Families out at Emery Barnes Park for Father’s Day 2014

Father’s Day was another busy day at Emery Barnes Park as families came out to enjoy the sunshine and wind down after a busy weekend. Vancouver needs more places like this in the city to ensure that children and parents have a place to spend some active time together. This is what makes a life enjoyable and we need the City of Vancouver to work with us to keep Vancouver green and liveable for generations to come. So please sign our petition and help donate to our cause this Father’s Day to ensure that future generations can enjoy a wonderful park.

Father’s Day, June 15, 2014

2014-06-17T00:43:41-07:00June 15, 2014|

City Delivers Disappointing Response to CANY Freedom of Information Request

On May 6, within hours of being served the legal Petition filed by the Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY), the City finally delivered a portion of the information that a CANY member had requested under the Freedom of Information (FOI) act.

Of the 8500+ pages covered by the request, the City delivered just 85 pages—less than one percent. City officials blanked out content totalling roughly 29 of those 85 pages.

The documents arrived more than 90 days past the initial due date set by the City itself. The City’s delays had triggered the BC Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) to fast-track its inquiry into the matter.

CANY is disappointed in the City’s continued withholding of information. We are further troubled by the City’s failure to deliver any of the required documents until after CANY filed legal action.

Read on for a chronology and to see the redacted documents:

Sample Redacted FOI Response Page


2020-04-23T17:24:29-07:00May 19, 2014|

2011 Park Board Budget Called for Full-Block Emery Barnes Park

The 2011 Vancouver Park Board budget planned for Emery Barnes Park to extend to occupy the entire block.

Page 2 of the budget’s Appendix 2 contains a table summarizing the planned Phase III as the completion of Emery Barnes Park, as shown below.
Park Board Capital Budget 2011(FINAL) - Emery Barnes Park


This table is reproduced verbatim below for easier reading: (more…)

2020-04-23T17:24:30-07:00May 8, 2014|

Community Association Files Legal Petition to Save Emery Barnes Park

The Community Association of New Yaletown today filed a legal petition at BC Supreme Court to prevent the development, on the downtown city block containing Emery Barnes Park, of what could become the densest residential building in Vancouver.

The legal petition alleges that the City, in approving development of the 36-storey tower at 508 Helmcken St. and a related building across the street at 1099 Richards St.:

  • withheld information from the public about the planned development, preventing informed community participation;
  • provided false and misleading information to the Development Permit Board in order to gain approval for a development permit;
  • hid bylaw changes concerning New Yaletown within amendments to the West End Community Plan–amendments for a completely different neighbourhood;
  • grossly violated the bylaws of the Downtown Official Development Plan, which ensures residential livability by limiting building size and density.

“Our goal is to save our Park,” said Jon Green, President of the Community Association of New Yaletown (CANY). “This city-owned land had been planned and budgeted to become part of our park. Instead, the City chose to ignore overwhelming neighbourhood opposition and approve a developer’s proposal for a building denser than the Shangri La–the tallest building in the city.”

The development at 508 Helmcken violates the Downtown Official Development Plan (DODP) bylaws in numerous significant ways, including:

DODP Bylaw Allowed Approved Magnitude of Violation
Building Height 70 Feet Maximum 320 Feet 4.5 Times Allowed Height
Building Density in Floor Space Ratio (FSR) FSR 3.0 Maximum FSR 17.19 5.5 Times Allowed Density
Setbacks from Sidewalk and Park 12 Feet Minimum 6 Feet (0 Feet in some places) 1/2 of Required Setback


The public voiced opposition to the development throughout its approval process, with over 91% of neighbouring residents opposed. In considering the proposed development, even the Chair of the Urban Design Panel, Norm Shearing, described the enormous tower as a building that is out of context” for the neighbourhood.

“The City will likely claim that these bylaw violations are justified by the need for Social Housing,” said Alan Albert, Vice President of CANY. “This planned mega-tower contains no social housing. It’s a for-profit building at market rates.”

Continued Albert, “I support social housing. My family and I chose to live in a neighbourhood that has several social housing buildings because they contribute to the diversity of our community.”

The land at 508 Helmcken had previously been planned to be added to the park as part of Phase III, with funds allocated in the Park Board budgets for 2011 and 2012. The expanded park was intended to help reduce the City’s significant shortfall in meeting its own greenspace targets in the area. The City did not even mention or discuss its prior park expansion plans as it discarded them in favour of the developer’s proposal.

To stop the approved mega-tower and to help enable Emery Barnes Park to expand to its originally planned size, the Community Association of New Yaletown is seeking the public’s support.

2020-04-23T17:24:30-07:00May 6, 2014|