Oceanfront Squamish Developments/Matthews West will launch construction of the long awaited 11-acre Oceanfront Park at the end of August 2021. After a decade long exercise in planning and permitting, working hand in hand with the District of Squamish and Squamish Nation, Matthews West is excited to deliver on this community vision. “It is an incredible milestone to begin construction of the Oceanfront Park” states John Matthews, President at Matthews West Developments, “Derived from a vision of the community and rooted in place, many minds and hands have come together to bring this to life.”
Mayor Elliott agrees. “This is an incredible milestone nearly 20 years in the making, and we commend the many individuals who have taken the great time and care to realize this shared vision and dream for the community of Squamish – one that many local residents have worked towards since the District acquired the former chemical plant lands in 2004”, says District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. “Recent Squamish residents may not realize the vast extent of environmental remediation work that has been undertaken to arrive at the place where these lands can be enjoyed by the public. Once transformed, the Oceanfront park will anchor the beloved coastal mountain community that is Squamish and provide an outstanding environment to celebrate our past, present and future through art, culture and play.”
The highly anticipated District park will feature a water sports beach, recreation beach, large open green spaces, slacklines, public art installations, and trails linking the park to the surrounding community. “In addition to the park amenities, I think the most impressive component is the ecological restoration of the site from its post-industrial contaminated state” adds Jessica Herman, Project Engineer for the Oceanfront Park. “Now, the park will provide increased intertidal marsh area displaying native plant species, in collaboration with Leigh Joseph (Styawat), an ethnobotanist, integrating the ecological and cultural restoration of the site.”
Herman shares “Shaped by the community, the place, the wind, the tides and storms, the park has been designed to address sea level rise, erosion and flooding in its design” and then adds “In return, the park will provide a much-desired gathering place by the ocean for the sea creatures and people alike. It has been an honor to work alongside the community in designing and delivering this park.”
Squamish’s first destination park will require a comprehensive, phased construction schedule that will span two years. As members of the community, we understand the importance of public green spaces and trails, but to ensure public safety during the course of construction, there will be limited access to the oceanfront park area. The Mamquam and Cattermole trails will remain open until further notice. Please follow all onsite signage.
We know this amenity will be missed while it is under construction, but the wait will be well worth it. Which is why we wanted to make sure we have one last day to enjoy the park before construction commences. With enthusiasm, Matthews adds “In partnership with Wind Fest, Oceanfront Squamish will be hosting a “Grand Closing” of the Oceanfront Park. Please join us in honouring this space and celebrating what is to come on Saturday, August 14th between noon and 7pm – it will be a day to enjoy the water and land with your community and friends marking the resurgence of the Oceanfront.”