March 17, 2021

North Shore Tour 1 – Lonsdale Quay


A trip across the water last week to meet City of North Vancouver Councillor Tony Valente for an e-bike tour.

Began at Lonsdale Quay – home to one of the best but once-dullest transit exchanges in the region.


That’s changed.  As part of the station upgrades which TransLink has been doing these past few years (and which have had the misfortune of finishing during the pandemic), Lonsdale has gone from dismal gray to crisp white.

There is still a lot of gray, particularly in the tile work.  And I had been expecting more animated LED lighting for colour, particularly along the so-seventies ribbed concrete walls on the side (though there is such an art work at the north entrance, right, plus some highlighting of a light well.)  Other changes are illustrated in this Hive article and before-and-after video from the North Shore News:

Despite this (so far) missed opportunity, the quay’s bus loop no longer feels like the sub-basement of a sewage treatment plant.  As well, buses now enter from Rogers Avenue, allowing them to bypass Carrie Cates Court, the east-west connector to Lonsdale Avenue and the Shipyards beyond – no longer an intimidating street for pedestrians, with attractions like the Polygon Gallery and new commercial on the north side.

It’s easy to see that the architects of the narrow three-story block on the left were reflecting the volume and simplicity of the opposing gallery, but the heaviness of the dark brown brick, lack of cornice or window detailing is just too blunt .  With trees, patios and widened sidewalks, though, the street this summer will be friendlier – just in time for a post-pandemic celebration of a reviving Lonsdale Quay.

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