The Downtown New Westminster business improvement association kicked off summer in the best way possible this past weekend.
This was the start of Fridays on Front, which makes Fridays even more enjoyable than they already are by bringing people together for music, food and cold bevvies.
The DNWBIA is all about making life better in a crowded urban environment, in which so many live in condos.
That’s why a Saturday blog post drew attention to all of the urban parks that are being planned by the City of New Westminster. And they put them all together into one blog post.
Since taking over as editor of the Record a just over a year ago, I’ve been playing catch-up on all of the projects coming to our city.
This list really blew me away. Here are the parks projects that downtown residents can look forward to having just steps away from them.
Traditional Chinese Garden - 824 Agnes Street
“Many aspects of New West’s history were erased during the Great Fire of 1898, including what was once BC’s first Chinatown,” read the blog post. “This area has largely been rebuilt, now home to the SkyTrain station and Shops at New West. Yet, a piece of this history could be revived with a contemporary urban space inspired by traditional Chinese garden design.” This has been a bit of a controversial space because it’s been used as an off-leash dog park – not exactly the most respectful use for a heritage site. But new plans are coming. According to the city, the park designs were developed from the input provided by stakeholder groups including the Canadians for Reconciliation Society, the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, the New Westminster Chinese Society, the New Westminster Multiculturalism Advisory Committee, the New Westminster Downtown Residents’ Association and the New Westminster parks and recreation committee.
Poplar Landing - 1400 Quayside Drive
“You wouldn’t expect a wastewater storage tank to be home to a lush and vibrant public space,” read the DNWBIA blog post. “Nonetheless, this is exactly what is planned for Poplar Landing, an empty open field just west of downtown. In the future, this piece of land will be home to affordable housing, an enhanced natural habitat, and a large park.”
Pier Park Expansion - 660 Quayside Drive
A two-acre addition is currently being built right in the heart of downtown. “As part of the new Bosa development at 660 Quayside Drive, this section of the riverfront will include more shops, childcare, and seating areas for residents and tourists alike,” read the DNWBIA blog post.
6th Street Overpass
“Along with this expansion will come a new railway overpass for pedestrians at 6th Street, making it easier to access the mighty Fraser River,” read the DNWBIA blog post. “In addition to functioning as an overpass, this structure will provide a lovely viewpoint, new playground, and tree grove.”
Riverfront Connection to Sapperton
“To the east, a proposed riverfront walkway will connect Downtown New West to Sapperton Landing and the Brunette River. But this won’t be your typical seawall or pier – it will be a floating greenway. This suspended path over the Fraser River is poised to be ‘the most innovative cycling infrastructure constructed in Metro Vancouver.’”
This is all very exciting. I don’t live in downtown New West, but I love coming there to eat and shop and wander around.
These parks projects will make this area even more enjoyable for residents. If you want to read the original blog post, or just read more about the excellent work the BIA is doing, click here.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.