St. George Rainway

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Over view photo of St. George Street looking North from 8th Avenue

St George Rainway

St. George Rainway is a green rainwater infrastructure and sustainable transportation project that aims to re-imagine the street to support nature, mobility, community and learning.

What is happening?

The St. George Rainway was first envisioned by a group of community volunteers who wanted to add urban nature back into the streetscape while creating opportunities for artistic expression, education activities, and community gathering. In 2020, City of Vancouver began public consultation to make this project a reality. The Rainway will use green rainwater infrastructure to:

  • Reduce street flooding
  • Treat rainwater pollutants from roadways
  • Reduce combined sewer overflows into

St George Rainway

St. George Rainway is a green rainwater infrastructure and sustainable transportation project that aims to re-imagine the street to support nature, mobility, community and learning.

What is happening?

The St. George Rainway was first envisioned by a group of community volunteers who wanted to add urban nature back into the streetscape while creating opportunities for artistic expression, education activities, and community gathering. In 2020, City of Vancouver began public consultation to make this project a reality. The Rainway will use green rainwater infrastructure to:

  • Reduce street flooding
  • Treat rainwater pollutants from roadways
  • Reduce combined sewer overflows into local waterways
  • Enhance climate resiliency
  • Increase biodiversity
  • Cool the neighbourhood during summer heat

The project will also provide safety and comfort improvements for those who walk, bike and roll down St. George Street.

We have just completed our final phase of engagment of the Rainway concept design. A summary of the survey results are available here. What we hear in this final phase of public engagement will help city staff to develop a detailed design and construction drawings for the Rainway. Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2023.

Stay involved

Throughout this year, we will be running a citizen science campaign using iNaturalist to measure biodiversity along the Rainway. Learn more by visiting our citizen science page. The Rainway will have other opportunities for involvement too as the project gets implemented. To stay up to date, please sign up for our mailing list on the top right side of this page.

  • The final Rainway concept design is here!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    In November 2021, we presented 4 street layout and 3 green rainwater infrastructure concept designs for the St. George Rainway and asked you to tell us your preferences.

    The preferred street layout option was Option 1: Car-free space at Broadway and between 6th Ave. and 7th Ave.

    The preferred green rainwater infrastructure concept was Concept A: Flow

    The options presented in fall 2021 are shared in the engagement results.


    Final Concept Design

    Using your feedback, the City of Vancouver has developed a final Rainway concept design that reflects the vision, values and ideas shared by the community. Street space is being re-allocated to support rainwater management, urban nature, and improved opportunities to walk, bike and roll.

    An outdoor plaza area with seating, beside a rain garden. A two-way cycling route with cyclists are on the far right side. A green space along side a curved sidewalk. To the left, there is a small seating area with people sitting on two chairs. A rain garden with a sidewalk through the middle. A road with cyclists and cars sharing space on the right.
    St. George Street between Broadway and the lane will be closed to vehicle traffic. A new public plaza is proposed in this space with seating areas and public artwork created by Engineering Artist-in-residence Holly Schmidt St. George Street between 6th and 7th avenue will be a car-free space. This area will provide added green space, small seating areas, and outdoor learning opportunities. St. George Street between 8th to 7th Ave., and 6th to 5th Ave. will change to one way vehicle traffic southbound. A two-way local bikeway to be added to St. George Street between E 6th Ave. and Broadway.


    See all the details by checking out our design boards:


    How did we do?

    We will be collecting feedback on the final concept design though a survey, available online from April 1- April 30.

    This will be the final chance for the community to comment on the St. George Rainway design. Feedback from this phase will be incorporated into a detailed design, with construction of the Rainway anticipated to start in early 2023.

  • Calling All Citizen Scientists!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Sparrow in a fieldbee on a flowermushroom

    Green Rainwater Infrastructure uses nature (and engineering!) to help capture, convey and clean polluted urban rainwater runoff. These systems can also provide many environmental and social benefits to a community, like increased biodiversity. The Rainway proposed for St. George Street between Broadway and E 5th Ave will use plants and soils in a series of rain gardens to help manage polluted rainwater. This newly added green corridor will provide important food sources and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including pollinators, birds, small mammals, and insects.

    The City of Vancouver wants to quantify the changes in biodiversity along the St. George Rainway by measuring species before and after the Rainway is built. In 2022, we will be hosting a citizen science campaign to get your help to measure the baseline biodiversity conditions along St. George Street. Using the application iNaturalist, we will collect data on the existing birds, plants, trees, insects, and mammals that currently use St. George Street.

    Whether you are a biodiversity expert, or a beginner hoping to learn more, you can be a part of our citizen science team!

    To help get us started, the City will host a series of BioBlitz events along St. George Street, one in each season. Citizen Scientists are also invited to collect data of biodiversity along St. George Street on their own throughout the year, logging it in our St. George Rainway project on iNaturalist.

    Join us for one or both of our upcoming bioblitzes!

    St. George Rainway Winter Bioblitz: Birds

    Saturday February 26, 2022

    8am - 10am

    Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/st-george-rainway-winter-bioblitz-tickets-224353807277


    St. George Rainway Spring Bioblitz: Plants

    Saturday April 23, 2022

    9am - 11am

    Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/st-george-rainway-spring-bioblitz-tickets-246024504917


    Contribute to the iNaturalist Project

    You don't need to attend a bioblitz event to be a member of our citizen science team. Biodiversity observations can be added any time to the St. George Rainway Biodiversity Project on iNaturalist: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/st-george-rainway-biodiversity

    We have created some resources to help you join the project and learn how to make an observation on iNaturalist.

    iNaturalist also has some local guidebooks to help you identify local plants, trees, birds and animals.

  • Let it Rain! St. George Rainway Community Event

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Join City of Vancouver and community partners for a free outdoor event celebrating the rain

    Experience the future St. George Rainway at this one-day pop-up Rainway display. Share your thoughts on the final concept design while enjoying fun and educational activities for the whole family.

    Event Details

    Date: Saturday April 2, 2022

    Time: 10 am to 2pm

    Location: St. George Street between E 6th Avenue and E 7th Avenue

    Things to Do:

    Explore the future Rainway at our pop-up Rainway demo and share your feedback on the final concept design

    Get a free bike tune up from Our Community Bikes

    Work with Engineering Artist-in-residence Holly Schmidt to create unique art for the Rainway

    Join in hands-on activities, exhibits and demonstrations led by community partners, including

    Bring a snack and enjoy our picnic area


    Getting Around:

    We encourage you where possible to walk, bike and roll to this event! Bike racks will be available for those looking to lock up their bikes.

    No registration required, drop in any time between event hours of 10am - 2pm


  • Tell us what you think of the St. George Rainway Design Concepts!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    We have now launched Phase 3 of public engagement on the St. George Rainway, and we want your input on our initial concept designs!

    The St. George Rainway is an exciting natural infrastructure project that will honour a historic stream that was once adjacent to St. George Street. This green rainwater and street improvement project will collect and filter rainwater, while also making improvements to the street that support sustainable transportation.

    Urban rainwater runoff will be directed into green rainwater infrastructure, called bioswales or rain gardens, which use a combination of engineered and natural systems such as soils, plants, and trees to clean and absorb the water. The Rainway will help to improve water quality and reduce local flooding, while also adding many co-benefits to the neighbourhood.


    In this phase of engagement, we have developed four street layout options and three green rainwater infrastructure concepts and we want to hear your preferences. Watch the video below and explore the project overview boards to learn more.


    Street layout options

    The development of the Rainway will require some trade-offs. To create space for green rainwater infrastructure, road area currently used for parking and/or travel will need to be repurposed. Four street layout options have been created that explore these trade-offs. Each Street Layout option varies in how much space is allocated towards walking and rolling, biking, driving, parking, urban nature and community gathering.

    Explore the Street Layout Options and Backgrounddocuments



    Green rainwater infrastructure concepts

    Three green rainwater infrastructure concepts have also been designed, each with a unique look and feel that reflects the vision and values you shared with us through the previous engagement phases. Each of these concepts can be paired with the street layout options to create the Rainway.

    All three options manage urban rainwater runoff and increase urban nature through plantings of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Each option proposes distinct plazas and seating areas along the Rainway, as well as different types of materials that help control the flow of water, so it moves safely through the Rainway.

    Explore the green rainwater infrastructure concepts




    Have your say

    Throughout November, you have the opportunity to rank your preferred Street Layout options and Green Rainwater Infrastructure concept designs. We will also be looking for your feedback on what public space improvements will encourage use of the Rainway. Here are the ways you can connect with us and share your feedback:

    • Complete our survey, open from November 4th until November 28th
    • Join our Virtual Open House on November 17th at 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm or 7:30 pm to ask questions and learn more about the designs option. Register here.




    Opportunities for young voices to be heard

    We want to hear from all users of the Rainway, including youth. A fun collage-based activity package for children ages 6-13 has been developed so that youth can have their say on the Rainway. Work together with your children or community group to complete and submit a St. George Rainway Collage. To learn more and download the youth engagement package visit this page.



    Want to learn more?

    Virtual open house boards

    Videos:

  • Opportunity for youth voices to be heard in the design

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The Rainway will be an amenity and resource for the entire community, including youth. The City of Vancouver is interested in collaborating with all site users, young and old, to share ideas for the design of the Rainway. To help reach youth voices, we have designed a crafting activity that asks similar questions as the survey, but in a format that is more accessible to children.

    The activity is designed to:

    • Teach youth about Green Rainwater Infrastructure, city planning, and civic engagement
    • Provide youth with chance to select their favourite design concept and add their creative ideas for consideration in the final design of the St. George Rainway.

    The self-guided activity can be completed by groups or individuals, and is designed for children aged 6 to 13. It involves making a collage and filling out a worksheet.

    Download the activity sheets to participate!

    For parents and educators, we have also produced an activity guide that provides additional information on the activity and includes resources for optional lessons on green rainwater infrastructure, city planning, and civic engagement, as well as a feedback form to let us know how the activity worked for you and your young people.

    Download the activity guide here



    Be sure to share your results!

    This activity is designed as a way for youth to share their preferences for the St. George Rainway with the City. Please submit the finished work back to the City by November 28, 2021 in one of the following ways:

    1. Photograph or scan the collages and worksheets, and share the images with raincity@vancouver.ca or
    2. Mail the final collages and worksheets to the City:

    St. George Rainway Engagement Team

    Engineering Services, City of Vancouver

    450 SW Marine Drive, 11th floor

    Vancouver, BC, V5X 0C3

  • St. George Rainway Phase 3 Engagement Starts November 4th!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Share your Preferences on the St. George Rainway Design Concepts Starting November 4th

    Throughout November, you have the opportunity to rank your preferred Street Layout options and Green Rainwater Infrastructure concept designs. We will also be looking for your feedback on what public space improvements that will encourage use of the Rainway. Here are the ways you can connect with us and share your feedback:

    1. Visit us at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market October 31 from 10 am – 2 pm for a sneak preview of the St. George Rainway concept designs
    2. Complete our survey, open from November 4th until November 28th
    3. Join our Virtual Open House on November 17th at 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm or 7:30 pm to ask questions and learn more about the designs options. Register for the open house: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/198472124467

    About St. George Rainway Phase 3 Engagement: Concept Designs

    The St. George Rainway is an exciting natural infrastructure project that will honour a historic stream that once rain down St. George Street. This green rainwater and street improvement project will collect and filter rainwater, while also making improvements to the street that support sustainable transportation.

    Urban rainwater runoff will be directed into bioswales, also called, rain gardens, which use a combination of engineered and natural systems such as soils, plants, and trees to clean and absorb the water. The Rainway will help to improve water quality and reduce local flooding.

    The Rainway is also an opportunity to incorporate many co-benefits along St. George Street, including:

    • Mobility Co-benefits: Upgrade the street so it is safe and comfortable for people of all ages and all abilities
    • Community Co-benefits: Include more outdoor community space for seating, gathering, and play
    • Learning Co-benefits: Provide formal and informal opportunities along the Rainway to learn about nature, climate adaptation, Indigenous culture, and history.
    • Nature Co-Benefits: Improve biodiversity and habitat connectivity using natural plant communities, including trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers.


    Stay tuned as we officially launch the Phase 3: Concept Design survey on November 4th



  • What we heard in Phase 2: Co-design for Co-Benefits

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    From late May to early July 2021, community members shared the co-benefits they would like to enjoy along the St. George Rainway. Together, we explored themes of designing for mobility, community, learning, and nature. Ideas generated during a virtual public workshop in June became the basis for a survey, in which we asked the public to rank the co-benefit ideas and share additional ideas with us.

    Check out our engagement report to see the top design ideas!
    In order of interest levels, the top type of art in the Rainway would be creative pollinator habitat with 40 people interested, then paving pattern with 32 interested, street mural with 24 interested, artistic benches and seating with 22 interested, sculptural art with 19 interested, interactive or play-based art with 18 interested, and finally sound-based art with 9 interested. Additional ideas include interpretive signage, bat boxes, participatory art, and art that recognizes and celebrates water. Sample page from the Engagement Report showing interest levels for various types of art in the Rainway.

    Some emerging themes from Phase 2:

    Icon of shrubs, trees, and grasses.

    Nature should lead the design.


    Icons of someone walking, a bicycle, a tree, and a raining cloud.

    Street space priorities echo what was heard in the last survey with space for urban nature and space for walking and cycling coming out on top. See the report for the full rankings.


    Icons of a car, a parking sign, and a bicycle.

    Current and future parking needs are important considerations, and while overall they are the lowest ranked street space priorities, they rank slightly higher among local residents.


    Icon of a safety vest and a hard hat.

    The Rainway should be designed with safety in mind.


    Icon of a person in a wheelchair, a child holding a balloon, and a person walking.


    The design needs to be functional and accessible to all.


    Icon of a plant growing from books.


    The project must make space for Indigenous knowledge.


    How is this input being used?

    City staff have been working on concept designs for the street layout and green rainwater infrastructure. These concept designs incorporate the vision and ideas we heard from community during engagement in Phase 1: Values and Vision and Phase 2: Co-design for Co-Benefits, as well as feedback from our community-based Advisory Committee.

    The concept designs balance the public feedback with Council priorities, technical feasibility, and financial viability. Want to learn more about project feasibility? Watch our series of videos about the project goals, what green rainwater infrastructure is, and the parameters that influence our design.

    Phase 3 of engagement will be launching at the end of October. It will focus on getting feedback from the public on a series of initial design concepts and options.

    What’s Next?

    • Enjoy a self-guided sensorial walk: listen to the audio tour or download the pdf of activities to explore St. George Street using all your senses.
    • Stay tuned for Phase 3: Initial Concept Designs, which will launch at the end of October. Save the dates:
      • Have a sneak peak of the design options at the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market on Sunday, October 31, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
      • Give your feedback in a survey live from November 4 to 28.
      • Drop into our virtual open house on Wednesday November 17 between 6:30 – 8:30 pm for a chance to learn more about the project and ask staff questions.

    More information on the next phase coming soon!

  • Co-designing for Co-benefits Survey now open!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Thank you to everyone who attended our workshop on June 1! We had robust conversations that gave us some great ideas of what community members want to see on the St. George Rainway. We are now launching a survey that will let us hear from more people, confirm that we properly captured the suggestions from the workshop, and collect additional ideas.

    Graphic illustration of outputs from the co-designing for co-benefits workshop


    Key ideas from the Co-design for Co-benefits workshop are summarized in the above graphic recording. It highlights some of the big ideas that were shared in each group on the themes of Mobility, Nature, Community, and Learning.

    Some key messages we heard were that safety and accessibility are very important, both in terms of how people get around, and in creating an inclusive and welcoming feel for the Rainway, where the whole community can get involved, from kids to seniors and everyone in between. Participants also wanted a wild and natural-feeling space, where they can learn and share their knowledge about the ecology and history of the area, and develop a deeper relationship with nature and the water cycle.

    Icon of a car that reads "Reduce Vehicle Speeds"Icon of a raindrop that reads "Water is at the centre of everything"Icon that reads "Indigenous knowledge: Native plants that would have grown along the historic creek"


    What do you think?

    This survey takes what we heard at the workshop on June 1 and gives an opportunity for input from more of our neighbours. We want to hear your thoughts on what was discussed in the workshop and any other ideas you have to share.

    Whether you attended the event or not, you are invited to fill out the survey. Share your thoughts with us on how we can best design the St. George Rainway to meet our drainage needs and enhance mobility, nature, community, and opportunities for learning in the neighbourhood. The survey will be open from June 14 to July 4: https://shapeyourcity.ca/st-george-rainway/survey_tools/co-designing-for-co-benefits

    Co-designing for co-benefits videos

    If you want to learn more about the project, we have also have recordings available from the June 1 event that provide an overview of the project, including background, feasibility and opportunities for the Rainway.





  • Launching Public Engagement 2: Co-designing for Co-benefits

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    We are now launching our second phase of public engagement for the St. George Rainway project. In the first phase we got a better understanding of how you envision the project, and what you value most. We are now inviting you to dig into the design and share your ideas for the Rainway. Together, we will come up with potential design elements and ideas that will deliver important rainwater management and drainage functions, promote active transportation, and bring exciting co-benefits to the neighbourhood.



    This phase of public engagement is all about getting creative with how we can incorporate the themes of mobility, learning, nature, and community with the important rainwater management function of the Rainway.


    After this phase is complete, City staff will use the ideas submitted to develop several design options for the Rainway, which will be brought back to the public for comments in Phase 3.

    There are 3 ways to participate in this phase of engagement.

    Virtual Design Workshop, June 1st 6:30-8:30 pm (Registration Required):

    In this online workshop we will be collecting ideas for how to enhance the green rainwater infrastructure and active transportation functions of the Rainway and deliver other benefits and amenities to the neighbourhood. Join us to co-design for:

    • Mobility
    • Learning
    • Nature
    • Community

    Registration required. To register, visit https://sgrcodesign.eventbrite.ca

    Online Survey:

    Share your ideas for the design of the St. George Rainway! Our upcoming survey builds on the ideas collected in our June 1st workshop and provides the opportunity for even more people to share their thoughts.

    The survey will be posted here and open from June 14-July 4th.

    Sensorial Walk:

    We’ve recorded a sensorial walk audio tour of St. George and put it online! The walk launches the last week of May. Check here or sign up for our mailing list (button on the right) for updates, or find the signage posted along St. George Street to start exploring your neighbourhood in a new way.

  • Walking with the Current: A Sensorial Walk Along St George Street

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Come listen and explore this neighborhood in creative ways using your senses as guide!

    Holly Schmidt, the current Engineering Artist-in-Residence at the City of Vancouver has developed a sensorial walk for St. George Street between 5th Avenue and 8th Avenue. You can choose to listen to Holly guide you or you can download the pdf toolkit to do on your own.


    * Walking with the Current Audio tour

    THE MAP
    STOP#
    LOCATION
    TITLE
    AUDIO LINK
    Intro Welcome. Let's get started! Introduction
    1
    NW corner of 8th Avenue and St George Street

    Water is Life

    2
    West side of St. George Street between 8th Avenue and 7th Avenue

    Signal to Noise

    3
    SE corner of 7th Avenue and St. George Street

    Stones to Mountains

    4
    East side of St.George St. between 7th Avenue and 6th Avenue

    Dynamic Flow

    5
    SW corner of 6th Avenue and St. George Street

    Water Underground

    6
    SW corner of 6th Avenue and St. George Street

    Seasonal Shades

    7
    NE corner of 5th Avenue and St. George Street *Note: New sign awaiting installation

    Drifting Away

    8
    NE corner of 5th Avenue and St. George Street

    Lingering Aftertaste


    Tell us what you experienced! Share an idea, thought, or photo of from your sensorial walk by emailing us at raincity@vancouver.ca.


    * Walking with the Current Downloadable toolkit

    To participate in the entire sensorial walk without the audio clips using a downloadable toolkit:

    Using this toolkit and your five senses, you can experiences St. George Street in a new and unique way. The toolkit is made up of a series of creative exercises that you can do on your own or with your family. The walk takes about one hour, but you can also do parts of it at different times.

    1. Download the toolkit: https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/walking-with-current-stgeorges.pdf
    2. Go for a walk along St. George Street and follow the toolkit instructions
    3. Share your experiences with us by adding to the map tool or emailing us a raincity@vancouver.ca *
Page last updated: 27 May 2022, 08:29 AM