VANCOUVER -- A downtown Vancouver plaza that cost the city nearly $6 million has reopened to the public after months of delays.

Robson Square reopened to the public Monday, which is about a year later than expected.

The pedestrian space on the south side of the Vancouver Art Gallery was turned into a car-free zone in 2017. At the time, a temporary plaza was installed with painted asphalt infill.

Then in 2019, the space was closed to be made into a permanent plaza. It was expected to reopen by spring 2020, but the city says the pandemic, weather and issues with the structure below the open-air plaza delayed the project.

The city has added more lighting and seating, with space for year-round events once COVID-19 restrictions lift.

As of Monday, there were still some construction materials left to clean up and more landscaping to complete, but the city said it wanted to open the plaza as soon as possible to allow people to socialize safely outdoors.