City of Vancouver and Park Board staff at Marpole Community Centre groundbreaking ceremony event

Groundbreaking marks exciting next step for Marpole Community Centre renewal

November 8 2023 –

Development of a new 42,000 square foot community centre in the Marpole neighbourhood took a major step forward today as the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the City of Vancouver broke ground on the future building site. 

At an event in Oak Park, City and Park Board representatives joined partners from the Marpole-Oakridge Community Association and members of the local community to launch construction on the project, anticipated to officially begin later this fall.

“This new community centre will ensure we continue to deliver important services to the growing community, including childcare, for decades to come,” said Mayor Ken Sim. “It also supports one of Vancouver’s key priorities to create a healthy, inclusive and equitable city that places the physical and mental health of Vancouverites front and centre.”  

“For over 70 years, Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre has been at the heart of this vibrant and diverse area, but it’s evident that the existing facility can no longer support the needs of its growing local population,” said Park Board Chair Scott Jensen. “Today’s event marks an important milestone for this long-awaited new facility for Marpole and the wider Vancouver community. I can’t wait to welcome the first visitors through its doors!” 

"I want to thank so many people for their passion and support, attending meetings and writing letters to make today happen," said Mike Burdick, President of Marpole-Oakridge Community Association. "So many have fought hard for this to happen and I am truly honoured to be part of this community."

The total cost for the renewal project is $91.3 million with $3 million from the provincial Growing Communities Fund, which supports the delivery of infrastructure projects necessary to enable community growth. 

The construction of Marpole Community Centre will provide several key amenities, including: 

  • A gymnasium, fitness centre and studios, sensory room, multi-purpose spaces, kitchen and fieldhouse with change and washrooms for sport field users 
  • Childcare centre for up to 74 children  
  • Landscaping with new trees, basketball courts, an outdoor performance space and gathering areas 

An outdoor pool will be delivered in a future phase with a connected spray park and playground, as funding becomes available. 

Construction is anticipated to begin later this fall, with the new centre anticipated to open in 2025. The existing Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre will be demolished the following year. 

Project background 

Following several years of community involvement, a number of Board-directed motions and planning efforts from 2016-2019 laid the groundwork for a new community centre in Oak Park. Last month, work took an important step forward as Vancouver City Council approved additional funding for the project and recommended staff negotiate and enter into a construction contract to deliver the work. 

A green and accessible facility 

The building will achieve near zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operation through its 100% electric design, Passive House design and certification, and will achieve LEED™ Gold certification. It is targeting a 40% reduction in embodied carbon by using a structure made from mass timber. In support of the Park Board and City’s commitment to green rainwater infrastructure, the building and site will target “capture and clean” of the first 48 mm of rainfall during a 24-hour period. 

The facility will also be the first City-owned community centre built to achieve Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) Gold, the highest level of accessibility in the country.