Tennis Canada recommits to plans to build a world-class training hub in Burnaby

Dec 17 2021, 2:36 am

The pandemic has not shaken Tennis Canada’s plans to build the Pacific Tennis Centre at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.

During a press conference earlier this month highlighting Canada’s 2021 tennis season, Eva Havaris, the vice-president of tennis participation and partnership for Tennis Canada, stated the City of Burnaby has committed the required land for the world-class tennis training facility at no cost, as well as $6.5 million from the value of the municipal government’s site servicing cost coverage.

This Pacific Tennis Centre project, previously named Western Canada Tennis Centre, will have 12 year-round indoor tennis courts, eight outdoor clay courts, and eight outdoor pickleball courts. With a total of 28 courts, which is four more courts than previously proposed, the Pacific Tennis Centre would be the largest facility of its kind west of Toronto.

“It will be a national resource for Tennis Canada, including its regional junior tennis program, and the new home of Canada’s only national high performance wheelchair tennis program,” said Havaris.

She says British Columbia is the fastest growing province for tennis participation, with participation amongst children leading the way. But the province is “grossly underserved” for year-round tennis facilities.

“This will be a community-serving hub that will provide affordable, accessible, inclusive recreational tennis for Lower Mainland residents, and deliver customized tennis programming for all demographics including those underserved,” she continued.

Pacific Tennis Centre Burnaby Lake Sports Complex Tennis Canada

Future site of Tennis Canada’s Pacific Tennis Centre, which will replace the existing Burnaby Tennis Courts at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. (Google Maps)

Pacific Tennis Centre Burnaby Lake Sports Complex Tennis Canada

Future site of Tennis Canada’s Pacific Tennis Centre, which will replace the existing Burnaby Tennis Courts at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. (Google Maps)

Tennis Canada is aiming to have the Pacific Tennis Centre built by 2023. To achieve this timeline, it is seeking funding from both the federal and provincial governments to cover a portion of the construction cost.

For its part, Harvis notes that Tennis Canada will also provide significant funding from its reserves, in addition to its fundraising efforts in BC, which has raised about $1 million to date.

In August 2019, Tennis Canada stated the facility carries an estimated construction cost of $30 million, with roughly 30% of the required funds already raised at that point of time.

Pacific Tennis Centre will replace the existing Burnaby Lake Tennis Courts — a cluster of 17 basic outdoor tennis courts at the southeast corner of the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Sprott Street.

The site is just south of the city-owned CG Brown Memorial Pool and Burnaby Lake Arena, which will undergo a $160-million redevelopment for a new replacement and expanded aquatic and recreational complex by 2023. It is also southeast of the former Fortius Sport and Health facility, which was recently acquired and converted by the city into a community and recreational centre — now renamed as the Christine Sinclair Community Centre.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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