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The Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts: A View from 1969 Vancouver

Andrew Yan October 29, 2015
Urban Research

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As the City of Vancouver passed a motion for the removal of the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts on October 27, 2015, this pamphlet shows how they once considered a sign and measure of civic progress. In the 45 years that have passed since the opening of the Viaducts in 1970, the Viaducts were a symbol of what that generation of Vancouverites wanted which seems to be at odds with what the current and future generation of Vancouver needs the City to become. Nevertheless, while the transportation vision from 1969 may have been problematic from the perspective of 2015, one sees the spirit of optimism and advancement between the lines of this document between the development of the Viaduct, the Museum Planetarium complex, various infrastructure improvements and downtown development.

Pacific Centre with a new Eatons store, the Toronto-Dominion Bank Headquarters, underground retail mall, and project would start construction in 1970. With the viaduct were open, the City would then pursue the state of Project 200, a 15 year, $300 million ($1.9 billion) development of Project 200 Office Tower, Canada Square, and a second office tower that “may be entirely used by the Federal Government”.  Also announced in this report: the $25,000,000 ($160 million) first stage of a 50 plus storey Provincial Government offices tower.  After all this new downtown development and infrastructure expansion, “we will shortly have a downtown of which all the citizens of Vancouver can be very proud”.

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Attached to this progress report is also a budget for the City of Vancouver.  In 1968, the City of Vancouver spend $101 million ($628 million in 2015 dollars) for operating and maintaining the City. By 2015, the annual City of Vancouver budget would be $1.2 billion in expenditures.