Parks and Recreation play an important role in any community’s social, emotional, and economic wellbeing. The Town Centre Park is Coquitlam’s largest urban park at 42- hectare (103 acre) drawing in visitors from across the Tri-Cities area. The site has a long history and over the years, a variety of uses and development of the site has evolved to accommodate many needs and uses, both green and active.
Original Use as a Quarry
Town Centre Park was originally a gravel quarry operated by Lafarge with the land being leased from the Province of British Columbia (See the Town Centre Park Quarry Photo (PDF)). Through cooperative and innovative thinking by Don Cunnings, Coquitlam’s first director of parks and leisure services, an agreement was reached by Lafarge, the Province of British Columbia and the City of Coquitlam to have the quarry lands and the manmade lake donated to the City of Coquitlam once quarry operations ceased.
Transition into a Recreation Site
The transformation from resource recovery site to recreation and leisure facility took place gradually. What evolved was a first-rate recreation area to serve the fast-growing Coquitlam Town Centre. When Town Centre Park officially opened in May 1989, it was the newest and finest facility of its kind on the lower mainland. A prestigious National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 1 track meet hosted by Simon Fraser University was the first event held at Town Centre Park stadium. One of the major features of the 100-acre development is its capability to host several types of sports events.
Development of the City Centre
The successful acquisition of these lands in turn spurred the development of Coquitlam’s City Centre. The result generated a hub for activity as it became a more desirable area to live, work and play. Developments led to the establishments of:
- Aquatic Centre
- Chamber of Commerce
- City Centre Library
- City Centre Mall
- City Hall (relocated from the historic hub-Maillardville)
- Douglas College
- Evergreen Cultural Centre
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment
In 2017 the Evergreen Line Skytrain will be completed and will end at Town Centre Park.
1995 Master Plan
In 1995 a Town Centre Park Master Plan (PDF) was developed to guide the future development of Town Centre Park. This master plan has guided development that has resulted in a people-oriented park with amenities that support a variety of sports, outdoor recreational pursuits, passive and social areas, and cultural experiences.