Excerpt: On the drawing board at the moment is a new park to be built on 13 acres of city land south of Sprott, adjacent to the Scandinavian Centre and the Ismaili Jamatkhana.
The city announced in late 2008 that the Aga Khan Development Network will fund, design and build the park to mark the 50th anniversary of the Aga Khan becoming the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.
The Aga Khan has a strong connection with Burnaby since it was chosen as the home to the first Shia Muslim settlement in Canada over 35 years ago and is the location of the award-winning Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre on Canada Way, the first such purpose-built building in the country.
“His Highness really wants to be hands on with this,” said Ellenwood of the continuing design process, adding with a laugh, “He’s got a lot on his plate.”
The plan is for a nature park with space for families, leisure activities and peaceful places for contemplation, he said. It’s expected the design plans will be submitted to the city sometime in 2012.
Ellenwood noted that concerns were raised about freeway traffic noise at a workshop on the project. It was pointed out that the Aga Khan developed a park in Toronto “right next to the Don Valley Parkway, probably the busiest roadway in all of Canada, and they managed to pull that one off.”