False Creek is an inlet separating downtown from the rest of the city. It runs from Science World in the east to the Burrard Street Bridge in the west. The area was Vancouver's industrial centre until the 1950s, with sawmills, port operations, and railways. In 1960 the BC Forest Products plant caught fire, destroying the facility and sparking (excuse the pun) a twenty year debate on the future use of the area.
The north shore of False Creek was the heart of Expo 86, after which the land sold to a developer that envisioned bringing higher residential density to the downtown core.
Granville Island on the south shore was redeveloped from an industrial yard into a public market and hub for artisan retailers in the 1980s. This also led to an extension of the seawall that already traced the waterfront of downtown.
The southeast shore remained an industrial works yard until it was developed as the Athletes' Village for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Development of this area is ongoing and the City of Vancouver envisions it will eventually have housing and services for 11,000 to 13,000 people.