Maple Ridge homeless camp closes, works starts on park: city

Tent city residents in supportive housing

Work has started on turning the former Anita Place Tent City into a park, the City of Maple Ridge announced Friday.

“It has been a long road and I would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding as our city followed the required legal process to close the camp permanently,” Mayor Michael Morden said in a news release.

Fires occurred at tent city. (THE NEWS/files)

“I want to extend a special note of thanks to our police, firefighters, bylaws and parks departments and the many other city staff for their dedication, professionalism and hard work, far and beyond the call of duty to conclude what has been three long, difficult years for all concerned.”

Read more: Tent cities signs that something’s not right

The tent city was established at the 223rd Street and St. Anne Avenue location after the temporary emergency shelter at 22239 Lougheed Hwy. closed in May 2017. That shelter was opened in order to allow the clearing of the Cliff Avenue homeless camp in October 2015.

Anita Place Tent City was evacuated last March 1 on order of the provincial fire commissioner after an application by Maple Ridge Fire Chief Howard Exner. That was followed by the city restricting access to verified residents, after receiving a court order.

Read more: Evacuation order granted for Maple Ridge

The city’s news release said that the remaining residents at the camp are moving to the new 51-unit Garibaldi Ridge supportive housing building that just opened on Burnett Street. With the residents relocated, work can start on the location.

It’s been a long road to get camp closed, said Mayor Michael Morden Friday. (THE NEWS/files)

Most of city council, including Morden, had opposed the opening of Garibaldi Ridge complex because it didn’t provide enough mental health supports and had asked other cities in B.C. to support Maple Ridge’s opposition to the housing ministry building the complex without obtaining city approval.

According to the release, security will stay in place while the washroom and warming tent will be removed. Then, the remaining shacks will be removed. An environmental consultant will test the soil to determine any remediation required.

Designs and consultation for the park that had started in 2017 and the parks, recreation and culture deparment will be contacting community members involved in that process as well as new residents, to finalize a park design, Morden added.

“Council looks forward to following through with our commitment to deliver a new family park to this historic neighbourhood in late spring of 2020,” Morden said.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Several fires led to evacuation of tent city in March. (THE NEWS/files)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Overdose issues continue to plague Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP responded to five overdoses in two days last month

Non-profit Maple Ridge preschool closing after 30 years

Golden Ears Preschool will not be opening in September

Meridian re-ignites its fundraising program to help local charities

A Maple Ridge-based food market aids in raising $50,000 during the first 10 months of its program

LETTER: Many Americans work in Canada and have U.S. licence plates

A letter writer challenges the notion that most U.S. licence plates belong to tourists

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Most Read