HFTC Update

HFTC Project Status Update (December 7, 2018)

Since the last update from the Project Oversight Committee, we have witnessed a lot of changes!

Last week, our 1023 and 1021 Nelson Street units were demolished. For 25 years, 1023 served as a dedicated space for our youth. Though originally named the Servants’ Quarters (SQ), it came to be called the “Youth House.” Along with 1045 (Rivendell), for many years, 1021 served the missional purpose of providing affordable housing for our neighbours. 

It is anticipated that our 1025 Nelson Street unit will be demolished as early as this coming Monday. 1025, known as the “Hobbit House,” was birthed in the 1970s as a Drop-In Centre and Coffee House. It originated out of our church family’s desire and plan to go beyond the walls of the church. Over the years, 1025 housed various outreach activities such as our coffee house program for street-involved youth, ESL classes for our internationals, and counselling.  

It is important for us to acknowledge the deep sense of loss and grief over these changes. For some of you, these units are associated with some significant memories. However, at the same time, the changes we are going through are for the sake of God’s mission. As followers of Jesus, we are being swept into hope. We are being challenged to reimagine how the unchanging Gospel can be lived out in a rapidly changing culture. Our Good Shepherd is leading us and renewing us through these displacements—often challenging us to step out of our comfort zones. In the end, the “greater” work that is underway is not the demolition and construction of our new facilities, rather the “greater” work is the transformation and renewal of our lives as individuals and as a community. 

Leslie J. Cummings, in narrating our first hundred years as a church, closes with these words: 

“We should not stand with our backs to the future, looking steadfastly into the past, but stand facing the future, supported by the heritage of the past.” 

As encouraged by our beloved brother, Leslie, who has now joined the great cloud of witnesses, we must give thanks for the past—God has been faithful to us through the years. We must also give thanks for all that is ahead! 

Lord, renew us. Lord, teach us to follow you, humbly and boldly. 

With joy, 
Justin Kim
Executive Minister

Posted by Justin Kim

HFTC Project Status Update (November 25, 2018)

1. Agreement to License Facilities

In the course of planning for our temporary displacement, we discovered that our neighbour across the street, St. Andrew’s-Wesley, is set to undergo a similar seismic upgrade of their historic church building. It is anticipated that their displacement will last around 18 months—starting from the second week of February 2019.

As a way to extend the hospitality of Jesus Christ, we will open up our place for our displaced neighbour. This space sharing is defined by an Agreement to License Facilities which specifies that St. Andrew’s-Wesley will have the non-exclusive right to reasonably use our facilities on Sundays only for their Jazz Vesper Service from 3:00 pm and until 6:00 pm. The Agreement to License Facilities also specifies that St. Andrew’s-Wesley will make best efforts to license similar facilities to FBC, on similar terms as set out in this agreement, should FBC require such facilities in the future.

We are grateful that a respectful, appreciative partnership has developed out of this agreement. We are blessed to be able to extend the hospitality of Jesus Christ to our displaced neighbour.

2. Permit and Construction

The Development Permit was approved by the City of Vancouver. In a matter of days, it is expected that the Demolition Permit will be approved. Shortly after that or potentially at the same time, we will have the Building Permit to move forward with the project.

Demolition and Excavation
Starting next week, the noise and inconvenience levels will increase as the demolition of the red door stairwell will begin. Please be mindful of the limited parking availability between Monday to Saturday.

In addition, the demolition of the buildings (adjacent to the upper parking lot) and the preparatory work for the excavation of the parking lot will start on December 3rd. As a result, our usage of the upper parking lot will cease.

As part of the demolition, the cedar trees bordering our parking lot along Nelson Street will be removed. We regret that the 17 existing trees on-site will be removed but 57 new trees will be planted.

Exit Stairwell
As you might have noticed, the construction crew is currently working on the demolition of the red door stairwell. In the next 2-3 weeks, they will bring together the wiring, insulation, and drywall. Once that work is completed, we will regain access to the newly reconfigured rooms (e.g., Preteens room, Youth room, Shelter offices). Following that, the next major step is the installation of an exterior staircase. It is expected that the installation will be completed by mid-January. Please do note that we will continue to use the new red door as one of our main entry points for the remainder of our time in this building.

Communication with Neighbours
We have communicated with Westbank that one of our key priorities is to be respectful of our neighbours and do what we can to mitigate the disruptions that are inevitably part of this project. Westbank will regularly issue notices, as per city policy, to all of our neighbours to ensure that they aware of the disruptions. We will also have contact details for Westbank at the church office in case of inquiries.


3. Impact on ministry

For the next 2-3 weeks, the Preteens and Youth rooms will not available for use as the construction crew will be removing the temporary drywalls to give way to the permanent interior walls. All of our youth and preteens events have been temporarily moved to other spaces. It is expected that we will regain access to the newly reconfigured rooms starting December 10th.


4. Parking

Starting December 3rd, the upper parking lot will no longer be accessible. However, we will continue to use Nelson Square on Sundays as well as the lower parking lot for those with limited mobility.

Starting January 1st, 2019, the lower parking lot will no longer be accessible. In order to support individuals with limited mobility, we have secured the approval of the city to create a pick-up/drop-off zone near the ramp on Nelson Street. In addition, we are working to organize a team of volunteers to provide transportation to and from Nelson Square.

HFTC Project Status Update (October 14, 2018)

Tenant Relocation

In accordance with the Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy, the Operating Committee has effectively and compassionately managed the tenant relocations. We are pleased to let you know that all of the impacted tenants have found housing. We are hopeful that all the buildings will be vacant by the end of this month, allowing for work to begin as soon as the permits are received. 


In the last week of September, Westbank began the demolition and excavation of the “red door” and staircase.  This has created significant changes to the daily and weekly routines for our church family.  The “red door” has now been moved closer to Burrard Street and new security measures for this door have been enacted.  If you are visiting the church during the week, please use this new entrance.  The completion of the “red door” excavation will not be complete until January 2019.   


The Development Permit is planned for later this month; however, it is subject to completion of a few agreements which have yet to take place and therefore we won’t be surprised if this is delayed until November.  The Building Permit and Demolition Permit will follow shortly thereafter dependent on all pieces moving smoothly.  These permits may not be completed until early 2019.


We are currently considering several options for parking once excavation begins.  We are exploring ideas around dedicated FBC parking on Burrard Street on Sunday mornings, and the concept of a shuttle that brings people back and forth to Nelson Square. Both options are still in the discussion phase and we will update you once we have a firm plan on parking.