The DVBIA is passionate about enhancing and activating downtown public spaces and our laneway transformations are a core focus for our Placemaking team.
To date, the DVBIA has completed three laneway projects; Alley Oop, Ackery’s Alley, and Canvas Corridor in Eihu Lane. We are working towards developing a network of interconnected lanes throughout downtown, each with its own sense of place and identity.
Reimagining downtown laneways that primarily function as utilitarian corridors into vibrant and inviting public spaces helps to shift perceptions about what can occur in these spaces and can increase the public pedestrian area of the city by as much as 30 per cent. No two laneways are the same and we embrace the fact that each laneway will function and evolve in its own way depending on the surrounding uses and the people that interact with it.
Even after a laneway has been reimagined and the transformation is complete, our work is not done. We remain stewards of the lane and conduct ongoing maintenance to keep it looking fresh for years to come. We also work with the City of Vancouver, local event organizers, and other creative placemakers to activate the laneways with unique programming and events.
Want to learn more about our process or interested in creating an awesome laneway of your own? Have a look at our Laneway Learning Guide.
completed laneway transformations
Eihu Lane – Canvas Corridor
Completed in 2019, Canvas Corridor was created through a partnership between the DVBIA and the Robson Street Business Association. In a two-block section of Eihu Lane, 45 doors and vents were wrapped with original artwork by 27 local artists and designers, creating a colourful art walk throughout the laneway. #MoreToADoor
- Public art walk featuring local artists
- Robson Street Business Association
- SFU School for the Contemporary Arts
- Property Owners and adjacent businesses
- City of Vancouver
- Vancouver Mural Fest
- Blast Media
*Doorway artwork credit left to right: Andrew Tavukciyan, Joni Cheung, Taryn Coulson, Jag Nagra
Laneways as public event venues
Once a laneway has been transformed and has become a more inviting pedestrian space, it lends itself to being a venue for public events or pop-op activations. Just like any other public space venue around the city, a Special Event Permit is required to host an event or activation in an alley.
Click the following link to connect with the City of Vancouver’s Special Events Office and learn more about the application process.
For more information about Alley Oop, Ackery’s Alley, or Canvas Corridor and to learn how they may work for your next event, feel free to get in touch with the Placemaking team by contacting Andrew Nakazawa, firstname.lastname@example.org