Doing Business Downtown

There are so many benefits to doing business in downtown Vancouver. Read through our interesting facts and figures illustrating the downtown’s strengths and potential for further growth, as well as our collection of useful business resources:


  • Downtown claims 52.6% of the office market inventory in Metro Vancouver. The commercial vacancy rate downtown has fallen to 6% (2016).
  • Downtown is Metro Vancouver's largest employment centre with 145,000 jobs. 
  • More than 40 of Canada's corporate headquarters are located in the Metro Vancouver area, with 28 located downtown. It is home to all of Canada's leading financial, law and accounting firms.
  • Lobbying by the Vancouver Fair Tax Coalition has resulted in a 1% shift from commercial to residential property taxes over five years. Since 2005, Vancouver business owners have saved $114 million in commercial property taxes. 
  • Downtown Vancouver  was host to ice-related sporting events, the opening and closing ceremonies, the daily medal ceremonies and hundreds of social events for the 2010 Winter Games. The media broadcast centre, located in the new and expanded Vancouver Convention Centre, was host to over 10,000 accredited media, 2,500 unaccredited media were located at Robson Square and 25+ free country and sponsor pavilions downtown attracted 57% of local residents, which is more than 1 million people.
  • Billions of dollars have been invested in downtown Vancouver by both the private and public sectors over the last ten years resulting in hotels, new condo units, infrastructure improvements and the restoration of historical buildings.
  • The City of Vancouver’s 2009 Metro Core Jobs and Economy Land Use Plan limits the amount of residential development downtown in favour of commercial development and expands the city’s Central Business District. This new policy is resulting in 1.2 million square feet in new commercial development for the first time in years.
  • More than $21 million was invested in 2009 in the 11-blocks of Granville Street connecting ‘water to water’ north to south in the centre of the city. New features include wider sidewalks, flex parking, vertical decorative lighting and new street furniture.
  • Excellent public and private meeting facilities - Vancouver Convention Centre, including a major expansion completed in 2009, BC Place Stadium, including a $450-million renovation in 2011, Rogers Arena (formerly General Motors Place; updated for the 2010 Winter Games), Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University downtown campus, University of BC downtown campus at Robson Square, BC Institute of Technology (BCIT), plus 18 hotels with major meeting facilities, including the new Shangri-La Hotel, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Kor Hotel Group’s boutique Loden Hotel and the renovated Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
  • Downtown employees have access to excellent recreational facilities – YWCA, YMCA (newly renovated), Steve Nash Fitness Centre, Vancouver Club, Terminal City Club, Club 16: Trevor Linden Fitness, the newly expanded Emery Barnes Park, and the seawall for running, cycling, rollerblading and walking.
  • Recently completed commercial construction projects in the downtown include: the $360-million, 67-storey Trump Hotel & Residences at 1133 West Georgia St. by Holborn Development (West Georgia) Ltd.; the 24-storey, 400,000 sq.ft. office and retail tower at 745 Thurlow & Alberni Streets; TELUS Garden, the 24-storey and 53-storey office towers with 500,000 sq.ft. on Georgia @ Robson;  the Oxford Properties-owned MNP Tower at 1021 West Hastings with 270,000 sq.ft. designed by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox and the (completion 2014); and the 70,000 sq. ft. Serracan Property at 510 Seymour St.
  • Currently under construction: the 235,000 sq. ft.  Jim Pattison Developments/Reliance Properties $500-million gateway project with three commercial and mixed-use towers on Burrard St. at Drake Street.; The Exchange at 475 Howe St. by Credit Suisse with 369,000 sq. ft.; and the 69,000 sq. ft. Rogers Arena Towers – East Tower by the Aquilini Investment Group.
  • Nearly 250,000 vehicles pass through downtown Vancouver each day, however there has been a 7% decrease in vehicles entering the downtown each year.
  • With more than 75,000+ people living in and around downtown, well-lit and well-travelled sidewalks provide safe and easy access around the downtown peninsula with approximately a 20-minute walk from one side of downtown to the other.
  • Almost 40,000 people have moved into the downtown core in the last decade alone.
  • The Downtown Vancouver BIA covers over 250 acres of land, 33.7 million square feet of commercial area and 5.9 million square feet of residential area.
  • Easily accessible from all quadrants of the city; approximately 60 minutes by car from most parts of the Metro Vancouver at rush hour; with new separated bike lane connections to downtown from the south, east and west.
  • The 19-km Canada Line light rapid transit line connecting the Vancouver International Airport with downtown was completed in 2009. Downtown stations include: Vancouver City Centre and Waterfront Station. The 11-km Millennium Line Evergreen Extension connecting downtown to the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Moody and Burnaby) opened in 2016.
  • Only 20 minutes from the Vancouver's International Airport (Canada's second busiest airport) via vehicle; 26 minutes via the Canada Line.
  • Connected by public transit from the north (Seabus), south (Canada Line & buses), west and southwest (Westcoast Express and SkyTrain).
  • Over 1,000 shops, 200 restaurants and 50 entertainment spots.

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