Giant Floating Ferris Wheel Planned for North Vancouver

An artist's rendering of the new Central Waterfront area in North Vancouver

An artist’s rendering of the new Central Waterfront area in North Vancouver

Developers are hoping to give visitors a big new reason to take the SeaBus to North Vancouver.

A massive Ferris wheel built on a pier adjacent to the Lonsdale Quay is among major changes envisioned for a piece of North Vancouver waterfront at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue.

The $25-million development plan, unveiled this week at a council meeting, aims to transform a little-used, industrial shipyard into a tourist mecca and nighttime hot spot, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun. Work could begin on the project in as little as 18 months.

Apart from the giant Ferris wheel, the “Central Waterfront” area will feature a 21,000-square-foot, multi-use amphitheatre.  In colder weather, the space will serve as a skating rink that’s five times bigger than the one in Robson Square. In the summer, it will be a water park with erupting fountains.  The fountains can also be turned off, enabling the facility to be used as a open-air concert venue with a full stage.

Plans are for the redeveloped waterfront to be open as late as 10 p.m. throughout the week, offering a family-oriented nightspot after daytime attractions like Granville Island’s Public Market have closed.

The scheme, intended to lure travellers across the Burrard Inlet to the North Shore, is the vision of developer Roger Brooks. A onetime concert promoter, Brooks has earned international renown for transforming underused urban spaces and communities into must-visit attractions.  He led the highly successful initiative to rebrand Whistler into Whistler Blackcomb, a single destination and resort village as opposed to two separate, smaller resorts.

Other changes proposed along the waterfront include a new wheeled trolley that will service Lonsdale Avenue every 15 minutes, shuttling people to and from the new park.  In addition, plans are in the works to spruce up the SeaBus terminal in nearby Lonsdale Quay, which sits just west of the site and is the first stop on the North Shore for many visitors.  Specifically, the long, dark tunnel exiting the terminal will be brightened up with water walls and neon art.

What do you think about the plans for a giant floating Ferris Wheel in North Vancouver? Let us know below. 

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13 Responses to Giant Floating Ferris Wheel Planned for North Vancouver

  1. Deb

    I don’t think it’s necessary to muddle up the skyline anymore, leave nature alone , build a education centre instead re: oceans and less is more .

    • Graham

      Deb, if you seriously feel this way, there are plenty of “natural” spaces along the Sunshine Coast, The Island, and throughout the rest of the Province. Move there! There are those of us who choose to live in the CITY because of the lifestyle choices it offers. I like the excitement, energy and diversity living in a metropolis offers. If I wanted virgin nature, I know where to go.

      • Sheldon

        Well said Graham, I love the idea too, I just wish it would also include a unique to Vancouver attraction along with the Ferris wheel. Great idea and look forward to it! family Orientated night spot sounds great!

    • Margaret

      The Lower Mainland has had many tourist attractions that have been cancelled because of a lack of funding. Why on earth would something copied from Seattle be a good idea when most of our visitors are from our neighbour to the south?
      This would just be a blight on the harbour. A bad idea.

      • Barb

        I guess its the same reason why Seattle copied the idea from several other cities (and not just US cities): people like them, they boost tourism, its a fun family activity, they give a different perspective/view of the city, they draw people to that area….and on and on

  2. Barb

    I am a north shore resident and think it’s an excellent idea. Tourists need a reason to visit the north shore and this will do just that. It is close to the seabus and not only will it add vibrancy and pump much needed life into the area, it will also benefit traders on the Lonsdale corridor and other established north shore “attractions” once people are coaxed over to this side of the water.
    I heard recently that one of the original trolleys is restored and in storage. It would be wonderful to see it incorporated into the area as a fixed display or even utilized in the new trolley scheme.

  3. Danielle

    I’m not sure about the ferris wheel idea specifically, but a strategy to encourage tourists to cross the inlet to the North Shore seems like a good idea.

  4. Karen

    I like the idea a lot. It would be a fun place to visit and a great view of the city from the Ferris Wheel. London springs to mind more than Seattle. And a great unused location could be brought to life.

  5. Holmsie

    I like this idea. Lonsdale is an easy and interesting boat ride across the harbour from downtown and would be nicely lit up at night. Just think about how interesting and unique the view of the sulphur mounds are, regardless of your opinions of industry.
    Besides, this results in a fair number of jobs (long term) and that is a good thing, no?

  6. Zorro

    How original! What are they going to call it…….the Lonsdale Eye?

    • T

      the Quayhole ; )

  7. Jeremy

    Great idea. Love it. Unfortunately it will NEVER fly as envisioned, what with all the vocal NIMBYS decaying in their nearby apts.

  8. Jacob

    does anyone know if it has been approved yer?