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Coquitlam's first YMCA facility to help breathe life into new neighbourhood complex

The master plan of the "Heart of Burquitlam" is coming together as a long-awaited $77-million health and fitness facility will be built alongside rental housing towers.

A community plan is starting to show signs of life as its goal is to bring a sustainable beat to a Coquitlam neighbourhood by its completion in spring 2023.

Dubbed the Heart of Burquitlam in an update today (Aug. 19), several public, private and non-profit organizations are teaming up to deliver a living area that provides rentals, transit and the city's first-ever YMCA facility.

The $77-million facility will be managed by the YMCA of Greater Vancouver and will deliver health and mental wellness programs, child-minding and care services and job opportunities for all ages.

"As a charity dedicated to helping people of all ages and abilities reach their full potential, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver is thrilled to partner with the City of Coquitlam and Concert to bring a new state-of-the-art YMCA to this vibrant community," said the branch's president and CEO Stephen Butz in a release.

"This YMCA is also made possible due to the generosity of our donors. When we open the doors of the new Coquitlam YMCA in fall 2022, it will mark our fifth centre of community across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers are excited to welcome the community and provide a safe and inclusive place where they can access life-changing programs and services."

The city of Coquitlam is contributing half of the total cost out of developer fees for the 55,000 sq-ft community centre, which will also include an indoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

The Coquitlam YMCA is in addition to a community that's set to feature the following:

  • 31-storey residential tower by Concert Properties
  • 50-storey condominium by Myriad
  • Community policing station
  • Park-and-ride facility
  • New city park
  • Shops and other services

The Heart of Burquitlam is being called "a master-planned community" as it's located near the Burquitlam SkyTrain station.

HeartOfBurquitlamAug192021CoquitlamThe Heart of Burquitlam is being built on Emerson Street in Coquitlam and once a pathway is implemented, it will give local residents easy access to the Burquitlam SkyTrain station. By Heart of Burquitlam


On July 21, the federal government announced — through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) — it's providing a low-cost loan of $109 million for the construction of a 308-unit rental housing tower planned for the area.

The complex at 551 Emerson St. will also include 100 affordable rents — for at least 60 years from first occupancy — for those living on income assistance.

Additionally, 31 will be accessible units and two are considered "adaptable" for those with mobility challenges.

Developed by Concert Properties, the affordable options will be operated through the 43 Housing Society/Share Family and Community Services, which is also set to receive a $3.85 million grant from the city to ensure the units are ready for those who need them.

“When we consider all of the complexities of good community building today, it is more than any municipal government can accomplish by themselves," said Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart, who noted the city has 5,100 new units to add to its rental stock.

"It takes all sectors – government, development and non-profit – to come together with a vision for an area."

For more information on the Heart of Burquitlam project, you can visit its website.

- with a file from Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News