Poor David Lam Park can’t cut a break.
As we speak, half of David Lam Park’s main field (and with it: most of it’s functionality) is closed off due to construction of BC Hydro’s City Central Transmission Project. The park is the staging ground for drilling and installation of a crossing beneath False Creek that will connect a new substation in Mount Pleasant to ones downtown. Unfortunately, the work site isn’t even conveniently taking up one side of the field; it’s sort of awkwardly placed right in the middle of it. Construction is scheduled to be completed by early June, followed by the re-planting of sod and trees. I’ve been told that the annual outdoor Jazz Festival concert at David Lam Park will still take place at the end of June, whether crews are still on site or not. Festival organizers are adamant about keeping the space and will work around the construction zone if they have to.
It pains me to see a recently restored park get dug up like this time and time again. Just a year ago David Lam Park was the site of LiveCity Yaletown for the Olympics. During that time, the unsuspecting grass field was transformed into a (fenced) celebratory plaza of sorts, anchored by the monstrous Coca-Cola, Panasonic, and Samsung pavilions, and fueled by nightly concerts. But even before the Olympics began the park was closed for an extended period to get all of it ready.
And once it was all over, we did our best to remove those giant muddy footprints and return the park to its former self. In doing so, we were able to have it summer-ready for more inclusive annual events like the Jazz Festival and outdoor movie screenings. The volleyball leagues and pick-up soccer games came and went. We were even able to band together on a cold November morning and create a human art installation visible from a freakin’ satellite! There was a slight hiccup when hopes for a community garden didn’t materialize but that’s okay. All was well again.
But I guess I spoke too soon. I hope that BC Hydro can keep to their construction schedule because I’d just like my park back. I’m sure it misses just being a park too.