Roundtable: Retail Analysis Report Part 2

Now and then: An analysis of downtown food & beverage retail

Food and beverage retail is an essential part of any downtown. The mix of restaurants, lunch spots, coffee shops and bars collectively curates a cultural experience that defines the area.

So how is Downtown Vancouver’s food and beverage sector evolving to meet changing consumer demands? And which sectors within the industry are experiencing the fastest growth?

Our latest roundtable coincides with the release of the DVBIA’s latest retail report. Now and then: An analysis of downtown retail Part II – Food and Beverage. The Part I retail report, focusing on non-edible goods and services, was released in November 2019 and is available here.

Presented by James Anderson, the DVBIA’s Research and Data Analyst, the presentation touches on the social and cultural influences that shape downtown’s food and drink scene in addition to quantifying and benchmarking the sector within the DVBIA’s catchment.

Following the presentation will be a panel discussion with Layla Vera, Senior Associate with Marcus & Millichap, and Ted Mildon, Director of Office Leasing with Oxford Properties.

James Anderson
Layla Vera
Ted Mildon

Roundtable Details

Date: February, 27, 2020

Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Location: Coast Coal Harbor Hotel 

Registration for this members-only event will open on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Members will receive an invitation to register to this event via email. 

Styrofoam Ban – Information for Businesses

A city-wide ban on foam containers and cups is now in effect as of January 1, 2020. This marks a milestone in the City of Vancouver Single-Use Reduction Strategy with a goal of becoming a zero-waste city by 2040.

Details on the bylaw, including what is banned, how it applies, and suggested alternatives can be found on the City of Vancouver website. https://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/foam-ban.aspx

The timeline for implementation of the Single Use Item Reduction Strategy is as follows:

January 1, 2020

  • Ban on foam cups and foam take-out containers (approved by Council April 29, 2019)


April 22, 2020

  • Ban on plastic and compostable plastic straws with an accessibility requirement to provide bendable plastic straws wrapped in paper. 
    Food vendors must provide accessible straws (bendable plastic straws wrapped in paper) and provide them to customers, without question, upon request. A one-year exemption is provided for plastic straws served with bubble tea to allow time for the market to provide alternatives.
  • By-request requirement for single-use utensils. All single-use utensils can only be given out by request.


January 1, 2021

  • Ban on plastic and compostable plastic shopping bags, with fees on paper and reusable bag. Paper bags must contain at least 40% recycled content. Minimum fees of $0.15 per paper bag, $1.00 per reusable bag. Minimum fees increase Jan. 1, 2022 to $0.25 per paper bag, $2.00 per reusable bag.
  • $0.25 minimum fee on all disposable cups. Creates incentives for in-store drinks to be served in reusable cups, for customers to bring their own travel mugs, and for industry to develop mug share programs. Businesses can keep the fees to invest in reusable alternatives.

Affordable Rental Housing

DVBIA supports workforce housing in Vancouver

With Vancouver’s residential vacancy rate holding steady at less than 1%, the Downtown Vancouver BIA resolved last year to actively support City of Vancouver workforce housing initiatives that would increase rental supply so that people who work downtown can live close to their jobs. Not only does it improve quality of life, it’s also good for the environment, and makes downtown a more attractive, affordable place to work.

One such program is the City of Vancouver’s Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program (MIRHPP). So far, the City has approved four projects, totalling 321 rental units, of which 63 are set aside for moderate income earners. More are in the queue, with a target of bringing 20 of these projects to rezoning.

MIRHPP is designed to encourage delivery of rental buildings with 20% of the residential floor area made available to moderate income households earning between $30,000 and $80,000. Targeted rents in these units will range between $950 for a studio to $2,000 for a 3-bedroom. The pilot program is scheduled to run through January 1, 2021.

With more people moving to Metro Vancouver, more housing at all income levels is needed. MIRHPP is particularly important for keeping Vancouver an affordable place to live for the “missing middle”— such as key members of the workforce like nurses and teachers—and for small business employees who help keep downtown Vancouver a community as well as a destination.

The proposed 2538 Birch Street building (at Broadway), which will be coming forward for approval in the coming months, would provide 248 new units of rental housing, including 53 moderate income units. This building was already approved as a 17-storey market rental and is now being considered under MIRHPP to add moderate income units by increasing the height to 28 storeys.

Projects like these need support from all corners of Vancouver: residents, small and large businesses and organizations like ours. We want to ensure that Mayor and Council continue to support and prioritize important policies like this to address our rental housing crisis, and encourage our members to find out more and join us in advocating for more and better workforce housing.

To join a mailing list and receive information on housing projects that you can help support, please email the DVBIA’s Manager of Economic Development, Gavin Duffus, at gavinn@dtvan.ca

To find out more about the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program click here: https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/mirhpp-public-faqs.pdf.

PuSh Festival

The 16th edition of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival takes place from Jan 21 - Feb 9.

The 16th edition of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival takes place from Jan 21 – Feb 9. The Festival features local and international works of theatre, music and dance. With installations, free events, community conversations, family-friendly shows and late-night dance parties, there’s something for everyone. Give yourself that winter PuSh you need.

Here are some of our top downtown performance highlights:

The fever — Jan 29–Feb 2

Location: The Annex

In these times of cultural fragmentation and heavy discord, art about the ways we work with—and against—each other has a special relevance, a special value. The Fever does exactly this. The New York Times calls it “a lovely, haunting meditation on human connection, and disconnection…” Don’t ask, just go. (USA)

Frontera — January 30

Location: Queen Elizabeth Theatre 

Choreographer Dana Gingras’ dance company Animals of Distinction brings together live musicians, in a unites post-rock masters Fly Pan Am spectacular fusion of sound and motion. The guiding ideas of the performance are borders and surveillance: how do they define us, and when do we dare challenge them? With a stunning visual light installation by United Visuals, this performance will undoubtedly fuse together sound, dance and light, promising an unforgettable evening for audiences alike.

Free Admission — Jan 31–Feb 2

Location: Scotiabank Dance Centre

Ursula Martinez, the acclaimed Director of PuSh’s 2019 Sold Out Club Show, Triple Threat, gets personal, political and philosophical in this soul-baring solo performance. As Martinez holds forth on the paradoxes of life, the absurdity of contemporary living and her own intimate feelings, she builds a wall between herself and the audience—a brick wall, to be exact. Free Admission is a funny, foul-mouthed send-up of digital-age self-promotion. The humour is biting but ultimately forgiving, even celebratory.

Agit-Pop! — Feb1

Location: Central Studios

Drag innovator Pearle Harbour comes for the kill with this tragicomic cabaret concert. Featuring reenactments, renditions, stories, tirades and more, Agit-Pop! is a mixtape of bangers fashioned from years of live performance at clubs, theatres, karaoke bars and drag shows across the nation. Expect to be enthralled, to be challenged and to be part of the fun.

To learn more or to see the full schedule of performances, visit the PuSH website

Street Food City

Vancouver's street food festival is back for its ninth year

Date: January 31 – February 9th 

Time: 11am – 3pm Weekdays
12pm – 6pm Saturdays and Sundays

Location: Vancouver Art Gallery, šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square

Celebrating nine wonderful years, Street Food City is the perfect chance to sample a collection of Vancouver’s best street food carts all located on šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’ e7énk Square (formerly known as the Vancouver Art Gallery).

From January 31, 2020 – February 9, 2020, more than 20 food trucks and carts will rotate throughout the week, meaning you’ll want to check back daily.

Entrance is free, and the event not only sees food trucks but balloons, picnic tables and music with Special Dine Out Vancouver Festival creations and pricing will be available.

full Food truck line-up



*new to 2020

The DVBIA is a proud sponsor of Street Food City