COQUITLAM, BC, July 27, 2021 – Town Centre Park visitors will soon be able to enjoy an enhanced and accessible pathway around the perimeter of Lafarge Lake.
As part of the implementation of the Town Centre Park Master Plan, adopted by Council in 2018, Council has approved the final design of the improvements to the Garden Walk and the Urban Walk zones of the Lafarge Lake Loop Trail.
When complete, the planned improvements will span about a quarter of Town Centre Park, the gem of Coquitlam’s park system and a local and regional destination for festivals and recreation, and will bring lighting and trail improvements, new gathering spaces, enhanced plantings, wayfinding and other amenities.
Improvements to be Phased over Two Years
The plan originally included four distinct zones: Garden Walk, Forest Walk, Urban Walk and Island Walk. However, based on initial public feedback and Council input in early 2020, the Island Walk zone was not included in the plans in order to preserve the wildlife habitat.
The three remaining zones include:
- A Garden Walk on the east side of the lake, with plantings for year-round colour and visual interest, a network of secondary trails and seating areas, lighting, new lawn areas and, if budget permits, tiered steps to the water next to the TD Community Plaza;
- An Urban Walk on the west side with new lighting, outdoor furnishings for social gathering, and a two-stall universal washroom near Evergreen Cultural Centre; and
- A Forest Walk on the south side, featuring a widened asphalt trail with sections of boardwalk, extensive tree planting, lighting and new meandering trails.
Construction is already underway on the washroom next to the Evergreen Cultural Centre and it is set to open in fall 2021. Other improvements scheduled for 2021 include:
- Widening and repaving approximately 700 linear metres of pathway through the Garden and Urban walks, including a pathway realignment to make the new washroom more accessible.
- New and upgraded lighting through the Garden and Urban walks including power and infrastructure for more seasonal lighting features, for use during events such as Lights at Lafarge.
- Flower and shrub planting areas in the Garden Walk, including drainage and irrigation, that will provide beautiful features while respecting the need for open space during large festivals and events.
- Site furnishings including seating walls, benches and garbage cans.
- Wayfinding signs including new signs for the Trans Canada Trail kiosk.
Work on the Forest Walk and another small portions of the Garden Walk is planned for 2022.
Design Guided by Public Feedback
In October 2020, the public was invited to provide feedback via an online survey at letstalkcoquitlam.ca/towncentrepark. Nearly 700 responses showed strong support for the concept plans for all three zones of the Lake Loop. Notably, a new washroom in the Urban Walk zone was ranked very highly by respondents, along with strong support for improved lighting and widening the trail.
A strong theme of the feedback also included interest in the long-term health of the forested areas around Lafarge Lake. Coquitlam’s Urban Forestry team has been working to manage long-term tree growth within the forested areas, focused on replanting appropriate long-lived types of trees for the soil in the area. The long-term goal is to increase biodiversity and aesthetic appeal while also supporting the City’s climate adaptation goals.
An infographic summarizing the feedback is available at letstalkcoquitlam.ca/towncentrepark.
Improvements Guided by Park Master Plan
The lake loop project stems from the 20-year Town Centre Park Master Plan (TCPMP), adopted in 2018 to guide the park’s development.
Projects related to TCPMP to date have included improvements to the festival lawn, a new plaza with seating, a new washroom and servery building, a new universal washroom, and additional enhancements to the lawn, gardens, trails and lighting.
Information about planned Town Centre Park improvements can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/parkprojects. Master plan details can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/tcpmp.
Manager, Recreation and Culture Facility Planning
City of Coquitlam