Burnaby begins planning for new replacement City Hall complex in Metrotown

May 8 2023, 4:40 pm

Planning is now underway for a new replacement City Hall complex for the City of Burnaby in a new location, within its downtown.

The municipal government is embarking on a process to build a new City Hall within its Metrotown area, which has been identified as the preferred location for the complex by Burnaby City Council.

“The new City Hall will be a significant investment in our community and will enhance the civic heart of Burnaby’s true downtown,” said Mayor Mike Hurley in a statement. “We are committed to building a new facility that reflects the diversity of our community – a place that is safe, inclusive and welcoming to people from all walks of life.”

The existing City Hall is located at 4949 Canada Way — north of Deer Lake, in a highly uncentralized area. Moreover, according to the municipal government, the 1955-built complex is reaching the end of its lifespan and requires significant upgrades if it is to be retained. A new City Hall complex would also serve to consolidate all administrative staff currently spread across several buildings.

The cost of upgrading the existing complex is estimated to be about $70 million. The municipal government’s 2023-2027 capital plan sets aside $74 million for the City Hall replacement project, including $3 million in 2024, $11 million in 2025, $20 million in 2026, and $40 million in 2027. This will be funded by City revenues collected from developers for the purpose of generating community benefits in exchange for approving their developments.

4949 Canada Way Burnaby City Hall

Existing Burnaby City Hall at 4949 Canada Way, Burnaby. (Google Maps)

4949 Canada Way Burnaby City Hall

Existing Burnaby City Hall at 4949 Canada Way, Burnaby. (Google Maps)

According to the City, a relocation of City Hall to Metrotown aligns with the municipality’s 2017 Metrotown Downtown Plan, which calls for intensifying civic and community facilities in the Metrotown area as part of the strategy to catalyze a more vibrant city centre.

The municipal government has yet to identify a precise location for the new City Hall in Metrotown, but it already owns major properties, including the Burnaby Civic Square block — the location of the Metrotown branch of Burnaby Public Library — just west of SkyTrain Metrotown Station. The vast majority of this city block is currently green/plaza space.

Initial public consultation on this project will begin later this spring.

burnaby civic square library metrotown

Burnaby Civic Square and Metrotown Public Library. (Google Maps)

The area is already home to the headquarters office of Metro Vancouver Regional District, which acquired the 2014-built, 29-storey Metrotower III office tower — part of the Metropolis at Metrotown mall complex — for $205 million in 2017. The regional district occupies about half of the tower and leases the remaining space for revenue.

The City’s Metrotown Downtown Plan also envisions a major events and convention centre next to Metrotown Station, where the bus loop is currently situated. In 2021, a preliminary analysis by the City conceived the concept of a 200,000 sq ft, five-storey events and convention centre and art gallery at a cost of $460 million.

The City of Vancouver has also been eyeing a new City Hall immediately north of the current heritage complex — on the City-owned block where the SkyTrain Broadway-City Hall Station entrance building is located. Planning for this project to modernize Vancouver City Hall and consolidate City staff has stalled due to the pandemic; prior to the pandemic, in the 2019-2022 capital plan, $5 million was set aside to start planning for the new City Hall.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

+ News
+ Development
+ Politics
+ City Hall
+ Urbanized