Cambie Street

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Cambie Street
Intersection of Cambie Street and Marine Drive, Vancouver.jpg
The intersection of Cambie Street and Southwest Marine Drive, looking northward from the Marine Drive Canada Line station.
NamesakeHenry John Cambie
OwnerCity of Vancouver
Maintained byCity of Vancouver
LocationVancouver, British Columbia
Nearest metro stationTranslinkcanada.svg Canada Line
Known forCambie Village, Queen Elizabeth Park Oakridge Mall
Main Section
Length7.7 km (4.8 mi)[1]
South endKent Avenue N
SW Marine Drive
41st Avenue
North endSmithe Street /
Nelson Street
Downtown Section
Length1.4 km (0.87 mi)[1]
Southwest endPacific Boulevard
Nelson Street
Smithe Street
Georgia Street
Hastings Street
Northeast endWater Street

Cambie Street is a street in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is named for Henry John Cambie, chief surveyor of the Canadian Pacific Railway's western division[2] (as is Cambie Road, a major thoroughfare in nearby Richmond).

There are two distinct sections of the street. North of False Creek, the street runs on a northeast-southwest alignment (following the rotated street grid within Downtown Vancouver). As such, the street direction is approximately 45 degrees to that of the Cambie Bridge, and there is no seamless connection between the two. Instead, Nelson Street carries southbound traffic onto the bridge, and Smithe Street carries northbound traffic away from the bridge. The downtown section of Cambie Street runs from Water Street in Gastown in the north to Pacific Boulevard in Yaletown in the south and is a two-way street for its length.

South of False Creek, the street is a major six-lane arterial road, and runs as a two-way north-south thoroughfare according to the street grid for the rest of Vancouver. This section of the street was originally named Bridge Street, and was first connected to Cambie Street after the first Cambie Bridge opened in 1891; it was renamed Cambie Street after the second Cambie Bridge opened in 1912.[2]

Between King Edward Avenue West and Southwest Marine Drive, the street has a 10 metre wide boulevard with grass and many well established trees on it; the boulevard was designated as a heritage landscape by the city of Vancouver in 1993.[3][4]

Canada Line construction[edit]

Cut-and-cover construction on Cambie Street, north of 25th Avenue (taken in February 2007).

When proposals to build SkyTrain's Canada Line (formerly known as the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver or RAV Line) along Cambie Street first emerged, they were heavily protested by residents and business owners who wanted to keep the street as a heritage boulevard. They argued in favour of using the existing Arbutus Street rail corridor instead.

Once the decision was made to use the Cambie alignment for the Canada Line anyway, residents along the corridor successfully persuaded authorities to put the rail line in a tunnel instead of running it as a surface route, and to dig the tunnel using a tunnel boring machine. However, due to cost concerns and time constraints, the winning bidder decided to use a cut-and-cover method to build the tunnel – which required disruption to traffic and business along the corridor during the construction. As such, even though it cost less and was much faster than using a tunnel boring machine,[5] the plan drew heavy criticism from area residents and businesses.[6]

During 2006 to 2009, portions of the street south of False Creek were closed to traffic to allow for construction of the line.[6] The cut-and-cover tunnel runs underneath the east side of the street for most of its route. South of West 63rd Avenue, the line emerges from the tunnel and runs on an elevated structure across the Fraser River.

Gregor Robertson, who later became the mayor of Vancouver, was a strong supporter of Cambie Street merchants and spoke regularly about hardships from the Canada Line construction.[7] He called the handling of the rail line construction an "injustice."[8]

On March 23, 2009, Robertson testified in a lawsuit brought by Cambie Street merchant Susan Heyes, owner of Hazel & Co., in the B.C. Supreme Court regarding damage to her business from the construction,[7] a lawsuit for which she was awarded $600,000 by the B.C. Supreme Court due in part to the fact that there was insufficient action to mitigate the effects of Canada Line construction on Cambie Street merchants.[5] The award for damages was later reversed at the British Columbia Court of Appeal, which determined that while the project had resulted in a legal nuisance to the claimant, the government had acted within its authority and was therefore not liable for damages. Leave for further appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was subsequently denied. On the Canada Line's opening day of August 17, 2009, Robertson said Greater Vancouver needed more rapid transit but the Canada Line was a "great start" and that he was a "Johnny-come-lately" to the project.[9]

Points of interest[edit]

Cambie Heritage Boulevard, looking southward from King Edward Avenue.
Steam clock at Cambie Street's northern end in Gastown.
Vancouver City Hall

Major intersections[edit]

Main section[edit]

The entire route is in Vancouver.

0.00.0Kent Avenue N
0.50.31Southwest Marine DriveTranslinkcanada.svg Marine Drive station
1.40.87West 57th Avenue
2.21.4West 49th AvenueTranslinkcanada.svg Langara–49th Avenue station
3.11.9West 41st AvenueTranslinkcanada.svg Oakridge–41st Avenue station; near Oakridge Centre
4.02.5West 33rd AvenueAccess to Queen Elizabeth Park
4.93.0King Edward AvenueTranslinkcanada.svg King Edward station
6.23.9West 12th AvenueNear Vancouver City Hall
6.54.0 West Broadway (Hwy 7) – Burnaby, Maple RidgeTranslinkcanada.svg Broadway–City Hall station
6.94.3West 6th Avenue, West 2nd AvenueGrade separated; near Translinkcanada.svg Olympic Village station
Cambie Street Bridge over False Creek
Pacific BoulevardNorthbound exit only; near BC Place
One-way transition – northbound follows Smithe Street, southbound follows Nelson Street
Expo BoulevardNorthbound access only (at-grade)
8.15.0Cambie StreetDowntown section
8.55.3 Seymour Street (Hwy 99 north) – Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, WhistlerOne-way, northeast-bound
8.65.3Granville StreetGranville Mall, transit only
8.75.4 Howe Street (Hwy 99 south) – Vancouver International Airport, Tsawwassen ferry terminal, U.S. borderOne-way, southwest bound
8.95.5Burrard StreetSmithe Street becomes Haro Street; Nelson Street continues northwest
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Downtown section[edit]

The entire route is in Vancouver.

0.00.0Pacific Boulevard
0.20.12Nelson StreetOne-way, southeast bound; provides access to the Cambie Bridge and Cambie Street main section
0.40.25Smithe StreetOne-way, northwest bound; provides access from the Cambie Bridge and Cambie Street main section
0.60.37Robson Street
0.70.43West Georgia Street to Hwy 99 north – Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, WhistlerFormer Hwy 1A east / Hwy 99A south
0.90.56Dunsmuir StreetFormer Hwy 1A west / Hwy 99A north; one-way, northwest bound
1.20.75West Hastings StreetFormer Hwy 7A; near Victory Square
1.30.81Cordova StreetOne-way, eastbound
1.40.87Water StreetOne-way, westbound; near Gastown steam clock
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ a b c d Google (August 21, 2021). "Cambie Street (Vancouver)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Walker, Elizabeth (1999). Street Names of Vancouver. Vancouver Historical Society. p. 18. ISBN 0-9692378-7-1.
  3. ^ "Cambie Heritage Boulevard" (PDF). Rapid Transit Office, City of Vancouver. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  4. ^ "Municipally Designated Buildings in Vancouver". City of Vancouver. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Charlie (2009-05-28). "Ex-Cambie merchant's court victory linked to defendants' failure to mitigate effects of Canada Line". Georgia Straight. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  6. ^ a b "Merchants, residents rejoice as Cambie Street construction ends". CBC News. 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  7. ^ a b "Vancouver mayor testifies in Cambie merchant lawsuit", CBC News, March 23, 2009.
  8. ^ "The long and troubled road to the Canada Line", CTV News, August 17, 2009.
  9. ^ "Vancouver's Canada Line starts up", National Post, August 17, 2009.