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Building Design & Construction

A unique building is being designed to effectively meet the needs of the children, families, caregivers, and health-care providers who will use the new centre.

conceptual interpretation of the proposed centre for health complexity

This image is a conceptual interpretation of the proposed centre for health complexity, and the final design may differ. Courtesy of Arcadis/IBI Group.

The development will include:

  • A three-storey new centre for health complexity
  • An open green space, including a wellness loop and public art, with access for the community
  • A 74-space daycare in a stand-alone building, run by a licensed childcare operator.

A high-level design for the site was submitted as part of the development permit application to the City of Vancouver. The design will undergo further development in the next phase of the project.

The project team has been working closely with a group of patient and caregiver partners and clinical staff  to co-design the new centre and its services. If you would like to be involved in the public engagement process during the detailed design phase, please visit the Engagement page for details.


You can see images of the preliminary design in the photo gallery or in this story.

An innovative building design

The building design is based on the following principles, which are aligned with the services that the centre will offer:

  • Welcoming, calm, and non-institutional
  • Honouring the land — its history, present and future — in partnership with First Nations and local residents
  • Connecting people to nature
  • Accessible and barrier-free
  • Virtually connected to all of BC and Yukon.

The centre will include several innovative spaces tailored for children with health complexity and their families:

  • Three-level accessible ramp and multi-storey atrium 
  • All Nations Space, Elder’s room and kitchen, and healing garden for Indigenous patients and families
  • Welcoming patient and family suites for overnight stays
  • Family kitchen and dining areas with access to an outdoor patio
  • Teaching kitchen
  • Multi-purpose recreation room
  • Family resource centre
  • Sibling support centre
  • Access to the outdoors from all levels through courtyards and patios.

The project incorporates a holistic set of sustainable design measures. These include green mobility and transportation opportunities, water efficiency, energy efficiency, carbon emissions reductions, healthy and sustainable building materials, waste reduction, and a focus on indoor environmental quality. It will aim for a number of certifications.

The centre will aim for a number of certifications and sustainable features:

  • Accessibility: The facility will be designed to achieve the Rick Hansen Foundation Gold Standard of Accessibility.
  • LEED Gold: The facility is required to achieve Gold Certification under LEED V4 for Healthcare Projects, as well as meet the requirements of the City of Vancouver’s Green Building Policy.
  • Passive House: The project team is partnering with the City of Vancouver to design the daycare to the Passive House energy performance standard.
  • Mass timber: The centre will be the first hybrid mass timber health-care facility in British Columbia, incorporating a significant amount of mass timber as structural components. Mass timber is a low-carbon building solution that employs engineered wood products typically made of large, solid wood panels, columns, or beams.
  • Wellness path and healing loop:  The proposed landscape design includes fully accessible pathways throughout the site for patients, families, and the community. Path elements will include play areas, seating, and gathering spaces.
  • Enhanced green spaces: The site design respects the mature grove of trees to the north of the proposed building, which will be made accessible to children in mobility devices and their families. This green space, which is widely used and valued by local residents, will continue to be open to the community. The compact footprint of the proposed centre opens up additional green space on the south-east corner of the site, at Kaslo Street and 21st Avenue. This area will be landscaped and will include seating.
  • Indigenous healing garden: A garden with plants of medicinal and cultural significance will support the Indigenous Health programming at the new centre.
  • Community garden: A community garden will be located in the northwest corner of the site, adjacent to the daycare. The garden will be run by a qualified third-party operator and will be open to the surrounding community.
  • Edible landscaping and native planting: The overall landscape plan includes fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, as well as plants native to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Entrances and drop-offs: The main entrance to the centre will be from Slocan Street. A wide drop-off area will accommodate families arriving in larger vehicles carrying mobility devices such as wheelchairs. Families arriving at the staying suites will have a drop-off area off 21st Avenue. Service vehicles will have their own separate entrance off Kaslo Street. The daycare pick-up and drop-off will be from the lane in the north-west corner of the site.
  • Parking moved underground: An underground parking lot at the new centre will serve patients, families, staff, and visitors. The lot includes an increase in the number of accessible stalls for patients and families. Some surface parking will be retained on the Kaslo side of the site.
  • Cycling and transit options: Excellent transit and cycling networks in the area will make it possible for staff and visitors to choose sustainable transportation options. The site is close to Renfrew and Nanaimo Skytrain stations, and serviced by multiple bus routes. The Slocan Street bikeway connects to the Central Valley Greenway, which leads to downtown. Eighteen bicycle spaces are proposed for the new centre, as well as bike storage facilities and showers.

A 74-space daycare will be built on the north-west corner of the site, and will be open to families in the community. The daycare will likely open in 2028.

The daycare will be operated by a third party, which will be selected through a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The drop-off and pick-up will be through the laneway off Slocan Street, and some parking will be included.

If you are looking for information about the daycare located at the BC Children's Hospital Oak Street campus, please contact them directly at 604-879-4159. The Djavad Mowafaghian YMCA Child Care Centre is located at 4698 Oak Street, Vancouver.


The selection of the design-build team that will ultimately build the new BC Children’s Hospital centre for health complexity is a two-step competitive process.

Through the request for qualifications (RFQ), we chose three qualified proponents who were invited to participate in the next step of procurement, the request for proposal (RFP). The proponents are:

  • Ledcor Design-Build (B.C) Inc.
  • Pomerleau Inc.
  • Bird Design-Build Construction Inc.

The RFP was issued on October 27, 2023 and closed on April 5, 2024. We are now in the evaluation and selection process of a preferred proponent. We hope to announce the winning team in June 2024.


Building with construction sign and orange fences around trees We aim to keep neighbours informed of the work being done on site and to minimize disruptions. If you would like to be notified of demolition and construction work at the site by email sign up for the mailing list here.

Demolition of the former Sunny Hill Health Centre building on the site will take place from fall 2023 through fall 2024.

Work at the site began in early October, 2023 with tree protection and installation of fencing around the site. Currently, work is underway to remove hazardous materials from inside the building. Demolition of the building will start in spring 2024 and will take several months.

All work at the site is following the City of Vancouver noise control bylaw. We inform neighbours by email of any exemptions to the bylaw. You can sign up for notices here.

Permits and rezoning

The project team has made every effort to preserve the majority of trees on the site. The green space at the north end will be largely left intact. However, 11 trees are too close to the existing building and need to be removed during demolition.

  • Trees to be removed: There are 35 trees close to the demolition site; 24 will be retained and 11 will be removed
  • Professional assessment: The project team worked with professional arborists at Diamond Head Consulting on a health assessment, wildlife assessment, and retention plan for all trees on site
  • Planting new trees: The project team will be planting new trees as part of the redevelopment of the site

The project team has submitted a development permit application to the City of Vancouver in March 2023. The director of planning approved the application on August 14, 2023, subject to conditions. A development permit will be issued once all conditions have been satisfied.

The project team submitted a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver, as a requirement to proceed with the redevelopment of the site. This means that a specific CD-1 bylaw will be written for this site to describe its use for health-care purposes. The rezoning application was approved at a public hearing on January 19, 2023.



Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2025.

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