Aquarium Concept Plan

At Thursday’s March 3, 2011 Planning and Environment Committee meeting at the Vancouver Park Board, the Vancouver Aquarium updated the Commissioners on their new expansion plans.

John Nightingale, from the Vancouver Aquarium, started the presentation by stating: “we are going low tech”, referring to the scaled-back footprint of the proposed expansion relative to earlier plans.

Last August the Federal and Provincial governments committed a $25 million capital investment in the planned expansion. Mr. Nightingale stated that funders asked the Aquarium to “cut back” the proposed scope of the new expansion.

The proposed footprint of the expanded Aquarium would be 20% smaller than was approved in the original development permit granted by the City of Vancouver. The expansion is being done in a phased manner, with the first phase potentially beginning in September 2011 after the peak summer season.

Mr. Nightingale also reaffirmed the Aquarium’s commitment to upgrade lighting from the number 19 bus loop in Stanley Park to the Aquarium despite not having taken action on this issue for the past four years. Of note, the problem of the inadequate lighting in this area was flagged by Spencer Chandra Herbert when he was a Park Board commissioner.

The Park Board committee was sufficiently supportive of the new concept plan to refer it to the April 4, 2011 Board meeting at Park Board Head Quarters on Beach Ave. There will be a staff report of the proposed expansion posted on the VPB website prior to the meeting.

A Straight article about the funding announcement last summer:Matt Burrows article

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