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Letter: This Burnaby beautification project actually looks 'scruffy'

Metrotown resident wants action taken
00 beresford
Part of the street along Beresford has had furniture installed


Is the state of the Beresford Street Art Walk an example of a public/private partnership failure?

The art walk is a City of Burnaby project to transform the stretch of Beresford Street south of Metrotown from a no man’s land to an attractive urban environment of small shops, cafes and public art work. To that end, the city has installed street furniture, landscaping and innovative lighting.

However, some of the art pieces have fallen short. A massive digital art screen - curated by the Burnaby Art Gallery - was installed on a tower on the MacKay Avenue corner one year ago. 

Being three-storeys high and 160-feet long, when lit up it was spectacular. It shone for about a month and has been dark ever since. A similar digital art sign was installed at the Dow Avenue corner, but it was switched off years ago.

A large silver-coloured sculpture remains at the MacKay Avenue corner but the grounds surrounding it are neglected and look scruffy. The park benches are in need of painting and the two planters as well. No one has planted anything in these planters for years and they are filling up with weeds. The sculpture itself is also looking a little scuffed.

My impression has been that the developers are providing the art in return for density bonuses. If so, they are not truly fulfilling their commitments. As a resident of Metrotown, I have been monitoring this “beautification” project with a great deal of optimism, which is gradually turning to disappointment. With the exception of one sculpture at the corner of Willingdon and Beresford, it is not really performing.

Gregory Bourgeois, Burnaby