Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The historic place is Grimston Park, a public park located at 1900 Seventh Avenue in the West End neighbourhood of New Westminster. Its irregularly-shaped site is 6.44 acres in size and is inserted within the area bounded by Seventh Avenue to the north, Eighteenth Street to the east, Sixth Avenue to the south, and Twentieth Street to the west. Dipping south towards Marine Way and the Fraser River, the property offers views of the Queensborough Bridge, the Fraser River and Mount Baker.
The park includes a soccer field, a baseball/softball field, two tennis courts, a wading pool, a lacrosse box, a playground and washrooms. The sloping site is grassed and has manicured hedges and numerous large trees along the east and west boundaries. Along the south boundary the SkyTrain runs above the inactive British Columbia Railway tracks and wild blackberry bushes. The north boundary has recently-constructed concrete-and-river-stone amphitheatre-style seating built above the soccer field. At the centre of the park a hillside garden surrounds a concrete sign of raised letters that reads NEW WESTMINSTER. It is approximately 29 meters long and 13 meters tall, framed by hedges.
Grimston Park is an example of the urban planning that took place in New Westminster during the building boom between World Wars I and II. It demonstrates the forethought the City of New Westminster had in 1937, when the land was set aside, in recognition of the importance of open and recreational space for residents as the West End became increasingly populated. The space has been continually improved since its initial development in 1948. The City originally named the park Westend or Westside Park. In 1955, the City renamed the park in honour of former chairman of the New Westminster Parks Board, Douglas George Grimston.
Grimston Park is valued for its visibility to travellers as they approach New Westminster as they drive eastbound on Marine Way, and it serves as a visual boundary to the West End of the city. The hedged, raised concrete sign built into the hillside reading ‘NEW WESTMINSTER’ is a landmark that is characteristic of 1950s design and values. The trees bordering the east and west boundaries of the park are of a size that indicates they have been there for long time.
The park is valued for the recreational opportunities and open space that it provides in a densely-populated neighbourhood. It is used for a variety of purposes, including playing fields, playgrounds and wading pools. The hillside has been terraced to allow for level playing fields. Winter use includes a sledding hill. Grimston Park is valued for its longstanding public use.
Source: City of New Westminster Planning Department
The character-defining elements of Grimston Park include its:
- role as the only park in the West End neighbourhood
- mature coniferous trees on the west and east ends of the park
- large concrete ‘New Westminster’ garden and sign, which is visible from Marine Way
- views of the Queensborough Bridge, the Fraser River and Mount Baker
- river-stone-and-brass dedication memorial to D.G. Grimston, located on the north boundary of the park
- terracing to allow for level playing fields
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- People and the Environment
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Sports and Leisure
Function - Category and Type
- Sports Facility or Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of New Westminster Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection