Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Cambie Street merchants should hang on, says minister

with 9 comments

Cambie Street Lunchtime

CBC News

Last Updated: Monday, June 18, 2007 | 8:36 AM PT

“I’m not saying that there’s no impact on these folks — there clearly is. But I guess our message would be … recognize that when this thing is done along the corridor in six months — I believe six months is what Canada Line and TransLink are talking about — that there will be some significant benefits.”

That is Kevin Falcon speaking.

Falcon, who is responsible for the Canada Line, also said it is not up to the province to help businesses in the area that are suffering due to the construction.

He added that if there were compensation, it should be from the City of Vancouver.

It wasn’t the City of Vancouver that promised a problem free construction zone because it was going to be in bored tube. It wasn’t the City of Vancouver that decided that it would ignore that undertaking in order to go for the low bid on the construction/operation P3 bid, which put cut and cover through north Cambie, but kept bored tube for downtown. It wasn’t the City of Vancouver that forced the Translink Board to change its mind over opposition to the Canada Line (which is not in the regional plan and has drained funds much needed for better bus service in the rest of the region and has held back the higher priority Evergreen Line) – and then decided that even though they (reluctantly) complied they would have to be “reorganized” into ineffectiveness.

And the truly appalling thing is that Kevin will almost certainly get away with this, and small business owners will continue to vote for parties on the right wing – like the “BC Liberals” (who aren’t). Kevin just looks at the lead they have in the polls and thinks he is fireproof.


Kevin clearly has no understanding of what it is like running a small business, when the cash flow has been reduced to an inadequate trickle for months on end already. The people who run business like “Tomato” are not foolish or improvident. They simply cannot survive that long without a positive cash flow. Tomato managed to get out and relocate. Many who hung on so far could not survive that long and have already gone. Dismissing their concerns in this fashion shows that Kevin knows where his support is coming from and thinks that he doesn’t need votes from these small business owners. Let alone recognise either moral or legal responsibility.

Cafe Gloucester

The decision to go for cut and cover construction was forced by the province against what had been agreed to after consultation. The province therefore bears responsibility for the current mess. Cambie will eventually recover. The nature of the street however, will have changed by then. The small businesses and the unique character of the neighborhood will have been lost. And there will be bland corporate nowhere. No Tomato, no Don Don noodles. But lots of Starbucks and Wendy’s no doubt. Kevin does not need small business support because he has big business support.

Cambie at 19th northbound

Written by Stephen Rees

June 18, 2007 at 1:43 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Thought you might want to check out a QTVR that shows the mess that is Cambie


    June 21, 2007 at 7:33 am

  2. Very effective virtual tour. Thank you.

    Stephen Rees

    June 21, 2007 at 9:09 am

  3. […] I have updated the Cambie Street piece with photographs. This was inspired by a comment which included a link to a very well done […]

  4. Yes, Cambie flows quite smoothly because of the many restrictions on turns. As long as you don’t need to turn off before 29th Ave. (or later at Marine Drive), you’re good to go.

    Also, have a look at the City Council Agenda for June 26, 2007.
    The City considered removing parking from one side of Cambie through the Cambie Village to accommodate dual bike paths, but staff recommended against it.

    As an aside, it is interesting that even neighbourhood centres such as Cambie Village draw a large proportion (50-70%?) of their business from people who drive there to shop (and are discouraged by the construction).


    June 22, 2007 at 11:45 am

  5. Enduring pain for later gain on Cambie
    Some firms wait for profit further down the line
    Larry Pynn and Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun
    Published: Saturday, June 23, 2007

    As a business owner on construction-ravaged Cambie Street, Theodore Lee should be depressed — not upbeat.

    The owner of International Insurance Agencies Ltd. reports that walk-in business is slow and that he’s lost two salesmen to other brokerage firms because they couldn’t bear the hassle of driving to the office.

    What makes Lee different from so many others in the Cambie Village who are struggling with economic losses as a result of Canada Line construction is that he made a conscious decision to be here, snapping up the company three months ago from a previous owner who sold in part due to frustration with construction.

    Stephen Rees

    June 23, 2007 at 5:00 pm

  6. CBC is broadcasting from Dadeo’s on Tuesday, October 9th starting at 6:00a.m. Canada Line officials Jane Bird and Steve Crombie will be there. Please come and share your stories about the nightmare that is Cambie.


    October 6, 2007 at 4:59 pm

  7. UPDATE April 4, 2016

    Cambie Street merchants can now claim compensation for disruption caused by Canada Line Vancouver Observer

    Stephen Rees

    April 4, 2016 at 2:54 pm

  8. […] And, of course, the province of BC though they were not named in the suit but they are in my blog post. I did try to document what was happening and some of the outcome. But you might find the Siskinds […]

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