British Columbia

Urban beach proposed for New Westminster waterfront

Metro Vancouver's newest beach could be in New Westminster if council approves the continued redevelopment of its waterfront that begain with the opening of Westminster Pier Park in 2012.

Beach among priorities identified for city's Waterfront Pier Park

An artist's concept shows what New Westminster's urban beach would look like. A report to New Westminster city council recommends continuing the redevelopment of the waterfront that began with the creation of Westminster Pier Park in 2012. (City of New Westminster)

Metro Vancouver's newest beach will likely be in New Westminster after city council approved it in principle as part of  the continued redevelopment of its waterfront that began with the opening of Westminster Pier Park in 2012.

A report to council identified an urban beach as a high priority.

City planners say the next step is the reclamation of the timber wharf section of the park, which still has the site's original pilings. In addition to an urban beach, plans call for public pathways, an outdoor fitness area, an area for sports, and an off-leash dog enclosure.

A view of the SkyTrain bridge and the Pattullo Bridge, as seen from New Westminster Pier Park. A staff report to New Westminster city council recommends the continued redevelopment of the area include an urban beach. (Google maps)

Under the plan, the black asphalt would be covered with sand and umbrellas. A retaining wall would still separate the public from the fast-flowing Fraser River.

Residents like Wendy Doyle say it's a great idea. Doyle says she'll use the beach.

"I will and so will my little dog Grace," Doyle says. "She's a rescue dog from California. She's a beach dog. She'll be soaking up the sun. "

A staff report separates the proposals into priorities with the beach listed as secondary to reclaiming the wharf. The plan would cost about $298,000, $95,000 for the beach alone.

Other cities including Paris, Berlin and Toronto already have similar types of riverfront urban beaches.

What do you think of urban beaches? Have you come across any good examples in your travels?


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