Two new Vancouver childcare centres, first of their kind in Canada, have completed in Gastown and will provide 74 much-needed spaces for families.
Designed by Acton Ostry Architects, the centres are designed to achieve Passive House Standard Certification and LEED Gold certification and to be net zero energy buildings with low carbon systems. Heatherbrae Builders was the general contractor.
These are the first childcare centres in Canada to be located atop a parkade, representing an innovative solution to underutilized space and the lack of space for childcare in Vancouver’s downtown core. This creative model is part of the city’s broader commitment to increasing childcare supply by reimaging how city space can be used.
“The location of the new facilities on the roof of the existing parkades is a unique approach to adding new childcare buildings to the downtown core and, in addition, has allowed us to offer no cost childcare solutions to families in Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside who would otherwise not be able to afford childcare,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
The two single-storey centres will be operated by the YMCA of Greater Vancouver and feature a total of approximately 10,000 square feet of indoor space and 11,000 square feet of outdoor space. Twenty-four of the available spaces will be accessible at no cost to low income families.
“Quality child care requires passionate educators for every child, and we will certainly have that at Water View YMCA Child Care and Portside YMCA Child Care. We can’t wait to welcome new families to these two first-class facilities, and provide their children with the opportunity to connect with others, learn, and develop the skills needed to become confident kids today and contributing, engaged adults in the future,” said Kim Adamson, general manager, Child Care Development.
The project cost of $17 million was funded by a $1 million major capital grant from the provincial government and the Union of BC Municipalities, and $16 million through Community Amenity.