District celebrates downtown renos

Street Party Saturday on 224th, new mosaics will be unveiled

The district’s giant Canadian flag

The district’s giant Canadian flag

There’s going to be a party Saturday to celebrate Maple Ridge’s new downtown.

In early April 2010, Phase One of the Downtown Enhancement Project began with a sod turning event on Lougheed Highway and 223rd Street. In April 2011, the last of the major construction was completed at 224 Street between McIntosh Avenue and Dewdney Trunk Road.

Now the district wants to acknowledge it with a Celebrate Downtown Maple Ridge event.

“This project has exceeded council expectations in every way thanks to the involvement, consultation and support from area business and property owners who had a voice in how this project was executed,” Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said.

He thanked the project liaison committee and the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association for their roles.

Daykin said most of the work took place underground, with new water, storm and sanitary sewer lines, all “critical in making sure that all these services are in place to handle the demands of a growing town centre long into the future.”

It also featured new street furniture, lighting, trees, sidewalks and pavement

The $5.6 million improvement project was funded by the federal, provincial and local governments.

“Our government is proud to be creating jobs and economic activity here in Maple Ridge,” said Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission MP Randy Kamp on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

“Having grown up in this area in this area, I am amazed by the transformation of the streetscapes and look forward to seeing my fellow residents benefit from this upgraded pedestrian-friendly downtown area.”

Maple Ridge-Mission Liberal MLA Marc Dalton said: The upgrades to our infrastructure and downtown core will help us better meet the needs of our growing population.”

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 23, 224th Street will be closed from Dewdney Trunk Road to Spirit Square, or Memorial Peace Park, for the celebration. It will coincide with the Haney Farmers Market and the business improvement association’s Art Market.

Live music will entertain and merchants will have sidewalk specials while families can join in an Amazing Race event.

A ribbon cutting takes place at noon, while the final two sidewalk, tile mosaics will be on display.


Schedule of events:

Events during the downtown celebration on Saturday:

• 224th Street will be close d from Dewdney Trunk Road to 119th Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.;

• Newhouse, a local band (www.newhouseband.com), and a couple of guest singers, will play live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the intersection of McIntosh Avenue and 224th Street;

• at the same intersection you will also be able to preview of the 12 Haney Heritage Signs, as well as see the district’s new zero emissions electric truck;

• there will be bike parking, compliments of the Bicycle Action Committee;

•  the two newest sidewalk, tile mosaics will be  unveiled prior to their installation in the sidewalks between McIntosh and Dewdney Trunk Road on 224th;

• Ridge Meadows RCMP will attend in full uniform;

• barring any emergency  calls, the Maple Ridge Fire Department will display the district’s giant Canadian flag from its ladder truck.

MP Randy Kamp, MLAs Marc Dalton and Michael Sather and Mayor Ernie Daykin will make speeches, starting at noon, followed by the cutting of a ribbon spanning 224th Street and McIntosh Avenue, where everyone is encouraged to get in the shot and be immortalized as part of Maple Ridge’s history.

In addition to these events, The Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association has also organized an ‘Amazing Race’ contest.