New Westminster reclaims its downtown waterfront for public use as Westminster Pier Park officially opens
New Westminster, BC – Representatives of three levels of government joined local dignitaries on New Westminster’s waterfront earlier today to officially open Westminster Pier Park, reclaiming a former industrial brownfield for public use.
More than $16.6 million in federal-provincial funding was provided to the City of New Westminster to build the Westminster Pier Park, through the Building Canada Fund-Communities Component. The City Westminster contributed over $8.3 million towards the project.
“Our Government’s investment in the Westminster Pier Park is a perfect example of how we have demonstrated strong leadership focused on the economy,” said Mark Warawa, Member of Parliament for Langley, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “This new park will be a hub for the families and residents of New Westminster, while growing the local economy by attracting visitors to this spectacular location from around the Lower Mainland.”
The Westminster Pier Park construction project was launched in 2009, following the purchase of a 3.8 hectare brownfield located along the Royal City’s waterfront by the City of New Westminster. To date, the project has garnered three awards including a 2012 Environment Award from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators; a Sustainable Communities Award in the brownfield category from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities; and a national Brownie Award from the Canadian Urban Institute for sustainable remediation technologies.
“I am very proud that the Province, along with the federal government, has contributed so significantly to make this wonderful park possible,” said Surrey Tynehead MLA Dave Hayer, attending the event on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom. “This project is one more jewel in a trail network to connect communities and families along both sides of the Fraser River from Hope to the Salish Sea.”
The opening of Westminster Pier Park marks another step in revitalization efforts underway in New Westminster’s historic downtown. With a 600 metre long boardwalk, festival lawn, washroom facilities, benches, picnic tables, two playgrounds and basketball court, the new park provides numerous recreational opportunities in a stunning waterfront setting.
“Today is a great day for our city and one we’ll remember for a very long time,” said Mayor Wayne Wright. “With the opening of Westminster Pier Park we’ve realized a significant goal for New Westminster and re-connected with our historic waterfront.”
Westminster Pier Park is designed to reflect the cultural and heritage values of the City and provides a well-situated venue for festivals and community gatherings. Situated at the centre of Metro Vancouver, the new park is also an important link in Province of British Columbia’s Experience the Fraser initiative, a waterfront greenway system which will connect Hope with the Salish Sea through 550 kilometres of trail.
“On behalf of city council, I’d like to thank our project funders for helping make this day possible,” said Wright. “I’d also like to thank everyone involved for bringing Westminster Pier Park to fruition, from contractors, to city staff to all the community members who participated in our public consultation sessions. This park belongs to everyone.”
Gabrielle Price, Government of BC Caucus
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada