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Shaping Vancouver 2016 | What’s So Special About the Drive

May 18, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

FREE, registration is required. Donations to Heritage Vancouver are much appreciated.


Commercial Drive is perhaps the most vibrant, textured, and diverse street in Vancouver—outstanding for its unique sense of place and experience.

As the city continues to grow eastward, the pressure to develop this area is mounting and becoming a reality. The changes on the table will introduce new typologies, such as towers, that will radically change the fabric of the street. Heritage Vancouver Society would like to explore how to address the need for additional density and transit within a framework that respects the character of the Drive and its remaining heritage assets.

As a way to engage the Drive, this discussion will

  • Review the history of the street
  • explore what we can consider its heritage assets
  • onder the intangible heritage of the area that should be considered when development is being proposed
  • and challenge the notion of prescriptive zoning as a means to preserve an heritage area.

Alongside the question of preservation comes the question of character. Should we be satisfied with saving a few important Heritage assets while the character of an area is abandoned to the forces of development? The panel will discuss how much of the character of an area we can or should surrender to development, what character can be considered important and worth preserving, and whether that character is tied to traditional heritage forms.

Change is coming to “The Drive” and tonight’s panelists will be addressing how and what can be done to avoid destroying what is important about the street. A general discussion with the audience follows.


Theo Lamb

Theo Lamb is a passionate community organizer who brings her skills and experience in digital advocacy and community engagement to conference producing. She is the principal of Cicada Community Consulting which helps progressive and values-aligned organizations build, activate, support and inspire their member communities both on and offline. Theo produces Social Change Institute, Social Venture Institute Hollyhock and Social Venture Institute Vancouver at SFU Woodward’s. She is a Board Director with Vancity and the BC Cooperative Association.


Jak King has lived on the Drive for more than twenty-five years. Now retired, he has devoted many years to the study of the Drive’s retail, social, architectural and political history. He published “The Drive, 1935 to 1955” in 2011, and the “Encyclopedia of Commercial Drive” in 2012. He has published numerous shorter articles on the history of the Drive in British Columbia History and for the Grandview Heritage Group’s website. He maintains a daily blog of items of interest to Grandview.”

Susanne Dahlin, long term resident and Chair of the Planning and Development Committee of the Britannia Board of Management



Javier Campos is the Principal of Campos Studio.  Prior to that Javier was a founding partner of Campos Leckie Studio – whose modernist work has been published nationally and internationally. He has also been involved in the creation of multiple Public Art projects and has won several competitions with Vancouver artist Elspeth Pratt including a commission entitled Sight Works for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. He participates as a thesis advisor and guest critic at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture as well as The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.  He is the President of Heritage Vancouver Society and a Board Member of The Contemporary Art Gallery.


May 18, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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SFU Goldcorp Centre
149 W Hastings
Vancouver, Canada


SFU Public Square