The pathway to some of Vancouver's most iconic ocean views is getting a multimillion-dollar upgrade.

The Vancouver Park Board announced Thursday that work has already begun on the seawall around Stanley Park. Work on the nine-kilometre trail will cost $4.5 million, and will be completed in two phases.

Crews have already started on the foreshore in English Bay. Workers will be filling holes, replacing stones, stabilizing foundations and installing rocks to prevent erosion between Sunset Beach and Brockton Point.

The restoration project is the largest the wall has seen since construction began in 1917.

Crews will focus on 100-metre sections at a time, the park board said, and cyclists will need to dismount in areas where work is underway. The second phase will require board approval, and is expected to begin once the first part is finished in August.

In a statement Thursday, the board said the seawall is in need of upgrades due to the constant battering from waves and weather. While the board does routine maintenance and spot repairs as needed, a 2016 assessment highlighted high-priority areas that require more intensive upgrades.

The board said repairs will increase the overall resiliency of the wall against aggressive storms brought on by climate change.

"The restoration will allow local residents and visitors to continue to enjoy recreational activities for many more years on the seawall," chair Stuart Mackinnon said.

Construction on the seawall first started 101 years ago with the goal of staving off erosion, but the project took 60 years to complete. The majority of work on the wall was done between 1950 and 1980, though the project was part of a federal employment program during the Great Depression.

Following its completion, the seawall was extended past the borders of the park.

Work is also being done on the section surrounding False Creek, a project that began last year and required the removal of a line of cherry trees

The primary goal of that project was safety, the city said. Upgrades to the seawall in that area include two dedicated paths to separate pedestrians and cyclists. 

Work is expected to be completed by the end of spring.