Skip to content

End of an era: Centennial Community Centre closes in New West

Take a stroll down memory lane at this weekend's farewell to Centennial Community Centre in New Westminster
A farewell celebration is being held at Centennial Community Centre on Sunday.

It’s the end of an era for Centennial Community Centre.

After several decades as being home to assorted programs – from fitness classes to birthday parties, the facility’s final day of operation is on Friday, Nov. 3.

In its final days, several farewell events were offered at the community centre, including a dance program for youngsters and a children’s playtime.

Fitness programs, a prominent feature in the facility, also hosted farewell events. These included a Fitness Through the Years class (featuring a special choreography-based class to celebrate fitness through the years at Centennial Community Centre from the 1960s to present day); a dance-fit class; and a Cycle Through the Greatest Hits (featuring music from 1980’s favourites to present-day greatest hits and celebrating the history of Fitness New West.)

The farewell events culminate in a Walk through Memory Lane event on Sunday, Nov. 5. Community members can register to attend a 15-minute walk through the centre before it closes for good.

“Registered community members will have the opportunity to reminisce as they walk through memory lane. Collect a memento, take a final photo, participate in activities, and more,” said a notice about the event. “An outdoor, heated gathering space will also be set up outside featuring Little Miss Coffee food truck on-site selling hot beverages and baked goods.”

In a statement to The Record, the City of New Westminster said Centennial Community Centre has been a beloved facility and a fixture in the city for more 56 years.

“It has served multiple generations of the community, and we know many patrons have fond memories of their time there and have developed close relationships with other program participants and staff over the years,” said the city’s statement.

Like the previous farewell event for Canada Games Pool, the city is holing this weekend’s event to give community members one last chance to visit the centre and reminisce.

“Guests will be able to collect a memento, stop by the photo booth, participate in activities, and connect with staff and instructors,” sad the statement. “There will also be hot chocolate and fresh baked goods.”

Next week, city staff will begin moving equipment over to təməsew̓txʷ.

“While it is sad to say goodbye to one of our facilities, there is also a lot of excitement amongst staff and patrons for the opening of təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre,” said the city’s statement. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to the new facility next spring and permanently settling our programs into their new home.”

The Walk Through Memory Lane event is on Sunday, Nov 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Community members can register online or by calling 604-777-5100.

Centennial Community Centre opened in May 1967, after federal and provincial governments made funds available for capital project to celebrate Canada’s Centennial in 1967. A history about the facility, compiled by the parks and recreation department, said council approved a budget of $200,000, and the new community centre was quickly designed and built in only one year.

This new $114-million təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre is set to open on the site next to Centennial Community Centre in June 2024. The 10,644-square-metre facility will include aquatic facilities (including a leisure pool, lap pool, adult hot pool, family hot pool, diving boards, steam room and sauna); fitness areas; a cycle studio; two gymnasiums; multi-purpose rooms; a lobby where people can gather; a child-care facility for up to 37 children; café food services; and outdoor spaces.

On the move

In preparation for the demolition of the community centre, city staff made arrangements to relocate programs to other venues in the city. Here’s where programs are now being offered:

  • Group fitness classes – Century House and Queensborough Community Centre
  • Cycle classes – Queen’s Park rose garden’s boardroom
  • All-ages dance – Century House, Queensborough Community Centre, Centennial Lodge, Massey Theatre and Herbert Spencer Elementary School
  • Music – Anvil Centre
  • Preschool (Discovery Playtime) – Century House and Queensborough Community Centre
  • Cooking – Queensborough Community Centre
  • Arts – Century House, Queensborough Community Centre and Queen’s Park Arena
  • Science – Queensborough Community Centre
  • All-ages sports – Queensborough Community Centre