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 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:
- $5 million contribution to the First Peoples’ Gathering House at SFU
- Civic work to issue a formal apology to the Chinese Canadian community for historic wrongs inflicted by the City of Burnaby between 1892 and 1947
- Rapid expansion of the film industry in the city, including the new Bridge studio on Marine Way
- The city’s upcoming district energy utility to reduce carbon emissions
- The city’s record-breaking year issuing building permits representing more than $2.5 billion value
- A new Mayor’s Task Force on Unsheltered Community Members
- An upcoming program to allow laneway housing in the city
- Adding more than 200 new electric vehicle charging stations throughout the community
- The pedestrian-cyclist overpass over Highway 1
- Rosemary Brown Arena ice rink set to open this summer
Watch the mayor's video on the BC Parkway enhancement project below: