Thain Creek Daylighting


2800 Block of Westview Dr

District of North Vancouver, BC


Completion date
Project area
2,000 m2
$1.4 million
Certifications & Awards
  • 2001: Award of Merit, the Consulting Engineers of British Columbia
Project Team
  • Owner: City of North Vancouver
  • Project Lead / Consulting Engineers: Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd.
  • Geotechnical Engineers: EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.
  • Environmental Consultants: Coast River Environmental Services Ltd.
  • Landscape Architects: Lanarc Consultants Inc.
  • Contractor: Merletti Construction Ltd.
  • Sponsor: City of North Vancouver


Key Sustainability Features

  • Habitat restoration: annual Coho salmon returns to upstream habitat since 1999; steelhead trout fry are spawning in the constructed channel; bioengineered channel banks are planted with native vegetation, increasing the potential for a healthy riparian habitat
  • Community engagement: special interest groups, neighbours, and stakeholders provided input for the conceptual design


With its completion in 1999, Thain Creek became the largest creek daylighting project in British Columbia. The project, which was undertaken by the City of North Vancouver, restored Thain Creek to its natural state as a fish bearing stream. The City of North Vancouver and the lead consultant, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Limited, received an Award of Merit from the Consulting Engineers of British Columbia for the project. The Thain Creek Daylighting project contributes to the conservation of endangered fish stocks and enhances the aesthetic qualities of the natural environment in North Vancouver.

The design and construction of the new channel in the daylighted portion of Thain Creek involved the removal of a 200 m long culvert that was blocking fish from passing through. The reconstructed channel consists of an open, naturalized stream including a box culvert. The box culvert is an alternative to a round culvert where water moves too quickly to allow fish passage. A box culvert provides the fish with regulated water flow which allows safe passage through the culvert. The new daylighted creek is equipped so fish can spawn within the constructed habitat and then swim to the upstream spawning habitat. The regeneration of streamside vegetation was encouraged using bioengineering methods. Since the project's completion coho salmon have spawned upstream and steelhead trout fry have spawned in the new section of the creek.

Thain Creek Daylighting has received strong support from the community of North Vancouver. The project development involved extensive consultation with the community, special interest groups and the general public. Thain Creek has provided value to the community through the creation of a visually attractive and ecologically functional stream corridor. Benefits include increased neighbourhood land values and public education about fish enhancement projects. Thain Creek provides an opportunity for community members to connect with nature. Interpretive signage is installed in a gazebo overlooking the creek. In the future there is the possibility of expanding the riparian areas and extending a nature trail throughout the area.

Tours: open to the public.


This post was imported from the 'Greater Vancouver Green Guide', it's part of the 'Green Guide Portal' to the Green Building Brain.