Garden City Lands
The Garden City Lands are an extraordinary 55.2 hectares (136.5 acres) of open space located within the Agricultural Land Reserve, in the heart of Richmond, between Westminster Highway, Alderbridge Way, Garden City Way and No. 4 Road. The Garden City Lands will become a major new community park with diverse uses, including urban agriculture, environmental preservation and interpretation, recreational and cultural uses.
The Garden City Lands Park Development Plan represents the synthesis of the original Garden City Lands Legacy Landscape Plan endorsed by Richmond City Council in 2014, with new science-based recommendations as well as the feedback the City received from hundreds of Richmond residents and the contribution of Kwantlen Polytechnic University regarding agricultural production. Council has approved funding for the phased implementation of the Garden City Lands Park Development Plan.
To review the Development Plan and an enlarged version of the Legacy Landscape Plan above, please see the following PDF document:
GCL Park Development Plan - PDF
The Park Development Plan key components includes:
- The Agricultural Lands
- The Bog
- The Rise
- The Nodes
- The Dyke
- Perimeter Trails
For more details about the above key components, visit the Garden City Lands Archive page.
The Perimeter Path
The 2.9 km long Perimeter Path is open to the public. The City has surfaced the path closer to the road with a compacted fine gravel permitting universally accessible surface. Bikes welcome to use the paths as well. Please be aware of service and farm vehicles using the rougher interior path which runs parallel to the perimeter path. Dogs are permitted on the outside perimeter path until further notice. The City would like to remind the public to keep dogs on leash when walking the perimeter path.
As per ALC restrictions, the interior of the site is closed to public access. Please stay on the perimeter path. Only City staff and KPU personnel are permitted within the site at this time.
The City continues the process to further refine the plan and proposed activities prior to forwarding the planned non-farm related improvements to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for approval. Upon Approval (expected in 2022), full public access to the Lands will be permitted and construction of the infrastructure to support public enjoyment of the site will proceed. Until then, the City is focused on the construction of agricultural-related projects, including community gardens and supporting Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) work on the farm area they operate on the Lands.
In 2022, the following site improvements are planned for construction as weather conditions permit:
- Soil and Groundwater Quality and Monitoring Study;
- Completion of the community gardens and installation of associated site infrastructure including access gate controls and pathways;
- Continue with the sourcing and placement of soils for the KPU Farm fields;
- Fall/Winter tree planting along the perimeter trails of the site;
- Further studies of the site’s bog ecology, hydrology and plant communities;
- Ongoing regular park maintenance; and,
- Supporting KPU’s farm activities on the site.
Until the City receives ALC approval to permit site-wide public access onto the Lands, the public is limited to enjoying only the 2.9 km perimeter recreational trail. Access within and across the site is not permitted at this time. Construction activities will be ongoing thru 2022 utilizing portions of a previously approved budget of approximately $2,000,000. Please see signage on site and the project web page for updates, including construction photos and videos.
KPU at the Garden City Lands
Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) Sustainable Agriculture Farm Program operates a farm on a portion of the Lands the City has leased to KPU (approximately 2.7 ha). This includes growing crops in the sustainably managed greenhouse and several hoop houses and cultivating the intensive market garden. A significant portion of their fields are under cover crop to nourish the soil and promote beneficial insect populations. As KPU’s capacity to manage the lease area increases, the City will support the expansion of the farm to the full 8 ha (20 acre) lease area.
Previously Completed Works
Since 2017, the following site improvements and activities were conducted on the Garden City Lands:
- Perimeter pedestrian and bicycle paths (opened for public use in summer, 2018);
- Completion of the seepage barrier along the central dyke and along Westminster Highway;
- Installation of site infrastructure (drainage ditches, storm sewer connections and weir structures, electrical and water connections; drain tile in KPU fields; water features);
- Placement of soil for the initial phase of farm development (2.7 ha);
- Hydroseeding of exposed peat soils along paths; and
- Fall/Winter tree planting along the perimeter.
2017 Construction Photo / Video - Drone Footage
July 30, 2017
For more information or if you have questions, please contact:
Parks Services: Alex Kurnicki
Water and Ecological Resource Management
Implementation of the plan will be a multi-year process. The City commissioned a detailed water and ecological resource management study to guide the development and maintenance of the site.
To review the Water and Ecological Resource Management Plan, please see the following PDF documents:
WERMS - Table of Contents
WERMS - Executive Summary
WERMS - Site Assessment
WERMS - Ecological Resource Management
WERMS - Water Resource Management
WERMS - Operations Management
WERMS - Appendix A
Related Documents and Resources
Garden City Lands Archive
Additional related documents and archived resource documents for the Garden City Lands site can be found on the Garden City Lands Archive page.