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South Cambie

South Cambie

South Cambie is sandwiched between Queen Elizabeth Park and Shaughnessy heights. This area is known for its abundance of medical facilities include BC Children’s Hospital, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Care Centre, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, and Canadian Blood Services.

Neighbourhood history and heritage

Named after CPR engineer Henry Cambie, South Cambie was once home to elk, oxen, loggers, ranchers, and Chinese vegetable gardeners. Today, as yesterday, the area is dominated by Little Mountain, the highest point in Vancouver, and one of the only places from which to command a 360-degree view of the city.

The first non-native settler to the area was William Mackie, a logger and gold miner. In 1874, Mackie claimed 65 hectares around what is now Douglas Park. The next year Jeremiah Rogers built a road to Little Mountain to access the lumber that covered it. After the lumber was removed, the former oxen pasture became site of a small milk ranch. In 1910, as houses began springing up in less fertile ground all around, the land was used for Chinese vegetable farming. Finally, in 1926, the land was designated as Douglas Park.

Like Shaughnessy, the area north of King Edward developed in the boom years following the turn of the 19th century. By 1926, houses dotted the area surrounding Douglas Park, and by the mid-1950s, the last remaining raw land just north of 41st Avenue (used as army barracks during the war) was released by the federal government for development.

Did you know?

  • Douglas Park, the site of South Cambie's community centre, was once a logging camp and later a market garden. Each day in the 1920s, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would ride past Shaughnessy Hospital on their return to Fairmont, the RCMP's training facility.
  • Queen Elizabeth Park was transformed from an open pit mine in 1940.
  • Little Mountain is the highest point in Vancouver, occupying its geographical centre and commanding a 360-degree view of the entire city.

ashhomesThe Fairmont Academy on Heather Street is an important community landmark listed on the City's Heritage Register. Now used as an RCMP training facility, the 1912 tudor-style building designed by Samuel Maclure, originally served as the Langara private school for boys.

The oldest part of the community, the northern portion bounded by 17th, 23rd, Cambie and Oak, has a number of Craftsman-style heritage homes from the 1910s and 1920s. There are also several excellent examples of Moderne buildings in South Cambie including the Jean Matheson Pavilion and the former Shaughnessy Hospital's main building.

See detailed information on the city's heritage and a complete list of heritage buildings.

Additional information is available through the City of Vancouver Archives.

Initiatives in South Cambie

Cambie Street Corridor

Cambie Corridor Planning Program

The Cambie Corridor Planning Program guides long-term growth in areas along Cambie Street and its surrounding neighbourhoods.

Oakridge Transit Centre aerial view

Oakridge Transit Centre (OTC) site

The OTC and adjacent sites policy statement supports the redevelopment of the area as a primarily residential community.

Riley Park-South Cambie Community Vision Plan

A Community Vision Plan is the result of a comprehensive, collaborative local planning process.

Read the Riley Park-South Cambie Community Vision Plan  2.06 MB

Community organizations and events

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Road closures and construction

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Explore public art

Discover our featured public art. Go on self-guided walking tours. Find public art by neighbourhood, artwork, or artist.

Grants and awards

View information on grants and funding for arts and culture, strong communities, and sustainability.

Growing food

Vancouver supports and promotes growing local food, through community gardens and other urban agriculture initiatives, promoting sustainability, and building stronger communities.