City of Richmond begins a complete rebuild of Minoru Lakes

Mar 30 2022, 3:50 am

Starting in April 2022, the Minoru Lakes area of Minoru Park, next to Richmond Hospital in Richmond City Centre, will be temporarily closed to allow for construction work to begin on the body of water and public space’s extensive revitalization.

The City of Richmond notes the project is needed as the lakes, originally built in the 1970s, now experience poor water quality, require a high degree of maintenance, and increasingly depend on the use of potable water to sustain water levels.

Changes to the lakes will reduce its surface area from about 101,000 sq ft holding a water volume of about 159,000 cubic ft to a surface area of 75,300 sq ft with a water volume of 318,000 cubic ft — equivalent to the water volume of 3.5 Olympic swimming pools.

The added water volume within the smaller footprint is accomplished by increasing the average depth from about 0.45 metres to 1.4 metres to improve water retention. A reduced surface area offset by significantly more depth will result in less water loss through evaporation, and improved water quality.

Existing condition:

richmond minoru lakes

Existing condition of Minoru Lakes in Richmond. (Google Maps)

Future condition:

richmond minoru lakes revitalization

Site plan of the Minoru Lakes revitalization. (City of Richmond)

A new cascading waterfall feature would also be added on the south end of the lakes to provide new water circulation.

And instead of being refilled by potable water, the lakes will have a new water source from rainwater and stormwater.

Through this process, the lakes will be rebuilt with new liners, and embankments made of boulders, stacked stone, and stone-faced concrete retaining walls.

The existing north island will be removed and replaced with a new island that includes a bridge connection and public viewing platform, new trees, and nesting spaces for birds — but in a way that deters geese. However, the existing south island will be retained and enhanced.

Other project features include upgraded lake mechanical systems, irrigation, drainage, lighting, paved pathways and boardwalks, plaza spaces, planting, and furnishings.

richmond minoru lakes revitalization

Artistic rendering of the Minoru Lakes revitalization. (City of Richmond)

richmond minoru lakes revitalization

Artistic rendering of the Minoru Lakes revitalization. (City of Richmond)

So far, all of this describes the scope of phase one of the lakes revitalization, which is scheduled to reach completion in Spring 2023.

A future second phase involves building a new stormwater detention pond on the northwest corner of the lake, which will receive stormwater diverted from adjacent developments and roadways, as well as the remaining upgrades to plaza spaces, pathways, lighting, furnishings, and plantings.

The entire multi-phased project carries a total cost of $3.15 million, with at least $840,000 being funded by the municipal government, and $2.31 million aimed to be covered by a federal government grant.

Other areas of the 65-acre public park will remain open during construction.

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