Hillcrest Centre

  • Location

    Vancouver, BC

At 13,450 m2, the Hillcrest Centre is the largest facility of its kind in the Vancouver Park Board system and includes both a 6,200 m2 aquatic centre and 7,250 m2 community centre. The integrated community space provides open and engaging recreation and wellness facilities and has revitalized an important public site through the consolidation of three aging facilities. A bustling hub with a library, pool, skating rink, curling rink, gymnasium and field team rooms, Hillcrest is a joyful gathering place for children, families and community members.

Community Impact

On behalf of all of us at the Vancouver Park Board, I would like to thank you and the entire consulting team for securing the timely Development Permit approval of this complex project. We were very impressed with the dedication and professionalism displayed at all stages of the Development Permit process, and in particular the coordination of the consulting team. The response to the Land Title matter was particularly noteworthy.

Piet Rutgers, Director of Planning and Operations, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

Design Challenge

Located near the geographical centre of Vancouver, the facility carefully balances the needs of both the local and broader city community. The Centre was part of a broader strategy that transformed a series of adjacent public parks through the sensitive consolidation and reorganization of existing facilities. The impetus for this rejuvenation was the siting of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Curling Venue, which provided four Olympic-size curling sheets and 6,000 spectator seats, and was converted post games to the Hillcrest Centre. Careful attention was given to reconcile Olympic requirements with the long-term legacy for this community facility.

The facility demonstrates an energetic example of civic design and receives over 2 million visitors a year. This new model has been so successful that the client is looking to see if additional facilities of similar size and program are feasible.


The facility design needed to meet Vancouver Olympic Committee’s (VANOC) commitment to staging the 2010 Winter Olympics curling event while establishing a strategy for the long-term community use of the building for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.


HCMA Response

This project benefitted from HCMA’s deep understanding of community centres and their role within a community context. The roots of the formal concept of the Centre are based in the synthesis of public use, program, site conditions, and the belief that community facilities have a responsibility to contribute to the betterment of society. The end result is a project that resonates beyond the boundary of site and takes a larger role in defining the character of the community. This vital centre promotes awareness of a diverse and active community while dramatically enhancing the user experience.

  • Completion


  • Cost

    $87.5 million

  • Size

    13,450 m2

  • Award

    IAKS / International Olympic Committee Award for Exemplary Sports and Leisure Facilities - Bronze Medal 2013

  • Award

    Athletic Business Facility of Merit Award 2012

  • Award

    Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Commercial Building Awards - Overall Judge's Choice 2012

Design Process

The Hillcrest Centre Conversion was a very demanding project…it involved taking the shell of an existing building, built to house curling events for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and converting it into a Skating Rink, curling Centre, Gymnasium, Community Centre and Library. All this was completed on time and on budget, and this was only possible because of a successful team effort, including your staff and a competent sub-consultant group.

Roland Haebler, President, The Haebler Group