Does Coquitlam Need More Skating Arenas?

Coquitlam currently has 7 sheets of ice, located across two arena complexes in the southwest portion of the city. Planet Ice, built as a public-private partnership is due for redevelopment soon. The last city plan for arena facilities was made in 2016 and makes no plans for additional ice rinks. However, there will be significant growth in the future in the northeast corner of the city. Once Burke Mountain is fully populated, it will house 25% of the population of Coquitlam, and residents think the time is now to put in an ice rink. Public consultations for recreation facility planning in the northeast included a fair bit of feedback requesting more swimming facilities and an ice arena. In fact, the report from staff going before council-in-commitee May 30th includes mention of an arena on Burke Mountain, including a parcel of land that could be potentially used for an arena. It is difficult to see, but the slide from the report will includes a drawing with an area labeled “separate parcels/potential arena.” With a housing affordability crisis and high inflation currently affecting the public’s appetite for spending, I wonder if this will get funded any time soon. I also wonder about the parcel of land between City Center Aquatic Complex and Douglas College. I heard once from a councillor that it had been considered for a skating rink, but that lack of parking was seen as a reason to reject the plan. But wouldn’t it be nice in the winter for visitors to go skating, see the lights at LaFarge, and then visit a winter/Christmas market, or some other local businesses. In all, I am familiar with the need for ice in the city, having spent several years as a hockey dad. And we need to plan for the future, so I am glad that some land has been earmarked for an additional arena.

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