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Central Park Gate

3883 Imperial Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/11/23

Central Park Gate, 2004; Don Dool, City of Burnaby, 2004
Front elevation
View of Central Park Gate and Kingsway, 1921.; Burnaby Planning and Building Department Collection.
Oblique view from northeast.
No Image

Other Name(s)

Central Park Gate
Central Park Entrance Gate

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1912/01/01 to 1914/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Central Park Gate is the ceremonial entrance to Burnaby's historic Central Park from Kingsway, and consists of two massive stone pillars, approximately 7.5 metres high and 1.8 metres square, adjacent gate posts and a low flanking stone wall that curves into the park to the east.

Heritage Value

The Central Park Gate is significant as a ceremonial entry to a major park, for its connection with the early history of the British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) and as an important design by an accomplished British Columbia architect.

When the original interurban line between Vancouver and New Westminster was constructed in 1891, one of the first stations was located where the tramway crossed the Vancouver-Westminster Road (now Kingsway) within the newly created Central Park. The interurban line ran through the park on a diagonal right of way (the current SkyTrain line, opened in 1986, follows this original alignment). In 1912 an agreement was reached between the successor interurban company, the BCER, and the Central Park Provincial Park Board, to deed additional land for an expanded right of way through the Park in exchange for improvements that included the construction of an ornamental stone wall and gate with an iron arch, with an illuminated Central Park sign, adjacent to the interurban station on Kingsway. This was an early and rare example of an electric sign used for a public recreation facility.

The Gate is also significant as a surviving early design by Robert Lyon (1879-1963), an Edinburgh born and trained immigrant who was one of the most accomplished of British Columbia's early architects. After he moved to Vancouver, he was employed by the BCER from 1911 until 1918, and worked on a broad range of projects including some of the grandest and most innovative local industrial structures of the time. The arch was built by the Westminster Ironworks Company, one of the leading firms of its kind in Western Canada, operated by John Reid of New Westminster. The Gate was completed in 1914; in 1968 the decorative ironwork was removed due to corrosion and placed in storage.

Source: Heritage Site Files; PC77000 20. City of Burnaby Planning and Building Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Central Park Gate include its:
- two subtly tapered massive stone pillars, which rise in stages from a larger base to a shaft with random coursed multi-coloured granite with roughly formed grey granite quoins, to a top formed of finely finished grey granite blocks with a coved and bracketed cap
- adjacent gate posts with monolithic pyramidal granite caps
- low flanking stone wall that curves into the park to the east, constructed of random coursed multi-coloured granite with a river rock triangular cap



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Park Fixture


Architect / Designer

Robert Lyon


Westminster Iron Works Co.

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Site Files; PC77000 20. City of Burnaby Planning and Building Department, 4949 Canada Way, Burnaby, BC, V5G 1M2

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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