New Westminster’s Waterfront Vision
New Westminster has a comprehensive vision to reconnect with the Fraser and Brunette Rivers through a continuous waterfront experience, improved connections from neighbourhoods and welcoming and animated public spaces that are available throughout the year.

Experience the Vision - Pier2Landing Event!

Come try what a future connection between Westminster Pier Park and Sapperton Landing Park would be like! The City of New Westminster will host a celebration of its waterfront on June 19 from 11am - 2pm. Pier 2 Landing which will take place on Father’s Day, includes activities and performances along Westminster Pier Park, Front Street, and Sapperton Landing Park.


Background

Over the past 20 years, the City has made great progress in re-redefining the Waterfront as a valuable asset and has started to reconnect residents, visitors and businesses with the City’s two rivers.  This transformation is being realized through the implementation of neighbourood plans and policies, as well as public and private investments, that are bringing renewed activity and opportunities to the waterfront.  Council recently endorsed in principle an expanded Waterfront Vision (below) that incorporates the full extent of riverfront throughout the City.  The proposed vision is supported by three principles: 

Continuity. Creating a continuous network of attractive Greenways and parks.
Connectivity. Providing connections from all neighbourhoods to the river.
Activity. Programing and animating the Waterfront with an active, engaging and dynamic series of experiences compatible with existing industrial uses that entice visitors to explore its many destinations and adjacent amenities.

Waterfront Vision - Proposed

The Waterfront is the City’s most significant cultural, economic and natural asset. It is home to vibrant and diverse public spaces, high-quality recreation, business and housing, and significant natural features.  It is an integral component of the local economy, providing employment, services and tourism opportunities while providing a living link to the city’s past.

Our Waterfront Vision is to seamlessly connect our riverfront - while respecting existing industry - through a continuous system of greenways and parks that run the length of the city and provide improved connections from our neighbourhoods to the river for residents, businesses and visitors alike.  Along with enhanced access and facilities, the Waterfront’s recreation and tourism potential will be realized through public spaces and activities that generate widespread interest and are welcoming for all ages and abilities at all times during the year.


Contact

Mark Allison, Manager, Strategic Initiatives & Sustainability
Phone: 604-527-4653
Email: mallison@newwestcity.ca

Supporting projects

Existing and proposed projects that support the proposed waterfront vision are outlined below. 

 

  • The lower Brunette River encompasses the lower reaches of this urban river located between North Road and the stream’s historic mouth at the Fraser River near Sapperton Landing Park. It is a fish bearing stream that has been severely affected by urban development and flood prevention projects, particularly in the lower reaches below Brunette Avenue. The Brunette Basin Watershed Plan was developed collaboratively by Metro Vancouver and other regional partners in 2001. Metro Vancouver has responsibilities for managing designated drainage facilities in this watershed and owns lands along the Lower Brunette for liquid waste and drainage purposes. Partners to the watershed plan include the Brunette Basin Coordinating Committee, with a mandate to coordinate municipal and stewardship activities, as well as the Sapperton Fish and Game Club who have been instrumental in returning salmon to this river. You can learn more about this restoration project through Metro Vancouver's Ecological Health Action Plan.

  • This Greenway, a joint project of Metro Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster will, once complete, connect New Westminster Quay to Burnaby Mountain and Science World in Vancouver and eventually to the broader regional trail system. The City is currently working with TransLink to provide pedestrian and bicycle access via Sapperton SkyTrain Station to the Greenway and nearby employment area. The City has received a federal Canada 150 grant to complete the Braid Street section of the Greenway. This Metro Vancouver report provides an update on the status of planning for the Greenway.



  • This park, at the mouth of the Brunette River, will provide a picnic area and rest stop along the greenway. In 2014, two conceptual design options for Cumberland Point were developed. A joint public input process is being planned for the design of the adjacent sewer pump station site, which will also provide parking and washroom facilities for the Brunette Fraser Regional Greenway, and Cumberland Point Park. This process is currently planned for fall 2015. This Metro Vancouver report provides an update on the status of planning for the park. 

  • Built in 2001 as legacy of the Millennium SkyTrain Line project, this 9 acre park incorporates habitat restoration features, including wetlands, and provides users with walking and cycling paths, a picnic area, washrooms and parking for users of the park and Brunette Fraser Regional Greenway.  To learn about Sapperton Landing Park please visit the New Westminster Parks and Recreation website.

  • Potential north-south pedestrian connections are identified in the Official Community Plan and Downtown Community Plans through a series of enhanced pedestrian crossings to the waterfront and would also allow users of the Central Valley Greenway additional opportunities to access the Waterfront greenway. These enhanced connections, identified around Sixth, Fourth and Elliot Streets, as well as McBride Avenue and the Fraserview area near the foot of Glenbrook Ravine, would be evaluated as opportunities arise. 

  • There is currently no direct connection on the 800m-long span of waterfront between Westminster Pier Park and Sapperton Landing Park. Greenway users are required to use the Central Valley Greenway connection between Cumberland Street and the Downtown. The City is working with Metro Vancouver and other stakeholders to develop this connection.

    Design concept for Waterfront Greenway Connection


  • This award-winning park, opened in 2012, was constructed in partnership with the federal and provincial governments on former industrial waterfront property. It incorporates historic elements celebrating the history of the City and the Waterfront and includes a playground, basketball and volleyball courts, sitting areas and spaces for community gathering and celebration. Planning is underway to create a pedestrian overpass to the park at Sixth Street as part of the redevelopment of 660 Quayside Drive.
    You can learn more about Westminster Pier Park on the Parks and Recreation website.
  • As part of the interim development for the east end of Westminster Pier Park (“Timber Wharf” section), a series of inviting and fun park activities and features were developed based on community consultation.  These include volleyball courts, beach-side hammocks, kids’ water feature and sandy play area.


  • Partially opened in 2015, this fully-accessible overpass will provide stairs and an elevator to connect Columbia Street and the eastern side of the Downtown to Westminster Pier Park and the waterfront Greenway system. Designed to complement other bridges along the waterfront, the overpass incorporates a lookout platform and innovative lighting features.
    You can learn more about the Fourth Street Overpass on our website.


  • In conjunction with the rehabilitation of the eastern section of the Front Street Parkade, the City will be beautifying this remaining section of the parkade with a signature public art piece. This art piece, extending from Sixth Street to Fourth Street using chain link safety fencing as a canvas, will transform the waterfront and create a lasting legacy.  For more information on the Parkade Public Art Project please see the following Council Reports: 

  • The partial removal of the Front Street Parkade is an important step toward achieving the goal of connectivity to the waterfront. Increased views and enhancements to the area will create an overall improved pedestrian experience. You can keep up to date on the parkade developments on our website.


  • The Front Street Mews is envisioned as an attractive, safe, pedestrian-friendly great street of which residents and merchants alike can be proud. The contemporary design for the mews will include a widened sidewalk, street furniture, lighting, street trees, traffic-calming, stormwater planters and angled parking to access local businesses. 
    You can learn more about the development of the Front Street Mews on our website.

  • The site, also known as the Larco property, was recently rezoned in order to establish a Comprehensive Development Master Plan. In response to changing community values, and in order to move forward with implementing the City’s waterfront vision, the City and the property owner worked collaboratively to create a concept plan which will guide development of the site into the future. The Master Plan has greater provision for open space and views of the Fraser River, approximately 2 acres of land for an extension of the Westminster Pier Park, an extended waterfront esplanade, three rather than five high-rise towers, and a mix of land uses including residential, commercial, child care, and a 150 room hotel.  You can learn more about the proposed future development on our website.

  • Experience The Fraser Network
    (ETF) is a unique vision to connect communities, parks, natural features, historic and cultural sites and experiences along the Lower Fraser River. The Canyon to Coast Trail and Recreational Blueway are the backbone of the project, connecting Hope to the Salish Sea by means of over 550 kilometres of trail, 43% of which is already in place.

    The Fraser River Discovery Centre, New Westminster’s premier waterfront attraction along with the River Market, is ETF’s “Urban Portal,” providing a gateway to the network for Metro Vancouver.

  • In conjunction with the redevelopment of 660 Quayside Drive and 1000 Quayside Drive, upgrades are being planned for the Hyack Square overpass     Hy   HHyack alsdfjkljklsdfjklsdfjklsdfjklsdfjkl;to River Market and the McInnes Overpass from New Westminster SkyTrain Station. These upgrades will be designed to provide a more attractive pedestrian experience and provide additional accessible connections between the Downtown and the waterfront.

  • Along Waterfront Esplanade, you will find horticultural displays through flower beds, unique trees and our famous hanging baskets. Park benches, viewpoints, interpretive signage, public art and Riverfront Market make this walk a regional draw. The adjoining Quayside Park offers two playgrounds. The main playground, located near the train bridge at the west end of the Esplanade, has water theme play features such as a submarine, lighthouse, swings, sand, lookout towers, water fountain, washrooms, park benches and picnic tables. The second playground features a single tugboat play structure, popular with children of all ages, located near the Riverfront Market and World's Tallest Tin Soldier
    . Learn more about the Waterfront Esplanade on our Parks and Recreation website.
  • A pedestrian and cycling connection between the Downtown and Queensborough has long been an important local and regional objective. The proposed crossing would connect residents, employees and tourists traveling between the Queensborough community, downtown New Westminster and points beyond. From a regional transportation perspective, the bridge will link Greenways on the north and south side of the Fraser River and the New Westminster SkyTrain Station to Queensborough. It will also provide enhanced access along the scenic Fraser River and complete a key missing link in the Experience the Fraser trail system running from Hope to the Salish Sea. You can read more about the proposed bridge on our Community Plans website.
  • This site at the western end of the Waterfront Esplanade is jointly owned between the City and Metro Vancouver. It is the future location for Muni Evers Park, which will be located along the North Arm of the Fraser River. The site will also be used for housing and the operation of a Metro sewer and drainage district facilities.

  • The BC Parkway is a 26-kilometre, multi-use path that roughly parallels the Expo SkyTrain Line, connecting Surrey City Centre, New Westminster’s Quay, South Burnaby and Vancouver. The New Westminster section of the Parkway has a number of scenic overlooks of the working waterfront and connects the waterfront to the redesigned Queensborough Bridge interchange, which now allows access to both bridge sidewalks, Burnaby, Delta and Richmond. You can learn more about the BC Parkway on TransLink's website.

  • As outlined in the Official Community Plan and Trail and Greenways Master Plan, there is a long range vision for a connection along the western portion of the city’s Waterfront and adjacent lands.  While this portion of the Waterfront remains an integral component of the working industrial Waterfront, as opportunities arise the City will work towards a trail in this area.
  • The City is investigating the potential of a pedestrian and cycle connection across Stewardson Way near Twentieth Street. This proposed connection would provide an important link by bringing residents from the west side of the city to the BC Parkway and down to the Waterfront. 

  • Connecting with the proposed Q2Q Bridge and the Queensborough Perimeter Trail, this multi-use path is being constructed on the south side of Ewen Avenue. This greenway will connect Queensborough’s “Main Street,” to Boundary Road in Richmond, with new sidewalks on the north side and landscaping along the corridor.
    You can read more about the Greenway on our website.
     

  • The City is developing a perimeter trail around Queensborough to promote active living and transportation, and connect the neighbourhood with the Fraser River and a broader regional Greenway network. 7.1 km of new trails were added in 2011 that feature river vistas, lookout points, wheelchair accessibility, trees, flowers, benches and a dock.
    Visit the Parks and Recreation website to learn more about this trail.

  • A branding and marketing plan is being developed to provide a cohesive and comprehensive brand and related marketing strategy for the City’s Waterfront.  This process will include focused stakeholder meetings to help inform the process and ensure it best reflects the values of the community, including residents, businesses, as well as other organizations and stakeholders.
  • Guidelines are being developed that will provide the framework for designing and programming the public spaces in the Downtown area, including sidewalks, plazas, park, streets, and for detailing how buildings relate to, and interact with, those public spaces.
  • The City has protected existing industrial lands for economic development and employment purposes and been working with SFU on an research initiative that documents and celebrates the industrial and commercial heritage of New Westminster’s Waterfront. This project has included number of international speakers and a recent historical exhibit at the Anvil Centre.
  • It is anticipated that the new Tourism Plan, to be developed in 2017, will identify a series of actions to promote the waterfront as a tourism- related asset throughout the city, including additional events and animation.
  • The Downtown Community Plan includes actions that promote water activities through amenities such as marinas and piers, and natural places along the foreshore for boating and kayaking, and places where people can interact with the water.  As opportunities arise through park and greenway development the City will work to safely incorporate these activities.
  • The Public Art Policy supports public art on city-owned public spaces and where appropriate would look at parks and other public spaces along the waterfront as potential locations for new installations.
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