Construction is underway for two childcare centres in Vancouver on the rooftops of Gastown parkades, which will provide 74 much-needed childcare spaces.
The innovative developments will increase the number of quality childcare spaces serving the downtown and Downtown Eastside areas.
The city will own and maintain the two centres, with the YMCA of Greater Vancouver appointed as the non-profit operator. The city will lease the centres to the YMCA at a nominal rate to support sustainable operations and to support affordability for families.
“Due to the increased shortage of viable childcare sites in the downtown Vancouver area, we need to capitalize on existing city-owned land and infrastructure to provide new facilities for children to learn and play,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “The creation of child care facilities on these two Gastown parkade rooftops is a great example of how the city and province are collaborating to take an innovative approach to increasing access to childcare spaces for Vancouver families.”
Located at 150 Water Street and 151 West Cordova Street, the two single-storey centres will provide 37 childcare spaces each, with combined areas of approximately 10,000 sq. ft of indoor space and 11,000 sq. ft of outdoor space, connected by pathways and a footbridge.
The centres are designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and Passive House Standard Certification with a focus on net zero energy and low carbon systems. In addition to energy efficiency this design promotes healthy indoor environment and occupant comfort. Photovoltaic panels will be incorporated into the project in response to the zero emissions policy.
The construction of the two centres is estimated to cost around $17 million, which is being funded through Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) from developers such as Bosa Development and Westbank, and $1 million Major Capital Grant from the Province of BC and the Union of BC Municipalities.
The cost of this project is unique compared to other centres due to the additional construction requirements needed to build on a parkade rooftop, as well as Passive House requirements. Construction at the parkade location is made possible by the City of Vancouver’s Property Endowment Fund.