A new development on a City of Vancouver property is expected to produce not only social-housing units but a new community hub in its neighbourhood.
A document containing the design rationale for the housing project at the northeast corner of Kingsway and Windsor Street states that the potential hub acknowledges both the “urban nature” of Kingsway and the “bike and pedestrian” orientation of Windsor.
According to the file, Windsor Street is also now known as Windsor Way, and it emerged as a grassroots initiative in the early 2000s.
“Residents along Windsor Street began the Blooming Boulevards Project, taking it on themselves to garden the city owned boulevards in front of their homes,” the submission recalls. The document relates that artist Karen Kazmer later had her “Windsor Way—Moments, Memories and Objects” banners installed on streetlight poles.
“The banners outline the hands of members of the community reinforcing the neighbourhood identity,” the submission notes. It adds that Windsor Way is a 4.3-kilometre route linking four parks and three elementary schools.
The document also says that the “success of the Blooming Boulevards project led to the formal designation of Windsor Street as a bike route in 2003”.
“Since then community book swap libraries have sprung up along Windsor Way and across the neighbourhood,” the file continues. “The streets have been further activated with communal herb gardens and regular block parties.”
The project involves the construction of a 12-storey building with 88 social-housing units above retail spaces to be located on the ground floor.
According to the design-rationale document, the building is “envisioned as a series of connected gardens”. The gardens start on the ground level, and the vegetation is “carried up” to the sixth-floor amenity space.
All the homes will be rented at, or below, the low end of market rates.
The 1001 Kingsway property is one of seven sites dedicated by the city to nonmarket housing, with the Community Land Trust, a nonprofit developer, as its partner.
An open house for the project will be held on Monday (September 30) at the First Church of the Nazarene (998 East 19th Avenue) from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.