About

The Renewal Project

After years of discussion and anticipation, the Britannia Community Services Centre renewal project has officially begun. Following approval in 2014 by the City of Vancouver, capital funds have been earmarked to complete a new and revitalized 18-acre Britannia site.

Community consultation is the initial focus of the redevelopment project. The Britannia Planning & Development Committee, under the direction of the Britannia Board of Management, will work closely with the Britannia Centre partners — the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver School Board, the Vancouver Public Library, and the Vancouver Park Board — to envision a new and exciting Britannia.

Britannia will, of course, continue to be the heart and soul of the Grandview-Woodland community.

This website provides details of the renewal project’s scope and history, with a library of pertinent documents, and an invitation for you to get involved in shaping our future.

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The Vision

The Britannia Community Services Centre:

IS THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY.

Serving as an integrated hub of education, arts, culture, recreation, wellness, and sustainability.

RESPECTS AND CELEBRATES ITS CONTEXT.

Fostering a sense of stewardship towards the people and setting that are the source of its richness.

IS ACCESSIBLE AND WELCOMING TO ALL.

Drawing users whose diversity is matched only by the diversity of programs that fill the Centre’s walls.

IS MADE STRONGER BY ITS INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS.

Giving life to unparalleled opportunities for collaborative programming, and the flexibility to continually meet the evolving needs of the community.

Timeline

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1911

BRITANNIA HIGH SCHOOL BUILT.

Hundreds of new houses are being built in the flourishing neighbourhood of Grandview, and the families that are moving in need a high school. The new Britannia High School, with a splendid view of the North Shore mountains, opens in 1911.

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1976

Britannia Centre Opens.

After an inspiring, community-driven movement to create an integrated community centre hub in Grandview, the original Britannia High School site is expanded to 18 acres, and Britannia Centre opens. The new Centre combines the original secondary school, the elementary school, and a Vancouver Public Library branch with an ice arena, a swimming pool, and comprehensive recreational and social programming.

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1997

Deficiencies Arise.

In the late 1990s, staff and the community begin to flag problems with a deteriorating site with many design flaws and to recognize a need for expansion and renewal. Discussions ensue.

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2005

Needs are Analyzed.

A formal needs analysis is conducted. It concludes that the centre needs considerably more and better space for its programming and activities.

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2007

Facilities Master Plan Developed.

Britannia works with DGBK Architects to investigate and assess the condition of all the buildings on the site and to set out requirements for a renewed facility. This plan focuses on the south end of the site and on improved arts and culture space and programming.

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2009

SCARP PROJECT INSPIRES.

SCARP, the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC, takes on the Britannia Centre Renewal as a school project to challenge its students. They build a magnificent model of the site and its surrounding area (including every single building) and do some very creative thinking about ways things could be improved.

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2010

SURVEY GOES TO THE PEOPLE.

An online and print survey of Britannia users and people in the community assembles valuable opinions, information, and ideas about what people want to see in their new centre.

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2011

STRATEGIC MASTER PLAN COMPLETED.

Britannia and its site partners further analyze the condition of the site and all the information gathered thus far and, building on the 2007 Plan, develop concepts for the site that retain the innovative integrated-delivery model. The Strategic Master Plan emphasizes, among other things, the need for a new pool facility.

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2011

FUNDING ON HOLD.

Britannia hopes to be on the City’s 2011 Capital Plan but our hopes are dashed. We are, however, fortunate to get City funding to continue our planning and consultation until the next Capital Plan cycle.

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2013

OPEN HOUSE HELD.

In an effort to keep the community informed about the progress of the renewal process, a site-wide open house showcases the myriad services, classes, activities, and people at Britannia.

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2014

BRITANNIA GETS ON THE CITY’S CAPITAL PLAN.

Britannia Centre’s renewal is on the Capital Plan ballot.

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2015

VOTERS APPROVE FUNDING.

Thanks to voters in the City of Vancouver, the Capital Funding package for Britannia gets the green light. The renewal will likely span three four-year Capital Budgets (12 years). Initial focus will be on the pool, the fitness centre, the Gym C building, and the Info Centre. The renewal project as a whole will consider the entire 18-acre site and all the community’s needs, such as arts and culture, community-engagement activities, recreation, and the public library.

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2016–

ONWARD AND UPWARD.

The people on the Planning & Development Committee roll up their sleeves to work with site partners to plan the best Britannia Centre possible. This is an enormous but inspiring task for a largely volunteer committee. Join us!

Recent News & Events

Join Us

The Planning & Development Committee meets monthly and is always open to new volunteers. Community planning events and other information-gathering activities also need your support.

If you would like to join, please contact us at 604.718.5800 or info@britanniarenewal.org.