Community Support for New Maple Ridge Recreation Facility

A stylized graphic depicting a woman swimming, and a person ice skating. Overtop on a black background white text proclaims "Your Place to Move, Meet and Play! Phase 1 Engagement Summary".

Maple Ridge, B.C., April 17, 2024 - City Council was updated yesterday on the extensive public engagement campaign held on a proposed multi-use recreational facility at the Hammond Community Park.

The first phase of public engagement that was conducted from Jan. 23 to Feb. 23 provided multiple opportunities for residents, and user and other groups to share input, ideas and challenges related to current and future recreation facility needs. 

Between online and in-person opportunities, the City received more than 3,200 comments and insights from individuals and groups. The community engagement reaffirms strong support for a new Maple Ridge recreation facility with aquatic, arena, and other amenities. 

“This was one of the highest participation rates we’ve seen in a City engagement – it’s clear this is an important priority for our residents,” Mayor Dan Ruimy said. “It was heartening to see the community’s excitement for a new recreation facility, and we gained a lot of useful insight into the types of programs and amenities our residents want and where they are experiencing gaps in our current recreation services. It was a great start for the comprehensive engagement we’ll be doing throughout this project.” 

Key Findings from the Community Engagement

The robust engagement process included online surveys targeted to residents, user groups and community groups; three open houses for the public and one for the Hammond community; and 17 facilitated sessions – six with Council Committees and 11 with community groups.

In total, 2,541 people completed surveys and 649 provided comments at open houses. Dozens more insights were also captured at the sessions with community groups.

“We thank everyone who took the time to participate, and we’re paying attention to what you’ve told us,” Ruimy said. “We’ll put this valuable public input to good use as we take the next steps to meet the needs of our fast-growing community with a new recreation facility where people can move, meet and play. There will be more opportunities for the community to help shape this project, and we look forward to hearing what you have to say as we move forward.”

Participants expressed a clear desire for a welcoming, accessible facility offering aquatic, arena and recreation services including fitness, rehabilitation, and program spaces. 

Feedback on services residents want in a new recreation centre include:

  • Aquatics: Top three activities are leisure/recreation, swim lessons, and rehabilitation. One-quarter want a new outdoor pool. The most requested amenities are hot tubs, lazy rivers and waterslides. 
  • Arenas: Top three activities are skill development, competitive sports and leisure/recreation. They also noted preference for increased dry floor access and improved arena support areas, such as changerooms, seating, food services, and flexible event spaces.
  • General recreation: A third of respondents want a fitness area and indoor walking track. Close to one-fifth noted a climbing wall, children’s play areas and youth spaces.

Although the survey did not specifically ask if respondents support a new recreation centre in the Hammond area, an open-ended question resulted in approximately a third of respondents expressing their support for a new recreation facility. As well, 10.9 per cent of respondents indicated a concern about the loss of ball diamonds in Hammond Community Park, and 7.3 per cent were opposed to the proposed location.

What’s Next  

The feasibility study is part of a comprehensive approach to recreation planning that considers growth trends across the community. This work included the opening of the Albion Community Centre in 2022 and the current planning for a fourth ice sheet at Planet Ice.  

The City hired HCMA Architecture and Design to conduct the recreation facility engagement and a site analysis to determine the scale and type of facility needed to serve the community now and in the future. The analysis will consider leading trends and best practices research, a service level demand review and develop program modelling.

Next steps for the project include a detailed site analysis, including archaeological, geotechnical and traffic assessments, as well as the development of design concept options that incorporate the feedback received. The community will be invited to comment on the design concepts later this spring during a second round of public engagement.

Why Hammond

The City conducted a comprehensive site selection process in 2023 for a future aquatics facility which is a priority identified in the Parks, Recreation and Culture (PRC) Master Plan adopted in February 2023.

A total of 11 sites were considered including existing vacant land, under-utilized school sites, existing park sites, retail/commercial sites, and Agricultural Reserve Lands. The sites were evaluated based on factors such as size (minimum of five acres), land and servicing costs, access to public transportation corridors, proximity to existing or future population centres, and the potential for joint purposing of the site. 

Hammond Community Park emerged as the preferred location. Key reasons include:

  • The City already owns a 13-acre site in Hammond with the sufficient size and services for a new recreation facility, saving taxpayers significant property purchase and servicing costs. 
  • The location is accessible by major road and transit by the entire community and region, while also well situated to address anticipated future growth in west Maple Ridge and along the Lougheed Highway transit corridor, as directed by the provincial government. 
  • The aging Hammond Community Centre on the site now requires expensive accessibility and building upgrades, and the outdoor pool is at the end of its useful service life.  

If the project were to proceed, the anticipated plan for the site would include integrating the existing Hammond Community Centre and pool programming into the new facility, and reconstructing the park’s existing baseball fields with enhanced recognition of the legacy of former Hammond resident Larry Walker - a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer for whom one of the existing fields is named.

More information about the recreation facility study can be found at  

To learn more about the PRC Master Plan, visit  

Follow the City’s social media channels @YourMapleRidge for further information and opportunities to share feedback.  

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For further information, contact:  

Christa Balatti, Manager of Special Projects  

T 604-467-7310 E