IDEA Centre

Since January 2015, the City has been working with the Fraser Health Authority (FHA), the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation (RCHF) and a broad range of community partners on an initiative to develop an Economic Health Care Cluster anchored by RCH - the IDEA Centre.

The IDEA Centre builds upon the strengths of a major health care anchor with a wide variety of advanced specialties, leading health education institutions and related research and development activities to create the highest quality health care environment and promote economic development.

Council and city staff have been working as part of the Mayor’s Task Force on the Health Care Cluster to develop a strategy and implementation plan for pursuing the IDEA Centre. In 2016, the Task Force and City Council endorsed an economic strategy and implementation plan to guide this initiative: the IDEA Centre Strategy and Roadmap.


Rendering of the potential configuration of the Royal Columbian Hospital's eventual build-out. 

The Roadmap and Strategy lay out a series of steps to support the successful redevelopment RCH as well as economic growth and livability and sustainability of the entire health care campus and Sapperton neighbourhood. This plan includes four main priorities:

  • The IDEA Centre Strategy and Roadmap provides a clear vision and actions for regional partners to drive health-related economic development in City while promoting cost efficiencies and successful clinical outcomes within RCH and FHA. This includes supporting FHA’s research mandate of FHA and connecting with other regional partners, like Innovation Boulevard, regional health education facilities, research and development organizations and businesses and city-owned assets, such as the Sapperton District Energy System the BridgeNet fibre  optic network.

  • With the RCH as the healthcare anchor, the surrounding Sapperton neighbourhood provides a broad range of amenities that makes the area an attractive, livable, sustainable, and economically vibrant place that attracts top talent to the area to live, work and learn. Key initiatives to achieve this include: creating a ‘Great Street’ on East Columbia Street, living by the “5-minute walk rule,” setting high-quality urban design guidelines, making space for 24-7 childcare, and building multiple health, wellness, and outdoor activity spaces within the neighbourhood.

  • The RCH and the IDEA Centre will be premier regional destinations that are central to the regional and fully connected by all transportation modes. In keeping with the healthcare theme, active transportation investments, including integration into the regional Greenway network, an attractive pedestrian environment, and direct transit connectivity from the Sapperton Skytrain station. A comprehensive Transportation Demand Management plan will reduce traffic congestion and support vehicle access while ensuring that all staff and visitors have a choice of attractive transportation options available.

  • The IDEA Centre is built on collaboration, supporting multiple City and FHA objectives as well as those of educational, institutional and industry partners. The partnership agreements between the City, RCH Foundation and other key stakeholders in health research and innovation, means that there is a strong and growing base upon which the IDEA Centre and the hospital neighbourhood can be built.