The Future of Fairmont Barracks – Plans for the Heather Lands

The Future of Fairmont Barracks – Plans for the Heather Lands

As many of you may be aware the Fairmont Lands situated in the City of Vancouver was ceded to the First Nations in 2014.  Since the fall of 2017, your Vancouver Division Executive have been in discussion with the City of Vancouver regarding the retention of the historical Fairmont Barracks.   

Attached to the Vancouver Division website are two articles which will provide our members with the background to the redevelopment of the Heather Lands and the remains of RCMP Supt Joe Atherton.   The article titled “Historic Fairmont Barracks Need Protection” (written by Donna Morse, Past President) appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of the Quarterly.  The second article “True and Fascinating History – The Mystery of a Mountie Buried Under an Ocean of Stone” outlines the history behind the burial of Supt Atherton.    

On October 1, 2019, I attended a meeting with Vancouver City Planners to further discuss the redevelopment of the lands with attention to the preservation of the Fairmont Building and the site of the buried remains.  As of now, the MST Nations (Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation) are in the process of preparing the rezoning application for the lands.  I have been informed that the process to start to redevelop the lands could take several years due to various approvals that need to take place.  Currently, the City is looking at the possibility of moving Fairmont to another location and repurposing the building to become revenue generating while maintaining the historical façade.  The City is, also, very aware of the need to respect the final resting place of Supt Atherton and further discussion will take place in this regard.  

Currently the forming of a “Coalition to Save Fairmont” between the RCMP Veterans’ Association, Vancouver Division, and interested community groups is being looked at.  One such community group has already agreed to become part of the coalition and another community group is extremely interested in supporting the cause.  Further information will be forthcoming on this endeavour.   

This is just a brief update as to the current situation regarding Fairmont.  Further information will be provided in due course. 

If there are any suggestions/comments, please contact me at or 604-506-6249.  

Donna Morse, Past President
RCMP Veterans’ Association, Vancouver Division

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