s only public marina—a proposal that would have dramatically reduced access and safety for boaters and other marine craft as well as added significant noise and air pollution.
The KPRA opposed the Park Board’s proposal for a restaurant on Kits Beach but has since worked with the restaurant’s management to ensure operational guidelines are followed and neighbourhood impacts are mitigated.
KItsFest began, which in its first year, created many problems in the neighbourhood which the KPRA worked on with the organizers and Park Board to resolve.
The KPRA prevented a huge salt-water pump station, which was part of the city’s fire/earthquake readiness upgrade, from being installed in the middle of Hadden Park.
The Park Board approved the BMX Bike Park in Vanier Park Forest. While the KPRA did not support this project, our efforts ensured agreement that there would be no competitive events, night lighting or amplified music—benefits to all park visitors, and in particular the Southam Observatory and Bard on the Beach.
KPRA succeeded, after many years of advocating, in having the city allocate infrastructure funds from the Federal Government to build a sidewalk from Whyte Street to the boat parking area.
The KPRA squashed West Coast Sightseeing’s plans to operate amphibious vehicles from the Burrard Civic Marina.
The KPRA began working with the City to prohibit ongoing violations of the Good Neighbour Agreement by the Vancouver Trolley Company, which was increasing its mostly diesel-bus trips into Kits Point, even though very few people were getting off to visit neighbourhood parks and institutions and the route jeopardized the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
The various Kits Beach Park user groups, including the KPRA, opposed the October 7 Park Board Decision to rush and approve Phase 1 of the Seaside Greenway in Hadden and Kitsilano Beach Parks without further consultation on routing possibilities. An Advisory Group was formed to assist the General Manager and staff to consult on the best possible route to satisfy the goals of the Park Board while respecting the green space, existing park features and amenities, neighbours and all park users. The Advisory Group included representatives of seniors, youth, persons with disabilities, sports groups, cycling groups and KPRA.
The Park Board approved an expansion of the BMX Bike Park to add a Pump Track.
The KPRA worked with the Park Board and the Advisory Group on a revised Seaside Greenway plan. KPRA wanted to see a bike lane built and the park preserved as much as practically possible. It was proposed that Arbutus St. be narrowed, limited to one way, and in effect the available recreation space expanded. The bike lane would be just meters away from that which was originally proposed. KPRA felt we had a reasonable compromise that created a bike route, calmed traffic, and limited encroachment on heavily used parts of the park.
At the March 13 Park Board meeting, a conceptual alignment was presented for approval with a request that the Board support collaboration with the CoV Engineering Department to coordinate and prepare detailed designs of proposed pedestrian and cycling improvements in Kitsilano Beach Park when public engagement was completed. After discussing the report from Staff but before hearing from any of the parties registered to speak, the Park Commissioners referred the report back to staff to provide more detailed information on the proposed concept.
After the KPRA worked for years to address the ongoing violations of the Good Neighbour Agreement by the Vancouver Trolley Company, its subsequent owner, Westcoast Sightseeing, agreed to cease driving its buses into Kits Point.
The KPRA worked with the Park Board and province to close the BMX Park in Vanier Park Forest during the period when the resident pair of eagles is nesting.
Initiated by Gloria and Kerry Sully, a grassroots group of residents began meeting regularly to discuss three main (interrelated) issues: the need for a master transportation plan for the neighbourhood (that we have been requesting for years); the need to address key issues arising from the Senakw/Westbank project, including density, transportation, traffic and parking, both throughout the neighbourhood and in communities nearby; and the need for a safe and acceptable Seaside Greenway plan.
We sent a letter to the Seaside Greenways team plus emails to the Park Board supporting reactivation of discussions to “Ungap the Gap” and complete the Seaside Greenway bike path through the community.
According to FOI-2020-311, the company ACCS has been leading a planning process for the Vanier Park Cultural Spaces (including the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Hadden Park), in consultation with the Park Board and in 2019 a comprehensive review of the current state was completed, with the intention of undertaking a MasterPlan.
The KPRA asked and the Park Board agreed to close the BMX Park and Pump Track Expansion in Vanier Park Forest during the eagles’ nesting period.
We sent a letter to Mayor Kennedy requesting a meeting to discuss the traffic, parking and liveability issues that will arise in the community with construction and development of the Sen̓áḵw project.
The grassroots group evolved into the KET, Kits Point Residents’ Association Executive Team, with defined operating procedures, working committees and regularly scheduled meetings.
KPRA website, designed by Kits Point resident-volunteer Kerry Sully, went live.
The Lonely Planet declares Kits Beach is “arguably Vancouver’s (and Canada’s) best urban beach” and among the top ten in the world.
Paul Mochrie, Vancouver’s new City Manager, responded to the KPRA request for information on the Sen̓áḵw Development, indicating the City “will be engaging with the Kits Point community and others in the area with ideas on transportation improvements based on a comprehensive transportation study being undertaken as part of the process.” He also said “there will be a need for the Park Board to embark on a park master planning process. This typically would include a robust public engagement process, and in this instance would be integrated with the City’s planning for cultural facilities within the park.”
The KPRA made a submission (available on the Sen̓áḵw History section on this website) to Indigenous Services Canada on the request for public comment on whether the proposed Sen̓áḵw development is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
For the first time in more than 20 years, a community meeting for Kits Point residents was held. At the request of the KPRA to Susan Haid, the City’s Deputy Director of Planning, the City hosted the online meeting with many of its staff and Park Board staff providing information and answering questions on the Vancouver Plan and addressing the Sen̓áḵw project, on which they could provide little detail as the Mayor and Council have mandated an in-camera edict on staff’s ability to share pertinent information.