False Creek

FALSE CREEK is a saltwater inlet of ENGLISH BAY extending around the south side of downtown VANCOUVER. Originally 5 times its present area, it was occupied seasonally by SQUAMISH people long before Europeans arrived. It was named by Capt George RICHARDS of the British navy, who surveyed it in 1859 and was disappointed that it did not lead through to BURRARD INLET. After Vancouver was established in 1886, the area attracted SAWMILLS, rail yards and SHIPBUILDING operations, and became the industrial heart of the city. During WWI and after, most of the east end was filled in to provide land for railways and other industrial development. By the 1950s it was polluted, congested with mills and factories, and was considered an eyesore. Civic politicians launched a reclamation effort and the south shore was transformed into a residential area focussed on GRANVILLE ISLAND. The province took over the north side for the site of EXPO 86. After the Expo buildings were removed, the site was sold to the Hong Kong billionaire LI KA-SHING, whose Concord Pacific company began redeveloping the north shore of False Creek as a residential community for some 15,000 people. False Creek is crowded with marinas and spanned by 3 major bridges: Burrard, Granville and Cambie Street. In anticipation of the 2010 Olympics, the southeast corner of the inlet will undergo major re-development.