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)

Just Posted

Lottery charges against two Maple Ridge women dropped

New information leads Crown to stay proceedings

No tickets and no complaints about downtown sidewalks

One more day of winter as rain approaches

More snow for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Fluffy flakes start falling again

New concert series in Maple Ridge kicks off with Stone Pilots

Coffee House Night takes place every third Friday until April

VIDEO: Semi driver records 22 crashes in one icy trip from Chilliwack to Abbotsford

‘Treacherous’ morning had emergency crews struggling to reach stranded drivers

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Most Read