Musqueam takes wraps off Lelem, 21-acre community adjacent to UBC

Rendering of the Musqueam's new 21-acre community, Lelem, on the University Endowment Lands. The property will be developed over the next 10 years by Polygon. Credit: Musqueam Capital Corporation

The Musqueam Indian Band broke ground on a 21-acre community in the University Endowment Lands Thursday, the first time in Metro Vancouver that a First Nation is independently embarking on a mixed-use, multi-family development.

The community will be called Lelem (leləm̓), meaning “home.” It will be built in two phases over the next decade and will be home to 2,500 residents once complete.

The first condos at Lelem will go on the market in the summer of 2018. Polygon has been chosen as the building developer for the first phase.

Lelem will have a variety of housing, including multifamily and subsidized rental housing, retail, open space in the forms of trails and parks, and various amenities. Approximately eight acres will be available as publicly-accessible parks, trails, wetlands, greenways, social hubs and gathering places.

In 2008, B.C. transferred the 21-acre site to the Musqueam Indian Band as fee-simple land. In 2013, the Musqueam Capital Corporation, the economic development arm of the band, filed a rezoning application and conducted public consultation. The rezoning was approved by the province in 2016.

Lelem facts

Residential density: 1.2 million sq ft. (1,250 homes)

  • 18-storey condo buildings
  • one 12-storey rental building
  • four-to six-storey buildings and townhomes

Commercial density: 30,000 sq ft.

  • retail shops
  • coffee shops
  • specialty grocery store


  • Adjacent to current major transit line (99 B-Line) and future rapid transit station
  • Select trees will be harvested and repurposed for use throughout Lelem and by the Musqueam community
  • A 15,000 sq ft. amenity building providing a gym, fitness centre, meeting rooms, and office space
  • Childcare facility for 40 children