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Photos: Ferry Building Gallery finally reopens after $3.2M restoration

The heritage structure was originally built in 1913 to accommodate a municipal ferry service

After a significant project to restore and protect one of West Vancouver’s oldest structures from future dangers, the Ferry Building Gallery at Ambleside Landing has reopened to the public.

On Tuesday, former West Van mayor Mary-Ann Booth cut the ceremonial ribbon, alongside B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs Anne Kang, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country MP Patrick Weiler and current Mayor Mark Sager.

Sager said Booth should cut the ribbon, as the municipal government under her leadership was responsible for the restoration project, which involved getting funding from senior levels of government.

“The Ferry Building Gallery is a jewel in the crown of West Vancouver,” Sager said, adding that it’s an important centre for art, culture and connection in the community.

“It is an important venue for providing opportunities and programs that have helped countless regional artists, as well as telling the story of our rich history,” he said.

According to district staff, the total cost of the work was $3.2 million. That includes just over $1 million from the federal government, $840,000 from the province and $1.35 million from the district itself.

Restoration of the nearly 110-year-old Ferry Building included relocating it to higher ground, seismic upgrades, flood proofing, new accessible washrooms, a side lift, basement, exterior stairs and ramp, as well as various structural repairs. Work began in May 2021 and was supposed to wrap up last summer, but the project faced delays.

Upon reopening, the gallery's inaugural exhibit is Sibling Revelry, which features works from a group of four brothers and sisters who grew up in West Vancouver.

The Ferry Building was built in 1913 by the municipal government to accommodate a publicly operated ferry service. A bus station operated at the site from 1916 to 1986.