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Lower Cambie comes to life

January 8th, 2009 · 8 Comments

One of the interesting quirks of city life is watching people emerge from the woodwork when some new gathering point entices them out.

I drive up and down Cambie a lot, what with city hall being there and all. For most of my life, it’s been pretty much a dead zone from Broadway to the bridge.

But with the opening of the Save-On Foods at Sixth, along with several other urban versions of big-box Canadian Tire, Winners, Best Buy, and Home Depot, suddenly I see people all over the place around there.

It’s not exactly Paris along the street, what with those giant stores lining the Cambie Street Siege of Stalingrad construction zone, but there they are, real pedestrians strolling along the sidewalk with grocery bags in their hands, clearly walking to some home that’s within walking distance.

Who knew? Maybe Fairview Slopes, the city’s most pedestrian-free residential zone, will start to come to life.

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  • Dee

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have ‘walking’ communities everywhere! I wasn’t sure all the box stores in the area would be condusive to pedestrians so I’m glad to hear it does. Now, maybe we can convince city hall to have mixed residential/small commercial through out Vancouver.

  • spartikus

    Well as a resident of Fairview Slopes I can confirm the observation. Even with all the construction hassles, it’s a good neighbourhood to live in – I walk or cycle to work, and there’s lots of nearby destinations for outings.

    And it’s potentially great. In the wistful thinking department I would like to see the sort of the hole in the wall eateries that exist on the east side of Cambie (Solly’s, etc) spring up on the west side. The Wicked Cafe on 7th & Hemlock is always packed. There’s not a lot of potential locations, but there are some….

    I can’t wait for the construction to be over. Of course, there will be the hell of the Olympics and the “Olympic Security Zone” to look forward to.

  • EVan

    Save-On-Foods should hold a singles event there some time. I’ve heard of this happening at the Market on Yates in Victoria before. At the Cambie St. Save-On location, I’ve noticed there are some good-looking customers – if you’re into the healthcare, city hall, or high tech types. The event can include food, drinks, music, activities, etc. Think about it, Save-On!

  • Travis

    And soon there will be a Whole Foods there as well! Not exactly sure why two Starbucks stores are needed, but I am someone must have thought it was a good idea. Living within 3 blocks from these amenities is a real treat. Now once the time is set correctly on the City Hall clock and the construction reaches completion it will be paradise. Countdown to rent increase has already started.

  • Steve

    Take a look a little farther south along Cambie and you will see that Cambie Village is starting to come back to life as well. The area is starting to get a few new restaurants and word is that Vij has purchased a building at 15th and Cambie with designs on opening a new restaurant there in the next year. Lots of independents in Cambie Village, making it feel a little bit like 4th Ave of 10-12 years ago.

  • Bill Lee

    Get out of your car and stand around looking at what they
    are buying/carrying.

    It’s all snack food, no veg, no meat. The pedestrians seem
    to treat it as a corner store for mixers and such.
    I stood there waiting for someone for an hour around 1 pm on
    Saturday in October when they were shopping.

    When the road is finally open will it resume its speedway
    designation for drivers in and out of town? Few seem to go
    less than 70 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, faster on the bridge and
    any speed goes in the wee hours.
    Lets start up a death count clock, pre RAV line, after….

  • Darcy McGee

    > Fairview Slopes, the city’s most pedestrian-free
    > residential zone

    Seriously? You’re actually going to make that comment seriously?

    Have you been to Kerrisdale? People here drive their kids 8 blocks to go to the Play Palace. They might walk the stretch from the Boulevard to the Starbucks, but nobody walks anywhere.

    I lived in Fairview Slopes for a while, and there was quite a bit of foot traffic thanks, in part, to its proximity to Granville Island the Seawall.

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