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Burnaby mayor unveils new plan for BC Parkway as destination for arts and culture

Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley plans to turn the BC Parkway into a linear park spanning from the heart of Metrotown to Royal Oak station.

On April 26, Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley revealed new plans to establish the BC Parkway in Metrotown as a “destination unto itself,” at the annual State of the City address hosted by the Burnaby Board of Trade.

“Today, the BC Parkway is a critical east-west connection for walking, cycling, and of course, rapid transit,” Hurley said in a video presented at the event.

“But it falls far short of its potential of being a great urban space in the heart of Burnaby’s downtown.”

The mayor said the parkway could be more than a utility corridor: it could be “an extension of Central Park, an exciting linear park that runs through the heart of Metrotown all the way to Royal Oak (SkyTrain) station.”

“Our vision is for the BC Parkway to reflect the spirit of our community, highlighting the diversity of Burnaby and the incredible vibrant array of activities and culture in our city,” Hurley said in the video, noting it could include public art installations, recreation opportunities, spaces to lounge and grab a bite to eat.

He noted the public has already seen a glimpse of what that could look like at last year’s Canada Day street party festivities.

City council has asked staff to develop a detailed urban design plan for the Metrotown part of the BC Parkway, according to the project webpage. More updates will come in the next few months.

Hurley’s address to the crowd began with a salute and acknowledgement of the Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue team, who volunteered in Turkey earlier this year after the devastating earthquake.

Hurley also brought up the future of Burnaby City Hall, which he noted is an aging building and does not meet today’s seismic standards.

The mayor also highlighted a variety of recent and in-progress projects, including:

Watch the mayor's video on the BC Parkway enhancement project below: