Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Lorne Circus is the incomplete realization of a grand urban planning scheme, with a radial street pattern laid out around a central roundabout in a residential area, located south of the Fraser River. The plan is partially extant at the intersection of Grosvenor Road, McBride Drive, Bedford Drive and 114 Avenue, in the neighbourhood of Port Mann in North Surrey. Curved streets to the south, including Gladstone Drive, Melrose Drive, Kindersley Drive and Park Drive, follow the radius of the original circus.
Lorne Circus, located in the former City of Port Mann, is valued as one of the first Canadian examples of urban planning, based on scientific principles. Port Mann was planned as a new industrial city with streets radiating from a central circus in the residential section. The proposed business section was designed to cluster around a large open square.
Lorne Circus is valued as demonstrating an important phase in the history of Port Mann and with the rapid industrial and residential growth of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The New Westminster Southern Railway established a stop in 1891 at Bon Accord, a small fishing settlement that included a landing where steamboats refuelled. In 1911, its name was changed when Sir Donald Mann and Sir William MacKenzie, co-builders of the Canadian National Railway, decided to establish Port Mann as their western terminus and a rival to Vancouver. Despite the development of extensive rail yards and warehouses at Port Mann, the CNR's grandiose plans for a major urban centre failed to materialize.
Lorne Circus is also valued for its association with pioneer Canadian landscape architect, Fredrick G. Todd (1876-1948), who supervised the planning of Port Mann. Todd was born in New Hampshire and worked for the famed Olmsted office, from 1896-1900, before moving to Montreal to supervise work on Mount Royal Park and, eventually, to establish his own office. He was an influential landscape planner and founder of the Town Planning Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. Frederick Todd designed some of Canada's most beloved places, including Bowering Park in St. John's, Mount Royal Park and the Town of Mount Royal in Montreal, Leaside in Toronto and Shaughnessy Heights in Vancouver. Todd popularised naturalistic landscape designs, including the idea of a 'necklace of parks' as linked open space.
Source:Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey
Key elements that define the heritage character of Lorne Circus include its:
- form and scale as public open space;
- radial geometry;
- radiating views to the North Shore mountains; and
- adjacent landscaped area.
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey
Cross-Reference to Collection