Spruce Harbour Marina is owned and operated by the Greater Vancouver Floating Home Co-op (GVFHC) as a cooperative liveaboard marina for co-op members. The GVFHC was formed in 1974 to find a legitimate way for people to live on their boats in the heart of the city. The name is slightly misleading in that pure houseboats are not allowed - floating homes at Spruce Harbour have to be able to leave their slips under their own power (or sail).
Located in downtown Vancouver, BC, on the south shore of False Creek just east of Granville Island, the marina provides a quiet refuge. The site is on a long-term lease from the city of Vancouver, and liveaboards pay a Liveaboard License Fee (in lieu of property taxes) to the city of Vancouver. All liveaboard boats are hooked directly into the sewage system, and parking is in an underground lot beneath the nearby False Creek Elementary School's soccer field. The center house provides laundry, showers and a sauna, as well as a small lounge area with kitchen for members' use.
Only members of the GVFHC are allowed to live on their boats at Spruce Harbour. There are two ways to become a member: Buy an existing boat from a current member, or join the waiting list (currently about 5-7 years). When a member sells their boat and wants to leave the GVFHC, their shares are redeemed by the GVFHC. If the boat has been sold to someone wishing to become a member, the GVFHC will interview the prospective member and, on approval, will sell the shares to the new member. If the boat has been sold to someone who does not wish to become a member, the GVFHC will offer the shares to the person at the top of the waiting list.