January was a month of new activities for Health Services

PD_05_WallPanelJanuary was a great start to the new year with a flurry of activity:

  • The project welcomed the addition of a new VCH staff member, Joy Parsons, who will be leading the clinical planning for the health services on the site
  • George Pearson Open House, where the Redevelopment Committee was able to shared the early housing designs with the residents and their families.
  • Dogwood open house show cased the early facility designs that have been created with support of the staff and families.
  • Pool designs were displayed and an invitation for volunteers for a pool planning working group.


VCH partners with Onni Group for Pearson Dogwood lands redevelopment

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) announced today that it has selected Onni Group as its development partner for the Pearson Dogwood lands redevelopment.

Under the terms of the partnership, VCH will retain a 3.2-acre parcel of the 25.4-acre site, which will be developed for health care and community uses, including a new 150-bed residential care home, a community health centre, a YMCA and a new therapeutic pool. 114 housing units with supports for those with disabilities will also be included, but dispersed throughout the 25.4 acre site.

Onni Group has agreed to purchase two parcels of land on the site totalling 22.18 acres–a 5.81 portion that runs parallel to Cambie Street and 16.37 acres located on the western portion of the site. These will be developed into a community of mixed residential, commercial and retail, with amenities such as a park and community gardens.

All proceeds generated from the sale of the Pearson Dogwood Lands will remain with VCH for re-investment into health care infrastructure, including on the site to replace existing outdated buildings.

“This sale is a major milestone for the project and will generate significant funding for investment into healthcare infrastructure,” said Minister of Health Terry Lake. “The goal of the redevelopment has always been to leverage the value of the Pearson Dogwood lands to generate capital for VCH to build residential care, housing with health care supports and clinical facilities.”

A total of ten proposals were submitted to VCH from some of Canada’s leading developers in response to the Request for Proposals posted on BC Bid. Proponents were evaluated based on their financial strength, their local experience, their qualifications with large master planned communities, and their commitment to VCH and the City of Vancouver Policy Statement, which guides land use and density on the 25.4-acre site.

“The redevelopment is a major project not just for Vancouver Coastal Health and the residents of Pearson Dogwood, but for the entire community,” said Mary Ackenhusen, President and CEO of VCH. “We are excited to be able to partner with such an experienced developer as Onni Group, whose expertise will be invaluable in helping us build a strong and vibrant community that also meets the needs of seniors and those with disabilities.”

The next step is for VCH and Onni to submit a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver in late 2015. Stay tuned!

Pearson Dogwood: A new model for health and wellness

Our friends at Dialog Design have produced a short video on the design approach and benefits of the Pearson Dogwood Redevelopment.

Pearson Dogwood: A new model for health and wellness

VCH enters next phase of Pearson Dogwood Redevelopment

Vancouver Coastal Health is entering the next phase of the redevelopment of the Pearson Dogwood lands with the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the sale a portion of the property.

VCH today posted an RFP for the sale and development of two parcels of land within the 25.4 acre Pearson Dogwood site located on Cambie Street between 57th Avenue and 59th Avenue, within the next two weeks.

The RFP will include a nearly six acre portion that runs parallel to Cambie Street containing the Dogwood Lodge Residential Care Home, and approximately 16 acres located on the westerly portion of the site containing the George Pearson Centre.Proposed Pearson Dogwood Lot PLan

“This RFP is a major milestone for the project and will generate significant funding for investment into healthcare infrastructure,” said Minister of Health Terry Lake. “The goal of the redevelopment has always been to leverage the value of the Pearson Dogwood lands to generate capital for VCH to build a range of housing options and clinical services both on the site and throughout VCH.”

Much of this value can be attributed to the land use policy statement unanimously approved by the City of Vancouver Council in February 2014. It supports the development of a range of residential living options to meet the needs of adults with disabilities and older adults as well as affordable rental housing on the site. The policy also prescribes the development of a complete community that includes retail amenities, healthcare, market and non-market housing, and recreational facilities.

VCH will retain a 3.2 acre parcel for proposed health care and community uses, which includes a new 150 bed residential care home, a community health centre, an expanded YMCA, and a new therapeutic pool.3D View

“The RFP will enable VCH to identify a developer that shares our vision and philosophy of using the Pearson Dogwood redevelopment to create a vibrant and active community that also supports our commitment to address the needs of seniors and those with disabilities,” said Mary Ackenhusen, President and CEO of VCH.

All proceeds generated from the sale of the Pearson Dogwood Lands will remain with VCH for re-investment into health infrastructure. The current operations of both the Dogwood Lodge and George Pearson Centre will not be impacted by the land sale. The selection of the preferred proponent is expected by the end of the year.

The Pearson Dogwood lands were initially developed for institutional healthcare uses in the 1950’s and are used exclusively for adults with physical disabilities and older adults needing residential care. There are currently two facilities on the site, both operated by VCH – the George Pearson Centre (GPC) and Dogwood Lodge. Both of these facilities are outdated and are a priority for replacement.

To view the Request for Proposals please visit BC Bid (www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca) under the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizen Services.

UBC’s School of Landscape Architecture Student Design Proposals

In the Spring of 2013, Lower Mainland Facilities Management engaged UBC’s Landscape Architecture program to look at the Pearson Dogwood redevelopment as a case study for testing and exploring the urban design issues facing residential development in Vancouver, and Canadian cities in general.

Through an intensive design process, students explored the following questions:

  1. What is the best urban design model for ensuring that people can “age in place” and live their lives in one community?
  2. How do we implement, through urban and public realm design, a change in residential health care, from an institutional model to an integrated model embedded within a complete community?
  3. In Vancouver’s hot real estate environment, how can market housing be incorporated into the site and leveraged to create value for the residential care portions of the site?
  4. How can a sustainable, “whole health” philosophy be incorporated into the site design?
  5. How can this sloping site, bounded on the east by one major artery, be made as universally accessible as possible, for mobility-challenged residents, pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and vehicles? What are the trade-offs?

Students engaged in complex and integrative public realm planning and landscape design examining development density, accessibility, health care and transit as well as an attempt to understand how policy relates to design.

The results of their work can be found here:



City Council Unanimously Approves Policy Statement

The City of Vancouver Standing Committee on Finance and Services unanimously approved the Pearson Dogwood Policy Statement on February 5, 2014.

VCH will now complete the business case for submission to the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Treasury.

The policy statement and amendments can be found here:






Pearson Dogwood Policy Statement Now Complete

The City of Vancouver Department of Planning and Development Services has now published the comprehensive Pearson Dogwood Policy Statement.

The Policy Statement contains a set of policies to guide consideration of an anticipated rezoning application for the Pearson Dogwood site. The Policy Statement considers the future mix of uses, density, height, building forms, character, public spaces, circulation and movement, and parks and community facilities to serve the new and existing community.

This policy is the culmination of over a year of hard work by hundreds of individuals, including our dedicated Community Advisory Group. It has been a remarkable journey so far and we are looking forward to the next phase. Approval of the policy by Council will enable VCH to enter into the re-zoning phase of the redevelopment – the second phase of approvals required by the City of Vancouver.

This policy will come before the City of Vancouver Council on January 22,nd, 2014 at the Planning, Transportation and Environment Standing Committee.

To access the Pearson Dogwood Policy Statement please follow the link below.




Final Draft Concept Design Unveiled!

Rendered plan

Final draft concept plan showing building locations, open space and street networks.

Building on the tremendous amount of valuable input received from existing residents and their families and the project’s Community Advisory Group, VCH has unveiled its final draft concept for the 25.4 acre site.The plan includes a new Canada Line station on the corner of 57th and Cambie St., and a new community health hub –  which will include a YMCA, a new therapeutic pool, and a community health centre.

Also included in the plan is a new long-term residential care home for frail seniors, space for adult and child daycare, a range of affordable housing for peoples with disabilities, seniors, and families, and nearly 4 acres of public open space including community gardens. Building heights in the plan range from six storeys in the south west corner up to 28 storeys along the northern edge of 57th and Cambie St.

The plan also contemplates connections to the proposed redevelopment of the Langara Gardens site on the northen edge. Please take the time read the boards presented below. Over the coming months, the City of Vancouver will begin preparing the Policy statement for the site.

New Image

Axon view showing building heights and massing.

Boards1_ VCH WEBSITE low res

Boards2_VCH WEBSITE low res

The public input received at the third open house will be considered in the refinement of the final concept plan and in the development of the Policy Statement.

Please read the Public Input Summary here:

Open House 3 Public Input Summary Report (3)


view 1 cambie and 57th REDUCED

View from Cambie & 57th.

view 5 internal A REDUCED

View looking Northwest.

view 7 internal C REDUCED

View looking Northeast towards Cambie St.

view 4 59th and Heather REDUCED

View from 59th Ave. and Heather St.


Community Design to be Unveiled at Third Open House

On September 12th and 14th VCH will unveil the final draff concept plan for the Pearson Dogwood Redvelopment. At Open House 2 in June, VCH presented three draft Concept Plans – Cluster, Continuum and Core –  which explored different ideas and approaches to land use, buildings, water, open space, transportation and connections, and more.

This final draft concept plan to be presented at Open house 3 incorporates the best of these three plans and new ideas contributed by the community and stakeholders. 

Please join us at the Project office and give us your thoughts and ideas!

Open House #3:

  • September 12th: 5pm – 8pm
  • September 14th: 10am – 2pm

Pearson Dogwood Redevelopment Open House #3

Open House # 2 Public Input Summary

Nearly 300 community members attended the project’s second open house and offered several suggestions about how each of the three concept designs could be improved or modified. 

There were three stations, each displaying one of the draft concepts: Core, Cluster, or Continuum. Participants provided input on elements of the concepts that they supported or wished to see improved.

The summary below is distilled from dozens of individual comments posted on the concept plan maps. Please take the time to read the summary and provide further comments.

The third and final Public Open House is scheduled for mid-September, 2013. At this time VCH will present a single consolidated plan for discussion.

Open House 2 Public Input Summary Report_June 20 2013[2]

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