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Burnaby kicks off BC Parkway planning with free summer events, activities

Burnaby is in the midst of planning for a refreshed BC Parkway between Boundary Road and Royal Oak.

Burnaby is revving up for the BC Parkway linear park revitalization project with fun and games this summer.

The city is hosting mini-engagement events for the “Parkway Alive!” project with live music, arts and crafts, Indigenous education and storytelling and more at Metrotown and Patterson SkyTrain stations on Sundays and Wednesdays this summer.

Staff have set up picnic tables, life-size chessboards, ping pong tables and food trucks to promote the project and listen to feedback.

The city wants to transform a three-kilometre stretch of the parkway from an underutilized, in-between space into a vibrant linear park that “really serves the needs of the local community,” staff said in a presentation to the city’s parks and rec committee June 11.

The activities will continue for the next few years until the corridor is built out, said senior planner and project manager Charlene Liew.

Families and residents soak up the sun as they hang out at Burnaby's BC Parkway planning festivities. Lauren Vanderdeen/Burnaby Now

Parkway project

The BC Parkway project focuses on the section between Boundary Road and Royal Oak SkyTrain station.

Map of BC Parkway study area. City of Burnaby

Liew said residents have generally asked for park features to include water play, covered spaces, seating, washrooms, a dog park, and community gardens.

Andre Isakov, director of parks planning, said staff expect to hear a desire for those amenities which are currently lacking in the Metrotown neighbourhood.

The city has received more than 1,000 responses through a public survey and heard from about 400 people at pop-up events. Staff will share a consultation summary this summer.

The BC Parkway land is owned by BC Hydro and licensed by TransLink, which maintains the multi-use path and SkyTrain line.

Liew said cost-sharing for the revitalization with other government agencies hasn’t been discussed yet, but if it is it would likely be with TransLink.

Part of a vision board for the City of Burnaby's BC Parkway enhancement project. City of Burnaby/Revery Architecture

She added TransLink already has plans to refurbish the multi-use path between Royal Oak and Buller Avenue and would be responsible to pay for those upgrades.

Staff are also working with TransLink’s public art coordinator and considering flexible plaza space that could be used for food truck festivals.

Isakov noted staff are studying how to make sure upgrades don’t get in the way of cyclists or pedestrians on the already popular transportation corridor.

A draft plan is expected by September and finalized at the end of the year.

Visit the engagement sessions at Metrotown SkyTrain station between Central Boulevard and Beresford Street on Sundays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and on Wednesdays between 5 and 8 p.m., or check out Patterson SkyTrain station Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Aug. 28 from 5 to 8 p.m.

📢 SOUND OFF: What features do you think Burnaby’s BC Parkway project should include? What kinds of activities would you want to see? Share your thoughts — send us a letter. Please be sure to include your full name and city of residence.