As 2024 unfolds, nine major projects in Metro Vancouver will start their activity on construction work.
On the flip side, some of the most significant projects under construction in Metro Vancouver, including major projects that began construction before the pandemic, will reach completion in 2024.
This will be a banner year for construction completions — everything from some of Metro Vancouver’s largest mixed-use developments to new civic buildings, and from a new additional SkyTrain station to a new major regional bridge crossing.
In no particular order of importance, here are 19 notable developments and infrastructure projects that will reach completion sometime in 2024.
This is no ordinary ski run lift; the new gondola currently being built at Grouse Mountain will critically provide a new additional ingress and egress link between the base level’s parking lot and the mountaintop.
The new gondola will complement the existing Red Skyride, which is regularly used, and replace the older Blue Skyride, which is only occasionally used and set for decommissioning.
A total of 13 towers will support the new gondola’s ascent up the mountain to reach the peak terminal station, which will be located immediately east of the chalet. The base station will be immediately west of the Red Skyride’s base station. The new gondola will have 27 cabins, each with a capacity for eight passengers.
Work is well underway on building the base and peak terminal stations, and the towers and cable line installation will take place this spring and summer.
Construction first began in 2022, and work is scheduled to greatly accelerate throughout the year, with the system reaching testing by Fall 2024 for an opening next winter. The project’s cost was previously stated at $35 million, making it one of Grouse Mountain’s most expensive capital investments in decades.
In late summer 2023, Tower II of Gilmore Place — a major mixed-use residential, office, and retail development that wraps around SkyTrain Gilmore Station in Burnaby’s Brentwood Town Centre district — became Metro Vancouver’s new tallest building during its construction ascent, effectively dethroning downtown Vancouver’s Living Shangri-La tower.
In 2024, the first phase of Onni Group’s Gilmore Place project will reach completion, including nearly 1,600 homes within three towers, as well as major commercial uses within the base podium levels — about 80,000 sq ft of office space and 272,000 sq ft of retail/restaurant uses, which is comparable to the first retail phase of the nearby The Amazing Brentwood Mall. The substantial retail/restaurant uses will activate a new linear plaza and walking route below the SkyTrain guideway.
The tenants for the new retail/restaurant spaces have yet to be formally announced. Although the first phase will reach completion this year, it will take some time for businesses to furnish their commercial units to their specifications.
Over the last few years, the disruptive construction process for Capstan Station has tested the patience of SkyTrain Canada Line users in Richmond.
But that is coming to an end, with this new additional station now scheduled to reach completion and open in early 2024 after construction delays. The project cost is $52 million, with the City of Richmond covering $32 million — raised from development fees — and TransLink providing $20 million.
Capstan Station is located roughly midway between Bridgeport Station and Aberdeen Station — specifically at the northeast corner of the intersection of No. 3 Road and Capstan Way. It serves Capstan Village’s emerging high-density residential neighbourhood, with about 16,000 residents living within a 10-minute walk from the station upon the area’s full buildout.
Capstan Station features greatly improved designs and features compared to the original Canada Line stations, including more space for passenger circulation and both up and down escalators.
Landmark on Robson, replacing the previous Empire Landmark Hotel, will finally reach completion in 2024.
The entire 1400 block of Robson Street has been a construction zone since March 2018, when demolition first began on the 394 ft tall, 42-storey hotel tower with an observation deck. The hotel closed in September 2017.
The demolition of the 1973-built hotel tower, which featured a restaurant observation attraction on its top floor, was the tallest building demolition in Vancouver’s history. Asia Standard Americas is nearing the final lap of its construction progress on a mixed-use development with two towers containing 240 condominium homes, 84 social housing units, some office space, and significant ground-level retail/restaurant uses.
The new retail/restaurant uses will fill a major gap on the Robson Street retail strip, effectively activating the street and strengthening the retail strip with a seamless continuity of storefronts along the length of the entire city block.
Visual progress on building the new replacement Pattullo Bridge across the Fraser River between New Westminster and Surrey is about to greatly accelerate. The segments of the bridge deck over the river will be raised and installed after the tower supporting the suspension cables reaches completion in early 2024.
The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure anticipates the bridge will open in late 2024, at which point the existing 1937-built bridge will be closed and demolished. The entire project carries a $1.4 billion budget.
The new seismic-safe crossing will have four wider vehicle lanes — two vehicle lanes in each direction divided by a concrete barrier — along with interchange improvements, a new direct off-ramp from the bridge’s southbound direction to Highway 17’s (South Fraser Perimeter Road) westbound direction, and walking and cycling pathways, which are protected by a suicide-prevention barrier.
In late 2024, Quadreal Property Group and Westbank will open the brand new Oakridge Park shopping mall — the redevelopment of Oakridge Centre in Vancouver.
The majority of the non-residential uses will reach completion by the end of the year, including 1.2 million sq ft of retail/restaurant uses, which is double the size of the previous mall, as well as most of the nine-acre public park on the rooftop of the indoor mall, and a new major City-owned community centre, which contains a mix of spaces such as a 21,600 sq ft Vancouver Public Library branch.
The landlord has yet to make a formal announcement on the broad collection of retail tenants at Oakridge Park, but what is already known is there will be a new 42,000 sq ft grocery store replacing the previous Safeway, and a new 141,000 sq ft, two-storey Hudson’s Bay department store. It will take some time for businesses to furnish their commercial units to their interior design specifications.
Additionally, in lieu of a traditional food court, it was announced in 2022 that the internationally renowned Time Out Market food hall chain will open Time Out Market Vancouver at Oakridge Park in late 2024. With 69,000 sq ft over two levels, it will be the world’s largest Time Out Market location.
The opening of the massive new shopping centre is expected to make ripples in Metro Vancouver’s retail landscape. Oakridge Centre fully closed in 2020 to enable an expedited construction process.
The development also includes a new additional entrance into SkyTrain Oakridge-41st Avenue Station through a new underground retail-lined corridor between the indoor mall and the station’s ticketing concourse.
As for Oakridge Park’s towers, there will be over 3,300 homes for over 6,000 residents — a mix of strata condominiums, secured purpose-built rental housing, and social housing — and 800,000 sq ft of office space. These residential and office uses will reach completion between 2024 and 2028. Oakridge Park’s tallest tower will be a 52-storey tower with 100% rental housing uses, and it will be the tallest building within Vancouver outside of downtown.
Metro Vancouver is at the start of a new building boom of civic-spearheaded community and recreational centres, with many of these upcoming projects located within Burnaby.
In early 2024, after experiencing major construction delays, the Rosemary Brown Arena complex will reach full completion and open in South Burnaby. It is located immediately adjacent to Byrne Creek Community Secondary School and the new Southgate City residential neighbourhood.
It features two NHL-sized ice rinks, with each rink featuring about 200 spectator seats. The City of Burnaby allocated a budget of $50 million for the project, which was originally scheduled for a Summer 2022 opening.
As a replacement facility for Canada Games Pool and Centennial Community Centre, the City of New Westminster will open təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre in Spring 2024, after experiencing some construction delays.
This includes a 50-metre lap, eight-lane competition pool, two diving platforms up to five metres high, a 25-metre leisure pool with a lazy river, a fitness gym, two gymnasiums, and various multi-purpose fitness rooms, as well as multi-purpose activity rooms and a childcare facility.
Construction first began in Spring 2021. The project is budgeted at $107 million.
The Granville Bridge Connector is scheduled to reach completion by Fall 2024 at a cost of $19 million. Two vehicle lanes on the west side of the bridge have been removed to accommodate dedicated wide pedestrian and cyclist pathways, which are separated from vehicles by a concrete barrier.
On-bridge traffic signals will also be installed for where the pedestrian and cyclist pathways cross over the Howe Street on-ramp and the Fir Street on-ramp. At the southern end of the bridge, a direct connection will be established with the Arbutus Greenway’s pathways.
This is intended to be the interim design of the active transportation connector, as a potential future project will install permanent materials and other features.
Current work on removing the bridge’s north loops and building a new replacement street network on the downtown side is also expected to reach completion in late 2024.
The PNE’s new ThunderVolt launch roller coaster for Playland is scheduled to reach completion and open in Summer 2024. This is a flagship ride for the attraction and represents the amusement park’s first step towards its redevelopment and expansion into a theme park. It is being built at a cost of $16 million, which includes extensive theming and landscaped areas.
It uses new state-of-the-art linear synchronous motor (LSM) technology. The future ride is already earning some international attention.
The full completion of the B6 office tower in early 2024 represents the conclusion of downtown Vancouver’s current office building boom cycle, which first began before the pandemic.
BentallGreenOak has built a 403-ft-tall, 33-storey office tower with 562,000 sq ft of premium AAA-class office space. Microsoft will occupy approximately 400,000 sq ft across about 20 floors. Much of the remaining space was set to be occupied by WeWork, but that has since been cancelled.
According to Graham Construction, B6 features the largest sloped roof in North America at that height.
Later in 2024, Electronic Arts will reach completion on 300,000 sq ft of additional space across two new office buildings at its sprawling Burnaby campus. The new buildings will accommodate up to 600 employees, with other tech tenants joining EA. Construction first began in late 2021.
In early 2023, project contractor Turner Construction indicated it is looking to add childcare, retail, food service, amenity spaces, a swimming pool, and tech-related educational partnership programs — all in support of EA.
Ever since the project was approved, EA’s office space needs have decreased, and there is a desire to add amenities and services that support employees. In 2021, EA also took over the former MEC headquarters office building in Vancouver.
Quadreal Property Group’s The Post redevelopment of the former Canada Post building in downtown Vancouver reached substantial completion in 2023, but the innards are still a work in progress.
Amazon will reach completion and full occupancy on furnishing the office interior of its South Tower by early 2024, at which point the company will then shift its attention towards furnishing the North Tower.
This is the single largest office building in downtown Vancouver, with 1.1 million sq ft of office space leased entirely to Amazon to provide space for up to 6,000 office employees. Amazon has a policy requiring office workers to come into their workspace most of the week.
In February 2024, the 45,000 sq ft flagship Loblaws City Market grocery store will open at The Post, becoming the first major commercial retail tenant to do so. This will be followed by the opening of other prominent retail/restaurant businesses as the year progresses, providing the Central Business District with a new major node of activity. This includes the opening of The Post’s major publicly accessible retail atrium on the Homer Street side of the building.
With 185,000 sq ft of retail/restaurant space, The Post provides downtown Vancouver with its largest net gain of retail/restaurant uses in more than two decades.
Westbank’s The Butterfly Tower became the new third tallest building in Vancouver in 2023 during its construction ascent. The tower is expected to reach full completion later in 2024.
The visually striking tower in downtown Vancouver is designed by Revery Architecture and is one of the last projects influenced by the late Bing Thom. It contains about 330 upscale condominium homes and boasts a high degree of amenities, such as a 50-metre length swimming pool in a glass-enclosed space.
As part of the project, there is also a six-storey building with 61 social housing units, and a heritage restoration and expansion of the 1911-built First Baptist Church.
The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is scheduled to reopen to the public in June 2024.
Since late 2021, there has been major construction to rebuild the museum’s iconic Great Hall, which has been completely demolished for a new seismic-safe design that carries the same appearance as Arthur Erickson’s original landmark design. The 1976-built museum has been temporarily closed since January 2023 to accelerate the pace of the redevelopment and other building improvements. This rebuild carries a budget of $30.5 million.
By the end of 2024, the UBC Student Recreation Centre North will reach completion and open for student use.
This is a significant four-storey fitness and recreation building located at the western end of Student Union Boulevard, and immediately north of the Life Building (former Student Union Building).
There will be 101,000 sq ft of uses, including cardio and weightlifting areas, an indoor run/roll/walk track, three gymnasium courts, and multi-purpose rooms. The project carries a $67.5 million cost.
UBC pursued this project as there is a major shortage of such on-campus facilities; UBC has some of Canada’s lowest ratios of recreation space for a major university campus when compared to its student enrollment. This new facility complements the adjacent 1995-built Student Recreation Centre located just to the east, and it will be integrated with the 8,000 sq ft fitness gym in the basement of the Life Building.
Built on the footprint of the Brock Hall Annex, the third building of the UBC Brock Commons student residence is unique for both its size and range of mixed uses. It will reach completion by Summer 2024.
This 13-storey building, called “Brock Commons South,” contains roughly 90,000 sq ft of non-residential uses in its lower levels, entailing classrooms, academic, and office spaces for the Faculty of Arts, gathering and socializing spaces for students, two childcare facilities, food outlets, student services, and the new offices of the UBC vice president of students. Within the upper levels, there will be much-needed student housing — a total of 282 student housing beds.
The 2017-built, 18-storey Tallwood House with 404 student housing beds was the first building of Brock Commons and the tallest mass timber building in the world at the time of its completion. In Summer 2023, Brock Commons’ second building, called “Brock Commons North,” reached completion with 316 student housing beds. The 2023/2024-built buildings carry a combined cost of $165 million.
As the name of the building suggests, the Gateway Building will be located at the highly prominent northwest corner of the intersection of University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall — on the former footprint of the administration building, just east of War Memorial Gymnasium and south of the diesel bus loop.
This will consolidate and expand the teaching, research, and administrative spaces of UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science’s School of Nursing, Faculty of Education’s School of Kinesiology, the campus’ new Integrated Student Health Services, and some of the operations of UBC health.
The six-storey, 267,000 sq ft building will be built out of mass timber. With a budget of $190 million, this is one of UBC’s single most expensive building construction projects to date. Construction began in late 2022, and it is expected to reach completion by late 2024.
As a partnership between UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Applied Science, the new School of Biomedical Engineering Building will reach completion in late 2024, with occupancy scheduled to begin in early 2025.
The five-storey, state-of-the-art research and innovation building is being built on the former footprint of the D.H. Copp Building on University Boulevard, immediately south of the trolley bus loop. This 156,000 sq ft is a hub for combining engineering with medical sciences to design new high-tech solutions for healthcare. The construction cost is pegged at $139 million. Construction first began in Summer 2022.