South Burnaby arena with two NHL-sized ice rinks to open in 2022 (PHOTOS)

Nov 23 2021, 11:00 pm

The roof and walls of the expansive structure of Rosemary Brown Arena, previously known as South Burnaby Arena, are beginning to take form.

Construction began in 2019 on the facility, which is situated on a large city-owned lot at 7789 18th Street — immediately adjacent to Byrne Creek Community secondary school, and within walking distance of SkyTrain’s Edmonds Station.

Based on a recent City of Burnaby staff report on capital project updates, the facility is on track for an opening in Summer 2022.

The 92,000 sq ft complex features two NHL-sized ice rinks, with each rink featuring about 200 seats. There would also be a skate shop, concession, meeting and multi-purpose rooms, warm-side arena viewing behind glass, and an outdoor rooftop patio.

rosemary brown arena south burnaby 7789 18th Street

Construction progress on Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Arena, as of November 12, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

rosemary brown arena south burnaby 7789 18th Street

Construction progress on Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Arena, as of November 12, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

rosemary brown arena south burnaby 7789 18th Street

Construction progress on Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Arena, as of November 12, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Construction progress on Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Arena, as of September 2021. (City of Burnaby)

rosemary brown arena south burnaby 7789 18th Street

Construction progress on Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Arena, as of September 2021. (City of Burnaby)

In addition to ice sports, the rinks can be used for lacrosse, ball hockey, inline hockey, and community events.

A large lobby space will provide a common area that connects all building areas, and expansive north-facing windows will provide the ability for natural light to pour in. The complex is designed by architectural firm HCMA.

An exterior wall will feature “Gliding Edge,” a public art installation by local artist Jill Anholt. Singular metal blade-like sculptural forms rising from the ground are inspired by the persistence and determination required to learn the skill of ice skating. During the nighttime, the blades are illuminated by LED lights to create shifting shadows on the ground that are “evocative of the temporal carvings of skate blade patterns in the ice.”

Rosemary Brown Arena’s construction cost of $50 million is being funded by the city’s community benefit bonus fund — the pool of funding from community amenity contributions collected from private developers in exchange for providing additional density for their projects.

rosemary brown arena south burnaby gliding edge jill anholt

Artistic rendering of the “Gliding Edge” public art installation by Jill Anholt at Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Arena. (City of Burnaby)

South Burnaby Arena

Artistic rendering of Rosemary Brown Arenay. (HCMA/City of Burnaby)

South Burnaby Arena

Artistic rendering of Rosemary Brown Arenay. (HCMA/City of Burnaby)

rosemary brown arena south burnaby 7789 18th Street

Construction progress on Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Arena, as of November 12, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

rosemary brown arena south burnaby 7789 18th Street

Construction progress on Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Arena, as of November 12, 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

This past spring, Burnaby City Council approved the arena’s naming after Rosemary Brown, a prominent local NDP MLA between 1972 and 1986, and the first Black woman elected to a provincial legislature in Canada.

Brown won the MLA seat in the riding of Vancouver-Burrard in 1972, and after that riding was dissolved she picked up the seat for Burnaby-Edmonds in 1979, serving in the arena site’s riding until 1986. She is credited for her work in human rights and on addressing racial and gender discrimination in housing and employment before, during, and after her time in office. She passed away in 2003.

The ice rinks will provide much-needed additional ice sheets for the city at large and local amenities for the area around Edmonds Station, which is experiencing significant densification.

In particular, the facility is immediately adjacent to Ledingham McAllister’s 51-acre Southgate City neighbourhood — the redevelopment of the old Safeway distribution centre and dairy plant. Upon full completion in the 2030s, Southgate City will have up to 20,000 residents living in 6,400 homes within six million sq ft of residential floor area in towers up to 46 storeys. There would also be 200,000 sq ft of neighbourhood-serving retail and restaurant space, and about 40% of the overall site would be set aside for open and public spaces, including a major central public park with water features.

Southgate City Burnaby

Artistic rendering of Southgate City in Burnaby. (Ledingham McAllister)

Southgate City Burnaby

Artistic rendering of Southgate City in Burnaby. (Ledingham McAllister)

southgate city burnaby construction cranes november 12 2021

Construction cranes for Ledingham McAllister’s Southgate City redevelopment in Burnaby’s Edmonds area, as of November 12, 2021, just across the street from Rosemary Brown Arena. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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