A Seawall from Kits to Jericho Beach? Anonymous donor wants to build it

Photo credit: johanyjutras | Flickr

What would you do if you had an extra $10 million or so lying around?

Fill the last remaining gap in Vancouver’s world-class, waterfront seawall, of course.

That’s exactly what an anonymous donor has proposed to do, offering the Vancouver Park Board tens of millions to construct a seawall between Kitsilano and Jericho Beaches on the city’s West Side, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.

As seawall lovers know, right now there is no waterfront route between the two beaches.  Instead, you have to venture inland along sometimes busy Kitsilano streets (like the 3rd Avenue Seaside Bicycle Route) in order to bridge the gap.

The proposed link is considered the final missing piece in Vancouver’s impressive seawall system, a continuous seaside pedestrian pathway that stretches all the way from Coal Harbour, around Stanley Park, into and out of False Creek and out to Kitsilano, picking up again along Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks.

Right now, the proposal to build the new 2.5-kilometre section of seawall is just that – a proposal.  The next step is a lengthy consultation process, starting with local homeowners in the ritzy waterfront Cornwall and Point Grey neighbourhoods.  But I ‘d like to know what you think:

Do you support the idea of extending the seawall from Kits to Jericho?  Let us know below. 

Of course, this final section of seawall will present some serious engineering challenges not encountered elsewhere.  At high tide, there’s no beach to speak of in many spots around Point Grey.  Concrete retaining walls from waterfront homes drop right to the water.  So some sort of pier system would need to be built next to these eighty or so homes.

Photo credit: Ariane Colenbrander | Flickr

The final cost is expected to range into the tens of millions of dollars.  Funds from the anonymous donor (“a longtime city resident and philanthropist who loves the seawall“), would need to be combined with financing from the provincial and federal governments.

For the moment, the project has at least one big-name booster, the mayor himself. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson fired off an email saying, “I’d love to see a public connection from Jericho to Kits beach . . . . We should be embracing any opportunity for more public waterfront access . . . .”

What do you think about extending the seawall along Point Grey to Jericho?  Weigh in below. 

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15 Responses to A Seawall from Kits to Jericho Beach? Anonymous donor wants to build it

  1. Mandy

    I love the idea – the missing piece! However I expect a lot of NIMBY-ism from the local affluent residents.

    • Maria

      I’m local, not affluent, and certainly not a nimbyist. Have you taken a walk down there? It’s the last natural shoreline we have in the city and very fragile ecologically. It’s not a question of access; lots of people go down there and enjoy the tranquility – they just happen to walk! Inform yourself before making knee jerk, predictable judgments about people who might frequent this beach.

  2. sam

    this blog is similar to thevancouvernews.ca !

  3. Diane Rae

    What a super idea! I’m all for it!

  4. Avner

    I love the idea !!!

  5. Tim B

    Yes, yes, yes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. L Leeman

    Do we REALLY have to have traffic on every single foot of waterfront. Presently, this is the last little piece of unpaved waterfront beach in Vancouver and I think it would be a travesty to pave it.

    It isnt like there is no access, there is plenty .. but not for cars and bikes. You go on foot.
    It has been that way since I was a child in Vancouver and I have walked many times. If you really want to bike to Spanish Banks go ahead. Just go around this small bit of zero traffic beach. We need to preserve it and we surely do not need another waterfront cylce track. Blacktop and beaches do not mix well.

    • Maria

      L Leeman, I agree with you. Some people think if they can’t rollerblade or bike past the shoreline we’re not “using” it. What’s disappointing is the number of people who post here with “I’m for it! and have never even walked down there and have no idea what’s at stake. They just like the idea of cycling/rollerblading/running past this fragile beach rather than taking a walk and seeing what’s really down there.

  7. L Leeman

    I have never been fond of things that connect to real estate values or religion being funded anonymously.
    This proposal should not even be considered until the proposed donor is made public and scrutinized.

  8. Sarah

    NO NO NO, a thousand times NO. DEAD AGAINST IT.

  9. sarah

    And I have to ask, because it will affect my opinion, are the people who are posting “yes we want this” even from here?

    • maria

      Sarah, they probably aren’t and have no idea what’s down there. You have to remember this is a development-crazy city. Just think, if they go ahead with this one day you can go down there at low tide for your tranquil walk in nature only to hear frantic shouts of “on your left, on your left!” above you. That’s progress. I guess 22km of wall just isn’t enough.

  10. sarah

    Perhaps that was too “mean spirited”? My point is that having grown up here, one of the best assets of this place is the fantastic beaches and UNAFFECTED areas to visit nature. But go on, kill it.

  11. Valerie

    Although we have a city bike route on Third Avenue, cyclist continue to slow down traffic on Cornwall during rush hour. Perhaps the seawall would assist in getting cyclist out of rush hour traffic as well as provide continued accessibility to ordinary citizens rather than a few elite homeowners. I live in Dunbar and would ride my bike to work if the seawall was built. Yes, I support the construction of the seawall!

  12. Anthony Moniz


    Completeing the Seawall from Kits beach to Jericho beach and later through UBC and connecting to the Fraser Dike paths would be an impressive pedestrian , bike path that all citizens would use instead of their vehicles . Many other peple outside of Vancouver visit Vancouvers spectacular waterfront for the beautiful views …This would be a legacy project that has vision !