Frequently Asked Questions

The City faces a crossroads with regards to the Canada Games Pool (CGP) and Centennial Community Centre (CCC), built in 1973 and 1967 respectively. Both facilities are ageing and are in need of attention. Independent condition assessments and feasibility studies have indicated the CGP needs to be replaced and the CCC requires functional upgrades. City Council identified the renewal of these buildings as a strategic priority. In November 2015, Council provided preliminary direction to staff to move forward with planning for the replacement of the existing CGP. In spring/summer 2016, the City of New Westminster appointed HCMA Architecture + Design to conduct a public engagement process (which included a stakeholder workshop, a statistically-valid survey, and community meetings), to provide the City with valuable information during the planning stage. The findings from the public engagement process reinforced the importance of these facilities to the community and were used to inform the next stage of the renewal process.

The new Aquatic and Community Centre provides the City of New Westminster with the unique opportunity to develop a community asset that will reinforce the community’s cultural identity as an active healthy city by providing an important social and recreation gathering place for all its’ diverse residents; provide essential services as the only indoor pool in the community as well as being an important regional asset for fitness, length swimming and competitive training; provide a variety of multipurpose spaces that can be programmed for a range of fitness, training, leisure, and rehabilitation uses in order to meet both current and future demands; support excellence in competitive aquatics with a facility that can uphold the legacy of the Canada Games; offers an opportunity for a new, larger facility but with similar net operating costs and reduced energy consumption; create a complete civic precinct with improved vehicular, cycling and pedestrian connections.

Timeline Graphic

The ‘Your Active New West’ community and stakeholder engagement project (from May to September 2016) helped raise awareness, determine priorities around functional programming, and established a vision and guiding principles for the two facilities. This extensive process took place in order to ensure the renewed facilities would reflect the requirements, needs and identity of the New Westminster community. The process involved numerous stakeholder workshops with a variety of user groups, public open houses and an online survey.

As part of the feasibility study the project team conducted in-person interviews with several of the key site and programming stakeholders (see pages 37-38 of the feasibility report (PDF – 4.7 MB) ). The scope of this study did not include engagement with the public – in part because of the highly compressed schedule – however, the project team did present and had a discussion with the Parks and Recreation Committee to obtain feedback that was representative of general public opinion. Recommendations for further engagement are included in the Next Steps section of this report.

Following up on the initial public engagement sessions in 2016, and the 2017 feasibility study for a future New Westminster aquatic and community facility, the City of New Westminster lead a broad community and stakeholder engagement process from February to April of 2018.

Specifically, the 2018 engagement efforts aimed to:

  • Update the community on the process and decisions made to date
  • Check-in with the community about the feasibility study and recommended option
  • Explore trade-offs and how the community’s values will be reflected in the facility and programming
  • Provide the community with information and check-in expectations about costs

The most recent engagement efforts involved a wide range of strategies for collecting input, including:

  • An online survey (over 1000 responses submitted)
  • Pop-up events (Easter in the Park at Queen’s Park, Centennial Community Centre, Canada Games Pool, Queensborough Community Centre)
  • Three public meetings and workshops
  • Stakeholder workshops (Parks and Recreation Advisory committee, Youth Advisory committee, Multicultural Advisory Committee, Glenbrook GSA, Community and Social Issues Committee, Seniors Advisory Committee, Royal City Curling, Justice Institute, Parks and Recreation Staff, Hyack Swim club, Health community Committee, Access Ability Advisory Committee, New Westminster Fire & Rescue Services, Westminster Judo Club and Judo BC)
  • Various other methods of communication and outreach (social media, fact sheets, postcards, project brochures, sandwich boards, a dedicated project microsite).

A summary of information and the outcomes from the engagement process can be found in the HCMA Public Engagement Report – June2018

The proposed approach for site parking is to consolidate all parking stall requirements for the Future New West Aquatics and Community Centre, as well as the existing Royal City Curling Club (RCC) and Glenbrook Fire Hall No. 1 on the site, through the same access route. The primary vehicular access point will be from Cumberland Street, with a secondary right-in, right out entry/exit from East 6th Avenue. The parking demand study has indicated that the full build-out of program requires approximately 423 spaces. A more comprehensive traffic study will be completed during the next phase of design.

The site plan requires the removal and relocation of the existing recycling depot and sports field. The facility design cannot accommodate retaining both the sports field and recycling depot, due to insufficient space for a vehicular circulation route. In all concept options, a multi-level parking structure or below-grade parking solution would be required to meet the required parking demand (should the existing sport field be retained on-site). This would result in additional project costs – refer to section 5.0 of the Feasibility Study. The City of New Westminster will accommodate current sports fields users at existing fields within the city. Metro Vancouver is also currently constructing a new regional transfer station on United Boulevard in Coquitlam. New Westminser will join the new facility when it opens for operations in 2022. To learn more about this project, please visit the City of New Westminster website.

Both Canada Games Pool and Centennial Community Centre will remain open to the community throughout construction until the new facility is operational.

Construction is currently underway.

The new facility is scheduled to open in late 2023. Demolition of the old facilities and completion of the outdoor spaces is anticipated to be completed for summer 2024.

Gymnastics programming was not included due to the immediate requirement for gymnastics space and given the earliest completion of a new facility would be in 3+ years. It is also challenging to fit both the gymnastics centre and the additional parking requirements on the site without a structured parking solution. A separate process has now identified an alternative solution through the use of an interim sports facility, located at Queen’s Park that can be constructed quickly and will meet the gymnastics programming requirements.

When New Westminster City Council directed City staff to undertake a process to identify and recommend an Indigenous name for the new aquatic and community centre, Council made sure that input from the broader community through an engagement process would be included.

The Naming Advisory Panel expressed the importance of story-telling and having the name of the facility reflect the stories of what residents of New Westminster feel about and will do at the facility. In particular, New Westminster residents were asked to reflect on the following questions:

  • What is this space for you?
  • What is this space for your family?
  • What do you want this space to be?

The City conducted an online survey from December 2019 – January 2020 and held an open house in January 2020. The purpose of this engagement was to gather input from the community on these questions to help inform the Panel rather than to seek specific name suggestions. In total, over 300 people provided input into the naming process through this community engagement.

The predominant themes that came out of the community engagement were:

  • Social Connection
  • Facility as a “gathering place” or “community living room”
  • Inclusivity – the facility is a space for everybody
  • Participate
  • Move
  • Health & Fitness
  • Well-being
  • Swimming

These themes were shared with the Panel to consider when recommending a name to Council. The Panel chose “təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre” because the playfulness, joyfulness, and family-oriented nature of the sea otter specifically reflected many of the predominant themes that came from the community.

Click here to learn more about the new name.

When New Westminster City Council directed City staff to undertake a process to identify and recommend an Indigenous name for the new aquatic and community centre, Council made sure that input from the broader community through an engagement process would be included.

The Naming Advisory Panel expressed the importance of story-telling and having the name of the facility reflect the stories of what residents of New Westminster feel about and will do at the facility. In particular, New Westminster residents were asked to reflect on the following questions:

  • What is this space for you?
  • What is this space for your family?
  • What do you want this space to be?

The City conducted an online survey from December 2019 – January 2020 and held an open house in January 2020. The purpose of this engagement was to gather input from the community on these questions to help inform the Panel rather than to seek specific name suggestions. In total, over 300 people provided input into the naming process through this community engagement.

The predominant themes that came out of the community engagement were:

  • Social Connection
  • Facility as a “gathering place” or “community living room”
  • Inclusivity – the facility is a space for everybody
  • Participate
  • Move
  • Health & Fitness
  • Well-being
  • Swimming

These themes were shared with the Panel to consider when recommending a name to Council. The Panel chose “təməsew̓txʷ Aquatic and Community Centre” because the playfulness, joyfulness, and family-oriented nature of the sea otter specifically reflected many of the predominant themes that came from the community.

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