Perspective on the English bay Bistro

March 12, 2012

What we get:

The English bay bistro blocks the perspective view from Denman-credit photo (1)

What we had:

It used to be a time not so long ago, where the view of English bay and Kitsilano was making Denman a delight:

View from Denman at Davie before 1997 - credit Vancouver archive

How we have allowed this view to be ruined?

  • A Vancouver park board which has abdicated its mandate of protecting the park to the benefit of people and city, to instead prostitute our parks to commercial enterprise, at the cost of depriving the city and public of their cherished green spaces
  • A non vigilant City Hall, which in that matter has demonstrated a very deep lack of judgement in urbanism
  • A presentation of the view impact by the applicant, Acton Ostry Architects [3], which raises question on its professional integrity.

What we have been promised:

View From Denman street, according to the "English bay bistro application" -credit (3)

The Park board had already started to infringe the Denman perspective with the roof of a concession circa 1998. The English bay bistro applicant will convince a too naive CityHall that its proposal will have minimal impact. Alas reality will prove different:

View corridor from Denman at Davie top as in (1998-2010), middle as suggested by the applicant, bottom as now -Credit (3) except bottom

Some other rendering of the applicant “view study”

View from the BoatHouse, 2008 and has proposed by the applicant -credit (3)

View from Denman at Beach in 2008 and as proposed by the applicant - credit (3)

The observer will have hard time to connect with the above vision.
I have no fish eye lens, but if someone provide me picture of today, I will gladly post them here

What can be done?

The Vancouver park board got it seriously wrong: Demolition seems to be the only reasonable option.

  • It is a reasonabble option because the Park board is still owning the land, which is leased to the Cactus club cafe on a 5 years term
  • It is reasonable because it is clear that the public has been misleaded, by unrepresentative, if not outright deceptive, views
  • It is reasonable because it is necessary not only to preserve but to enhance our public view corridor, especially when those contribute to the soul of or urban environment

It should have been obvious to our civic leaders and city hall urban planners that the view above-from Denman corridor at Davie- must be keep open to the water, and Kitsilano slopes

[1] pricetags

[2] The applicant, is also involved in the Rize development, 228-246 East Broadway & 180 Kingsway, a development where the applicant’s rendering has been demonstrated as seriously misleading (see Memorandum referring to item 6 of Public Hearing of February 27, 2012, K. Munro,

[3] 1790 Beach avenue (Complete application) DE412932, September 23, 2009 – Pictures of the application has been obtained directly from Vancouver city hall (thanks to its staff)

3 Responses to “Perspective on the English bay Bistro”

  1. Sonja van B Says:

    I totally agree with the catastrophic decision to mar our West End with the building of the Cactus Club at Davie and Denman street. It has not only destroyed the uplifting view and light while walking or driving down Denman street, and walking along Beach Ave , but it is an eyesore from ALL angles. The horrible black metal fence …the view from the entrance to Stanley Park looking at the building from afar, a horrible ORANGE eyesore ( could they at least have made it blend in with our beautiful natural greens,blues, earth tones )…

    I went for a stroll a few times along the walkway by the beach and as I passed the Patio downstairs the noise was so loud and disturbing… You could actually hear the noisy loud voices on the beach where people were trying to enjoy our lovely sand and ocean. I am certainly not criticizing the Patrons of this establishment , I love outdoor Patios, beautiful scenic views and having a good time, BUT this establishment is sooo in the wrong location and has changed the whole feel of English Bay …
    one suggestion,,,,if Demolition is not an option right now…at least tear down the orange Pillar on the left side of the building which is TOTALLY unnecessary and get rid of the prison looking black fence…(ever heard of Plexiglass ? )It is has no function , just more view blockage!
    Please let me know what I can do to help to the city rid itself of this bad bad decision.

  2. […] doesn’t need to be against bike lanes, to recognize, once again, tha deep lack of judgement from the Vancouver park board: Eventually due to lack of proper […]

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