Hyack Square, renovated and re-opened in 2009, was designed as a legacy project to provide New Westminster residents and visitors with a Spirit Square to celebrate the City's 150th anniversary and to create a place to connect the community and display public art.
Hyack Square attributes include public art and seating, landscaping that incorporates trees, grass, flowers, river rocks, planters, ornamental shrubs, brick paving stones, wooden boardwalk, decorative screens, signage and children's water play area.
Hyack Square is about connecting people with people and connecting downtown to the waterfront with a pedestrian bridge.
In 1940, early during WWII, Claude P. Dettloff photographed The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles) marching down the 8th Street hill to Columbia Street.
As the Province photographer took pictures of the column, a young boy ran from his mother’s grasp to reach his father’s outstretched hand. The photo became known as Wait for Me Daddy and is one of the iconic Canadian images of WWII. Pictured are five-year-old Warren “Whitey” Bernard and his parents Bernice and Jack Bernard, as the family was about to be separated on October 1, 1940.
On October 4, 2014 in a public unveiling ceremony, Hyack Square became home for the Wait For Me Daddy monument that was immortalized in bronze, a Canadian Mint Coin and Canada Post stamp. Whitey Bernard himself will unveiled the sculpture near the exact spot where Dettloff captured this timeless moment on film. The City of New Westminster commissioned internationally acclaimed sculptors Veronica and Edwin Dam De Nogales to create a war memorial sculpture.