Advocacy, education and outreach in support of Vancouver's public spaces

Leg-in-Boot Square. July 2012

Site Name: Leg-in-Boot Square

Address Information:

  • 670 Millbank
  • Closest Street Intersection: Millbank and Market Hill
  • Local Area: Fairview
  • Neighbourhood: False Creek South
  • Latitude 49.26740782
  • Longitude -123.1192495

Flickr Photoset:

Description: A well-proportioned, hard-surfaced neighbourhood plaza surrounded by low + mid-rise residential, and ground-level retail/service. The site faces toward Yaletown, offering a scenic view of False Creek and the downtown peninsula. Despite its design, the plaza is generally under-utilized owing to a combination of inter-related factors: there are few amenities and limited seating, and ground-floor commercial uses tend not to activate the space in any substantive fashion. As a result, the sizeable number of Seawall pedestrians tends to walk past without entering or engaging with the space.


  • Class: Open Space
  • Category: Plaza
  • Sub-Cat: Neighbourhood plaza


  • Ownership status: Public
    Owner Name: City of Vancouver

Location, Size, Dimensions

  • Area: 1000m2 (approx)
  • Dimensions: 30m x 30m x 30m x 40m (approx)
  • Locational Context: Multi-scale low-and mid-rise mixed-use buildings (ground-floor retail and services + upperfloor residential.
  • Site Orientation: North-facing
  • Solar exposure/shading considerations: Relatively good solar access owing to surrounding building heights. Some shading from buildings to the south.


  • Year Built: 1970s
  • Architect/Designer: Jos Verbauwhede (?)
  • History Notes: Constructed in the 1970s as part of the False Creek South neighbourhood.
  • Key Events, Usage in History, Timeline: 1970s – construction; 2014 – City Studio design class holds day-long co-design workshop to “imagine the future of the Leg-in-Boot Square”


  • Surface Treatment and Materials: Hard-surfaced – Stone pavers.
  • Universal Design: Some small changes in grade. Slope. Stone pavers have been identified as a challeng.


  • Weather Proofing: Limited. Mostly via retail edge.
  • Formal Seating: Yes – several benches
  • Informal Seating: Yes – steps
  • Tables: No
  • Public Bathrooms: No
  • Drinking water fountain: No
  • Waste or Recycling Disposal: Yes
  • Water Feature: Yes – though not functioning (2016)
  • Public Art: Compass’ design via brick inlay
  • Lighting: Yes
  • Street Trees: Yes – along the edge of the square
  • Landscaping: Yes, limited.


  • Adjacent Connected Public Spaces: Seawall
  • Bike Route: Yes – Seawall
  • Transit: Limited access.

Social Use:

  • General Usage or Observational data: Despite it’s strong design features, this space remains relatively under-utilized.

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