Skip to content

Confederation Park Community Centre to get second gym after all

After originally nixing the idea, council agreed that an added gym is needed to “future-proof” the city.
A rendering of the gym at Confederation Community Centre. A second gym has been added to redevelopment plans for the centre.

A second gym will be added to Burnaby’s new Confederation Community Centre after council motioned to expand the redevelopment.

Council decided the second gym was needed to “future proof” Burnaby, in Coun. Alison Gu’s words, referring to the city’s growth.

The original designs for the latest version of Confederation Centre included two gyms, but council balked at the price and directed staff to reduce the budget. A February report by general manager of lands and facilities James Lota recommended the second gym be added back into the plans, given Burnaby’s rapid population growth, and council agreed. The report notes the high demand for gym space across the city.

In an earlier council meeting, Gu also pointed out the need for more space for community-based recreational sports.

“Our community has so much need for gyms, not just fitness centres,” Gu said Feb. 27. "A lot of people can go to private facilities and their apartment buildings' (fitness rooms), but play basketball, to play badminton, to play ping-pong, all of those activities need gym space, and we don’t have that much of it.”

The second gym, along with parking and all associated costs, is estimated to add $25 million to the overall project. The report said staff figured out how to reduce the overall impact it would have on the city by incorporating “other planned work,” which had already been budgeted for separate projects, making for efficient use of construction.

Construction on the new centre is planned to begin by spring of 2024 and to be completed in early 2027.

Other council members stressed the significance of this addition to the project. “I think it’s incredibly important that people have the space to go exercise and be active,” Coun.Joe Keithley said at the council meeting, adding, “We know that our city keeps growing and growing.”

Seniors' centre will be temporarily relocated

Adding a second gym will mean the building’s senior centre will have to be relocated during construction, according to the report, but there is no word yet on where it will be put.

“I hope that you have discussed it with the seniors, because (they) may take the (construction) noise, rather than the dislocation,” Coun. Pietro Calendino told staff during a Feb. 21 financial planning meeting, when this aspect of the plan was brought up. Staff assured him they would take that up with the seniors' centre but are currently planning for the “worst-case scenario.”