Hastings Park Reformation Still Happening

By Ben Hamill - August 27 2021

Hastings Park Reformation Still Happening

The plan to transform Hastings Park is still apparently in the works. At least it is according to Vancouver officials, who insist that the reformation strategy is just undergoing a few changes. Yet now, a full decade after the plan was originally announced, many are understandably sceptical. Especially since no further details were offered, giving the impression that actual results may still be a long way off.

Hastings Park is, of course, the second largest park in Vancouver, currently consisting of a number of key locations. Included within the borders of the zone are the Burnaby residential area, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) grounds, the Iron Works Memorial Bridge, Pacific Coliseum, as well as the iconic Hastings Park Racetrack.

Plans were to drastically redevelop this area, allowing for a greener, more inviting atmosphere. But, as it now seems, this transformation appears to be nothing more than a vague pipedream.

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Not So Easy

According to Shelley Frost, PNE president, it isn’t as easy as it seems to get a project of this size into gear. She explained that authorities have not simply been ignoring the plan, but rather hard at work trying to make it happen. She elaborated that at least 15 studies have been performed, all of which were aimed at analysing the feasibility of the transformation process.

She continued that a number of factors had to be taken into account, including geotechnical feasibility, archaeological impact, and required infrastructure. But, she concluded, with these tests now performed, the project was finally starting to get into its true stride.

Not A Priority

Patricia Barnes, head of the Hastings North Business Improvement Association, had a different, perhaps more honest story to tell. She explained that the PNE plan had indeed been debated on numerous occasions, and that a number of studies had indeed been done. But, she added, the fact of the matter was that other, more pressing issues were taking priority.

She explained that drugs, homelessness and housing were simply far more pressing, and had thus been the central focus of efforts. She concluded that the world health crisis had certainly not helped matters, creating even more stress and uncertainty for authorities.

What can be said for sure is that Vancouver is facing a number of challenges on numerous fronts, not in the least the damage that the world health crisis has inflicted on the Hastings Racecourse. If anything, it will be a miracle if the racecourse is even still around in a few months.