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‘A great amenity’: Upgraded Port Coquitlam pop-up park aims to set summer tone in under-used space

Shaughnessy Park to include interactive features for families and friends, plus entertainment and food options for a lively downtown core.
Shaughnessy Pop-up Park - Port Coquitlam Diane Strandberg
Shaughnessy Pop-up Park in Port Coquitlam is officially reopening on June 25, 2021, with many new upgraded interactive amenities.

Giant stacking blocks, public art and food trucks.

These are some of the features set to be unveiled this week and beyond at Port Coquitlam’s Shaughnessy Pop-up Park in hopes it'll create an interactive and collaborative addition to the city’s downtown core this summer during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The park is now completed after its use as a temporary public space following the demolition of a neighbouring building in 2018.

When COVID-19 came into effect, the city explains the demand for outdoor public space became even greater and sought the opportunity to spruce up the lot for the cooperation and excitement of all residents.

“If you’ve been watching through the fencing as we’ve overhauled the Shaughnessy Pop-up Park over the past weeks, the wait is almost over,” said PoCo Mayor Brad West in a news release, noting the official opening is scheduled for Friday (June 25) at 11 a.m.

“This expanded space will be a great amenity for our community while helping to enhance our downtown and support businesses and the arts. It’s an innovative way to leverage an under-used space and add to the vibrancy of our downtown.” 

Located on Shaughnessy Street near city hall, one block north from Veterans Park, the pop-up park consists of vibrant colours displaying some notable Port Coquitlam views courtesy of Laura Bifano when it opened three years ago.

For the reopening, the artist expanded her digital mural to fill the larger space, part of which slides away for food truck access at the back of the site.

Additionally, staff with the city’s public works department have installed three-feet-tall letters spelling “POCO” as the newest art installation at Shaughnessy.

“We expect our enhanced Shaughnessy Pop-up Park to be a popular spot for families and residents to stop for a break, a performance or for a bite from a food truck or local restaurant takeout while they are downtown,” West added. 

“The city thanks the landowners for their support in helping us add to the safe outdoor spaces in our community. We encourage people to check out this fun new spot, while continuing to follow health protocols such as avoiding large crowds.” 

Interactive amenities are as follows:

  • New surfacing
  • More tables and seating
  • Hanging lights
  • Children’s play features
  • Corn hole
  • Giant stacking blocks
  • Seasonal flowers
  • Sun sails
  • Larger stage

Shaughnessy Pop-up Park is scheduled to host food and entertainment every Saturday between now and July 31, but the city says this may be extended into August, likely dependent on feedback and popularity.

Its official opening is set to include a ribbon-cutting ceremony by West and councillors, live music, face painter, local food trucks and a door prize draw. 

For more information on Shaughnessy Pop-up Park, or any entertainers, groups or food trucks interested in booking a future space, you can visit the city of Port Coquitlam’s website.