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Canada Line photos: Waterfront Station

The Canada Line route map.

The Canada Line route map.

Here is the third of three posts about the Canada Line construction. Yesterday we had a look at Vancouver City Centre Station, the day before we looked at Yaletown Station, and today we’re going to look at Waterfront Station.

Aha – it just occurred to me that you might like to see the Canada Line route map to better situate yourselves in this discussion. There it is at right. Waterfront is the northernmost station, with Vancouver City Centre Station next, and Yaletown. These three stations make up the downtown Vancouver segment of the Canada Line.

Again, some of you might recognize these photos from the Canada Line site, except that I’ll provide detailed comments on each photo from John Walker, senior technician for the Canada Line.

John took all these photos on Nov. 26. As he’s said, heavy construction is mostly done on the stations, and they are now mainly focused on the finishes and the electrical and mechanical systems. Testing has also started with train cars on the Vancouver portion of the line, which is all underground.

And now, on to the Waterfront photos. Remember to click each photo to see a much, much larger version.

The platform of Waterfront Station.

The platform of Waterfront Station.

This is taken down on the platform. You can see the stairs in the centre of the photo, behind the wood hoarding. The second level at the top of the stairs is the concourse level of the station.

The inbound tunnel at Waterfront Station.

The inbound tunnel at Waterfront Station.

This photo was taken inside the inbound tunnel, south of Waterfront. John said this photo was taken right around where Pender Street is located at the surface.

This track is the crossover track, which allows the trains to change direction and travel southbound on the Canada Line. The workers in the photo are putting in all the switches. You can also see the larger bored tunnel in the background.

John explained that Waterfront is quite a complicated station to build since it’s the northernmost terminus of the line. Since Waterfront contains the end of the bored tunnel, there were challenges in removing the large boring machine from the ground. Construction of the crossover also requires a lot of precise work to ensure the trains can turn around and go southbound on the line.

Main entrance of the station at Granville Street.

Main entrance of the station at Granville Street.

These are the steps of the main entrance on Granville Street. The escalator has yet to go in.

This is one of two entrances to Waterfront Station—the other will be a connection from the north end, leading directly into the existing SkyTrain Waterfront Station. (If you go into the existing Waterfront Station, you’ll see a boarded up area on the west side. That’s where the Canada Line and the Expo/Millennium Lines will connect.)

The second entrance to the existing Waterfront Station also made construction of the Canada Line’s Waterfront more difficult. John explains that the station goes under Cordova Street to create a pedestrian link into the Canadian Pacific station building, which houses the existing Waterfront Station. Tying into the existing structure made construction more complicated, and the age of the CP building made it even more challenging.

The view from the steps at the Granville Street entrance.

The view from the steps at the Granville Street entrance.

John walked up the stairs and turned around to take this shot of the station.

The construction site at street level.

The construction site at street level.

Okay, this is the Waterfront construction site at street level. This helps give an idea where the actual station entrance will be in the end. You can see the top of the main station entrance steps at the left — the construction worker on the ladder is moving to stand right on top of them.

The layers of black and white on the right of the photo are waterproofing to protect the station below.

John also mentions that the actual platform is north of Hastings Street, or just north of the bridge in the background.

Ventilation systems.

Ventilation systems.

So, John walked a bit further south to take this photo.

What are we looking at? This is the ancillary space for the tunnel ventilation fans. These are huge fans controlled by remote control. If there’s a fire, these fans will be able to bring in fresh air and exhaust smoke to the surface.

The ventilation systems area, taken further to the north.

The rest of the ventilation systems area, taken further to the north.

John turned around and faced north to take this photo of the rest of the ventilation area. (You can see the station entrance area and the Hastings Street bridge bit in the background, if that better situates you.) Imagine, all this stuff will be hidden just below the street when it’s finally finished!

So, that is it for the photos of Waterfront! Hope you all enjoyed this look at the three downtown Vancouver stations. If you’d like to run through the other posts again, here’s the links: Vancouver City Centre Station, and Yaletown Station.


  • By LisaB, December 11, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

    From what I understand, connecting to Waterfront Station really was difficult – all the reasons you mentioned compounded by the existing access ramp that goes down from Cordova St just west of Granville St!

  • By JoshN, December 11, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

    Hi Jhenifer,

    Just wondering if you are planning on doing something like this for the other stations? I think it would be really neat!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 12, 2008 @ 9:04 am

    Hey Josh! Sure, I’ll talk to John and the rest of the Canada Line folks and see if we can get more photos of the rest of the stations.

  • By Nick, December 19, 2008 @ 10:02 pm

    Hi there. I was wondering why the entrance to the station is so small? I use the train every day and get off at burrard, and the exit out of the station is jammed all the time.

    Also, Curious to know if there are going to be any mock ups and renderings of all the stations like there was for the millenium line?

    I hope these underground stations are going the be very very bright. Even after the updates to the current stations, they’re still very dark

  • By jenniver, August 19, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    I was wondering if the new canada line waterfront station is open? there is still lots of construction going on granville street… whats the deal?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, August 19, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

    It is most definitely open. The construction along Granville is the City of Vancouver’s work to improve the Granville streetscape downtown. It’s slated to finish by November, which is the original time that the Canada Line was supposed to open. They are working very hard to complete it!

  • By Theron, September 30, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your
    content seem to be running off the screen in Safari.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something
    to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon.
    Many thanks

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