24 E Broadway and 2520 Ontario St rezoning application

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We would like your feedback on a rezoning application at 24 E Broadway and 2520 Ontario St. The proposal is to allow for a 12-storey office building. The zoning would change from C-3A (commercial) to CD-1 (comprehensive development). The proposal includes:

  • Floor space ratio (FSR) of 7.75
  • 20,284 sq. ft. of retail space
  • 104,755 sq. ft. of office space
  • Total floor area of 125,039 sq. ft.
  • Building height of 147.67 ft.
  • 7 levels of underground parking with 230 vehicle parking spaces and 68 bicycle parking spaces

The application is being considered under the Metro Core Jobs and Economy Land Use Plan.

In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), an extended online question and answer (Q&A) period was held in place of an in-person open house for this project.



We would like your feedback on a rezoning application at 24 E Broadway and 2520 Ontario St. The proposal is to allow for a 12-storey office building. The zoning would change from C-3A (commercial) to CD-1 (comprehensive development). The proposal includes:

  • Floor space ratio (FSR) of 7.75
  • 20,284 sq. ft. of retail space
  • 104,755 sq. ft. of office space
  • Total floor area of 125,039 sq. ft.
  • Building height of 147.67 ft.
  • 7 levels of underground parking with 230 vehicle parking spaces and 68 bicycle parking spaces

The application is being considered under the Metro Core Jobs and Economy Land Use Plan.

In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), an extended online question and answer (Q&A) period was held in place of an in-person open house for this project.


The virtual open house has concluded. Please use the “Send your comments” tab or contact the Planner directly for any further feedback. Thank you for participating.
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    With a proposed 250 vehicle parking capacity for this development, the traffic congestion is unavoidable and seems beyond the capacity of the Ontario roadway. Other than reducing the size of the building from proposed 147 ft height to reduce it's parking capacity, can you cite examples of traffic calming measures that have been implemented elsewhere in the City that have proven to be effective for similar sized developments? Anecdotally, Broadway/Ontario seems to have a high incidence of serious motor vehicle collisions as it is; and some cyclists tend to carry unsafe amounts of speed on the northbound/downhill portion of 2500 block Ontario. I fail to see how moving the SHAW bike share station from it’s existing location on 10th Ave. to the proposed site can possibly do anything to mitigate congestion and safety at the Ontario/Broadway intersection. If I understand the City's response correctly to built heights, are the view cones from Queen Elizabeth park are the only criteria that the developer is required to meet? If there are other height regulating criteria, what are they? Ultimately, how does the City justify building heights like this development that are out of character with the existing neighbourhood? How high would a building along Broadway have to be before it obstructs the QE view cone? That answer would lead me to think that future Broadway developments along this corridor could very well be higher than 12 stories. How will the Broadway plan potentially inform new developments in this area? Wouldn’t it be prudent to delay the interim rezoning approval for this application until the Broadway plan can be updated to consider the impact to commercial development due to COVID-19? The Interim Rezoning Policy on Consideration of Rezoning very likely didn’t consider the impacts of COVID.

    eastvanstillrules asked 3 months ago

    Hi there,

    Regarding height: The developer must meet a number of criteria, including, but not only, coming in below the Queen E view cone. The applicant must meet the requirement for a number of considerations, including form of development (the podium to minimize shadow on to north sidewalk of Broadway at 10 am and 2 pm of the spring and fall equinoxes, which they do), to ensure Broadway is an active street frontage (with inclusion of retail and active storefronts, which they do), ensure vehicle and bicycle parking bylaw is adhered to, respect public view cones, and other considerations. 

    Under the Metro Core Plan and the Broadway Interim Rezoning Policy, there are policy directions that allow consideration of rezonings for commercial office projects in this part of the city. We recognize the shortage in office space and the importance to locate job and employment opportunities next to transit. This is one example of that. We know that the Broadway Corridor is experiencing change and going through a planning program where directions are expected to largely consider new transit. That said, future growth in close proximity to rapid transit is absolutely considered here when thinking about how neighbourhoods are currently and areas for growth. 

    We also work with the applicant to ensure efforts to sculpt and design the building to respond to the neighbourhood character currently and what we expect in future.

    The applicant is expected to meet the enabling policy at the time. The Metro Core Plan, for which this rezoning has come in under, is what we are considering as the enabling policy. The Interim Rezoning Policy was approved in 2019, before Covid. And it did not anticipate a pandemic. However, we as staff are required to understand how rezonings meet policy at the time. At the time, we had enabling policy that called for more office space close to transit.

    While Covid has certainly changed a lot of how organizations and people are, and we absolutely recognize that. Design considerations within the office building can be done to accommodate to a new office environment – which can be largely determined after a rezoning. We understand opportunities such as touchless lights and doors are one example. 

    In the spring, we held public consultation for Ontario greenway and collected feedback regarding existing conditions between Broadway and 12th. Consultation material can be found: https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/ontario-greenway-upgrades-2nd-ave-to-16th-ave-pop-up-session-march-2020.pdf. The consultation summary is still be finalized and we are hoping to publish the results this summer. We heard strong themes regarding traffic volumes and safety, especially on bike routes like Ontario and 10th, and therefore are currently working on options to further deter motor vehicle volumes. While managing other priorities relating to pandemic response, we hope to come back to the community for another round of engagement this year.

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    If this rezoning to 12 stories is approved. Will this be setting an overall precedent to approve the rest of the Broadway corridor to build towers this same height casting all of us residents living on 10th street into shadow? I am very opposed to this new height zoning on the residential side of Broadway. Keep that to Olympic Village.

    cdrahos asked 3 months ago

    This approval would not necessarily set a precedent for the remaining Broadway Corridor. The Corridor is currently undergoing its own planning process that will set future directions on height and form of development. That would be the policy for which future rezonings would be considered under.

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    How does demolition of a 1910 house (24 Broadway) align with the City's commitment to preserving character houses built prior to 1940 (Heritage Action Plan)? This city is losing character faster than my neighbours can move to the East Coast.

    roadmovie asked 3 months ago

    Thanks for your question. How we think about heritage and cultural buildings do remain an importance throughout the city.

    The existing house is from 1910 and the applicant’s statement of significance (SOS) was very important to helping the City decide on next steps. The SOS told us that a) the house had significant renovations, including an addition and alternations, altering the building quite substantially and b) lack of archival records make it a challenge to understand the original structure.

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    In a few years there will be a SkyTrain station less than a 5 minute walk from this site. Considering that future context, is this building designed to allow for an expansion in case the Broadway Plan permits more job space at this location?

    Tavia asked 3 months ago

    Thanks for your question. The current proposal is coming in ahead of the Broadway Plan which is expected for completion in 2021. That Plan will guide future developments with attention to a new Skytrain station close to this site.

    This application is for 12 storeys and 125,000 sq. ft. of office. That means additional floors of commercial and office are proposed for the site, beyond what currently is permitted, next to current and future rapid transit. Staff are evaluating this proposal in response to the current policies for which it comes under. With a new Skytrain closeby, the Broadway Plan may reveal a greater need for more job space. If the Broadway Plan reveals additional height and density to accommodate future growth, and should there be a Rezoning Policy that enables height and density beyond what is proposed now, applicants have the option of applying under a new policy. 

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    How many people are expected to be employed in this building? Also, what level of investment will it contribute to our city, and how many jobs will be created to construct it?

    Silent_Echo asked 3 months ago

    Thanks for your question. The proposal is expected to generate 125,000 sq. ft. of new office space, sufficient for some 500 workers. We also know that prior to COVID, the office vacancy rate was 1-2% and forecasting shows that the office vacancy in the short term is expected to rise to only 7%. A healthy vacancy rate is about 10%. So we still have a gap in office space throughout the city.

    Regarding construction jobs, a project of this size could generate some 100 construction jobs. These numbers are estimates.

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    This project is going to bring increased vehicle traffic to the surrounding residential neighbourhoods. What are you doing to keep cars OFF of Ontario St., 10th Ave, and 8th Ave, which are major bike routes?

    Ian asked 3 months ago

    The City does not intend to keep cars off bicycle routes. 10th Avenue and Ontario Street allow vehicular access. The introduction of this building does not result in the switching of a shared street to bicycles only. The two existing bike routes are shared between cars and bicycles and pedestrians. The City does however have intentions to upgrade Ontario Street bikeway to ensure it is all ages and abilities.

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    Bike safety was not answered in the previous response by the planner. What measures are included in the proposal to ensure safety of the high traffic Ontario bike lane when there will be an increase in car traffic turning into the lane for parkade and loading access? Will the Quebec St traffic calming intersection at Broadway be removed? What was the rationale in proposing rezoning to a 12 story height in a residential area? (Current restrictions are 9.5m and this proposal is 44m high and the taller buildings quoted in the proposal are far away on Kingsway where there is a different neighborhood feeling). What are the changes being discussed for Queen E view cone mentioned in the proposal? Is there a chance that even taller buildings be approved in this area after this rezoning? What is typically allowed for shadow impact on surrounding housing and businesses? From the very limited drawings provided, the building will cast a lot of shadow at all times of year. Will the city encourage the developer to use an indigenous or POC artist for the public art advertised in the proposal?

    Riley asked 3 months ago
    • To improve the safety of all road users the applicant will be asked to contribute to street improvements along Ontario Street adjacent to the site as a condition of development. These improvements may include protected bicycle lanes, traffic calming devices, and modifications to existing signals. There are no plans to remove the traffic calming device at Quebec and Broadway as part of this development.
    • For a rezoning on this site, higher building heights up to view cones are permitted under the enabling policy, the Metro Core Jobs and Economy Plan. This project is coming in under the Queen Elizabeth View Cone. Rezonings do consider higher building beyond what is permitted under the base density.
    • Intensification of uses and greater supply of office is anticipated in areas close to transit. This site is two blocks away from a future rapid transit line, the Broadway Subway.
    • There are no changes being discussed under this application to the Queen E view cone.
    • Future consideration of taller buildings in this area would be subject to policies that exist at the time of rezoning submission. 
    • The Metro Core Plan and Broadway Plan consider the exploration of building heights up to the underside of public view cones. The Queen Elizabeth view cone (view number 3.2.4a) crosses this site; the proposed height of 148 ft., including mechanical and elevator overrun, comes in under the view cone to ensure that public views of the north shore mountains are preserved from Queen Elizabeth Park.
    • With a new development, shadows from buildings will be cast onto other spaces. For this area, importance was placed on ensuring adequate solar access for pedestrian and businesses on the north side of Broadway. As such, the eight-storey podium on the eastern portion of the site is limited to 80 ft. in height. The applicant’s shadow studies confirm that the podium height maintains sunlight on the north sidewalk between 10 am and 2 pm at the spring and fall equinoxes. 
    • The public art process is determined after a rezoning. This process involves on-site public art with a developer or cash in lieu, to the City, for public art on or off the site. Both go through a City process however at the rezoning stage, the City does not require an Indigenous or Person of Colour artist. However, this suggestion can definitely be made to myself to communicate with our public art staff.
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    This is a busy bike and pedestrian area, as well as close to a residential area with traffic calming. What are the plans for access to parking and protection of bikes, given that the alley is on a bike lane?

    William asked 4 months ago

    Thanks for your message. The alley is not currently on a bike lane; the alley and Ontario St bike lane do intersect, as is common with other bike lanes and alleys.

    The underground parking access is currently off of Ontario and the access to above-grade parking is from the lane. The proposal will see underground parking and loading all accessed from the lane. That means two vehicular access will go down to one. We also know that Ontario and 10th are busy bike lanes and as such, the applicant has proposed a public bike share station along the western edge of the site. This doesn’t necessarily protect bikes however it does provide improved transit connectivity for sustainable forms of transportation.