Gates Lake Community Park

For more information, contact:

Angela Belsham
Recreation Services Manager
Telephone: (604) 894-2340
Toll-free: 1-800-298-7753
Email: abelsham@slrd.bc.ca

Mar 23, 2015
Electoral Area C

Gates Lake Community Park is a 1.27 hectare (approximately 3 acre) site located on the north shore of Gates Lake, near the small community of Birken in Electoral Area C. Accessed from Portage Road, the site was purchased by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District in 2013 with the view of developing a community park to enhance recreation and leisure opportunities for residents living in the Mount Currie to D’Arcy corridor. 

In summer 2015, the parking lot was expanded to provide safer access and egress, accommodate more vehicles, and allow for designated parking for recreational vehicles. In summer 2016, a washroom was installed, and a planting project, the Gates Lake Enhancement Project was completed, thanks to a $9767.82 grant from the CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program.


Update: July 23, 2018 - Picnic Shelter

The request for proposal for the picnic shelter at Gates Lake Community Park has been awarded to Rec Tec Industries in the amount of $79,500.  Construction is expected to commence fall of 2018.

Update: June 15, 2018 - Picnic Shelter

The SLRD has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the design and build of a picnic shelter at the park; the RFP closes Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Construction is being funded through an allocation from SLRD Electoral Area C Amenity Funds. The goal is to have the picnic shelter completed by November 30, 2018.

Update: November 6, 2017 - Cabin Removal

Work to remove the cabin from Gates Lake Park is now complete. 

Update: October 18, 2017 - Cabin Removal

A cabin at the park will be removed beginning on Monday, October 23, 2017 with work expected to last until Sunday, October 29, 2017. Contractors from Stalkaya Environment Ltd. will be onsite for the week and the work area will be cordoned off with fencing. However, the park will remain open to the public. 

The cabin is being removed because it is not a structure that can be used by the community and removing it will open up additional park space for further plans, which include the construction of a new picnic shelter. As such, earlier this year, the Pemberton Valley Utilities & Services (PVUS) directed SLRD staff to facilitate the cabin's removal. 

The removal of the cabin is being funded through a $25,000 allocation from Electoral Area C Amenity Funds.

Update: August 2016

Community volunteers joined SLRD Electoral Area C Director Russell Mack, SLRD staff, and officials from CN and Communities in Bloom on Saturday, August 27 for a 3-hour planting blitz to complete the Gates Lake Planting Project, funded by the CN EcoConnexions - From the Ground Up program. The group planted 21 Douglas maples and 243 shrubs and ground covers to beautify the park. Thank you to everyone who came out to help! 

Update: July 2016

Initial work on the planting project including aeration, fertilizing and top dressing of the open lawn areas of the park took place. An accessible vault toilet has been installed. 

Update: June 2016

Funding provided by CN Rail's Eco-Connexions - From the Ground Up program is being matched by the SLRD for landscaping to screen the park from the new parking lot, help with erosion, and beautify the site. 

21 Douglas maple trees will be planted for screening, shade and erosion control. An additional 243 shrubs and ground covers will be planted, including serviceberry, redtwig dogwood, thimbleberry, snowberry, red huckleberry and Wood’s rose.

The lawn, a popular community gathering space, will be aerated, fertilized and top-dressed, to ensure it withstands the growing user demand. 

An accessible vault toilet will be installed. Made from recycled materials by a Canadian manufacturer, Wishbone Site Furnishings, the toilet has been funded out of the Area C Amenity Fund.

Update: August 2015

Construction of the parking lot expansion will commence on August 10. The expanded parking lot has been designed to provide safer access and egress, accommodate more vehicles, and allow for designated parking for recreational vehicles. To minimize impact on park patrons, construction will only take place during the week.  Parking lot use is prohibited during construction. Expected completion is August 21.

Update: June 2015

On Friday, June 19 tree removal at Gates Lake Park is scheduled to take place. The work is part of the parking lot expansion project to accommodate park users and improve sight-lines as per Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure requirements.

Update: May 2015

On Thursday, May 21 the dock at Gates Lake Park will be removed due to safety concerns. The dock, located on Crown Land, will not be replaced. The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has not received approval from CN Rail for access to the waterfront. 

Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack - Fraser Canyon and John Weston, MP for West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country, will be attending the May 21, 2015 meeting of the SLRD Board to discuss the safe rail crossing at Gate Lake and to receive the request for assistance in advocating with CN Rail for a legal crossing of the railway tracks.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available. Thank you for your patience as we work to find a solution.  

Update: March 2015

At its February 25, 2015 meeting, the SLRD Board directed staff to defer signing any contracts related to the Phase One development plan (see December 2014 update, below) for Gates Lake Community Park. This decision was made after the SLRD received a response from CN Rail on February 4, 2015 that the SLRD’s request to develop a safe crossing to enable access from the park to Gates Lake was denied due to safety concerns. 

Previous community consultation has shown that access to Gates Lake is important to the community, and that any future plans for the park should include water access. In light of CN Rail’s recent decision, the SLRD Board felt it prudent to defer further capital improvements to the site until every avenue can be explored to try and negotiate a safe crossing of the railway tracks with CN Rail.

To that end, at its March 18, 2015 meeting, the SLRD Board directed staff to contact MLA Jordan Sturdy and MP Mark Strahl to request their assistance in advocating with CN Rail for a legal crossing of the railway tracks. The SLRD remains hopeful that these efforts will be successful. However, should it ultimately be determined that water access to Gates Lake is not possible from the park, the SLRD will conduct additional community consultation prior to making any decisions regarding future plans for Gates Lake Community Park.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available. Thank you for your patience as we work to find a solution. 

Update: December 2014

At its November 24, 2014 meeting, the SLRD authorized staff to initiate the Phase One development plan for Gates Lake Community Park which will include improving accessibility, expanding parking facilities, installing two pit toilets, constructing a covered picnic area and developing walking paths. The Phase One development is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Related Documents

Related Staff Reports

Inside the SLRD > Current Projects & Initiatives > Gates Lake Community Park