February 28, 2020 marked the ten-year anniversary of the end of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic games, which drew 2,566 athletes from 82 countries, along with 75,000 volunteers, and nearly 500,000 visitors. The event drew the eyes of the world to a refreshed Vancouver, as the games came with a significant impact on the city in the form of new community centres, improved public transit, roads and other infrastructure, public art, as well as a vibrant new neighbourhood.
Over the last 15 years, the transformation of what is now known as the Olympic Village has been nothing short of remarkable. What started as an industrial area with low-rise warehouses has been transformed into a thriving mixed-use community. It is now home to modern residential buildings, restaurants, retail, and cultural spaces.
Residents and visitors can enjoy over 25 acres of open public space created as a result of the 2010 Olympics, including a waterfront promenade, a community garden, the Olympic Village Square and Hinge Parka. Some of the recent additions to the Olympic Village include the new MEC Flagship Store, Navio at the Creek, Pinnacle on The Park, Tower Green at West, and The Residences at WEST I.
Four community centres were built for the 2010 Winter Games: Hillcrest Centre, Creekside, and Trout Lake Community centres, and Killarney Rink. Between the four facilities Vancouver gained three new skating rinks, a new aquatic centre, three childcare centres, new gyms, dance studios, and community spaces.
Public art is another lasting legacy of the Olympic games. More than 120 public art ideas were submitted to the city. A jury of professional artists chose the final eight. The most recognizable pieces include the Birds, which found their home in the Olympic Village, the East Van Cross at the intersection of Clark Drive and 6th Avenue, and 'THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE' in front of the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Smaller works of art, including by First Nations artists can also be found throughout the city.
Canada Line, opened in 2009, and exceeded ridership projections within days of its opening. The line continues to be an important link between Vancouver, Richmond, and the Vancouver International Airport. Canada Line currently consists of 16 stations, with potential addition of 3 stations. To meet the growing ridership demand, TransLink will increase capacity on the Canada Line by 35% this year with the addition of a dozen new trains.
Municipalities outside of Vancouver but within the Greater Vancouver Area also benefited from the Olympic Games. The Richmond Olympic Oval is a thriving sports complex. Originally built as a speed skating venue, it now home to 20,000ft² fitness centre, two Olympic-sized ice rinks, a climbing wall, and the Richmond Olympic Experience, the first member of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Museums Network in North America. The Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler was upgraded. In Whistler the Olympic Athletes’ Village in Cheakamus Crossing now provides affordable housing. It also offers a home to a youth hostel and the Whistler Athletes’ Centre.
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