Robson Square
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People skating on Ice Rink

About Robson Square

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Robson Square is a provincial landmark and the Province’s largest building with 1.2 million square feet extending over three city blocks. The internationally recognized facility was designed by renowned architect Arthur Erickson and built between 1979 and 1983.

Housed within this property are the Provincial law courts to the south, the Vancouver Art Gallery to the north, and in the centre, the University of British Columbia’s (UBC’s) downtown campus and Vancouver’s only outdoor ice rink. This central part of the property is made up of a variety of publicly accessible plazas, nooks, gardens, and walkways on several elevations.

Robson Square is frequented by tourists, students, shoppers, office workers, and residents. The Robson Street Plaza, which divides Robson Square and passes over UBC and the ice rink, has some of the highest pedestrian volumes in Vancouver, with each sidewalk carrying about 3,500 pedestrians per hour. In addition, the Hornby St. and Howe St. intersections carry about 1,300 vehicles per hour in each direction during peak hours.

Background

In 2004 the Province started work to revitalize and extend the life of Robson Square. In Feb. of 2010 Vancouver played host to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Province selected Robson Square as B.C.’s showcase and celebration venue, as well as the site for the unaccredited media centre. In preparation for the games, the ice rink was revitalized, a new ice plant was installed as were two new glass domes, LED lighting and skate rental facilities.

During the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Robson Square became the unofficial site for Canadians and international visitors alike to celebrate medal performances and share in the spirit of the games.

While acknowledging the games created a once-in-a-lifetime atmosphere that cannot be duplicated, they also served to demonstrate that a centrally-located, active and managed site is appreciated by all British Columbians and visitors.

With this in mind the Province re-opened the Robson Square Ice Rink following the Olympic Games in Dec. of 2010 and has committed to continuing to operate the ice rink every Dec. through Feb. into the foreseeable future.