“It’s the only reason I stay in this city.”
Skateboarder Jamie Maley is spearheading a fundraising campaign to put the final touches on a beloved “DIY” skate park.
“It’s very supportive on many different levels. It’s a dry place to skate…and in Vancouver we lack dry places to skate in the winter.”
Leeside Skate Park, located under Hastings Street at the Cassiar Connector, was originally zoned to be a transit loop, but after the city lost interest, skateboarders moved in, building ramps and doing concrete work.
The city has largely left the park alone to flourish.
Leeside is named for one of its original creators: Lee Matasi.
He was a young skateboarder who began cleaning the tunnel and filling it with small wooden ramps and makeshift skate features in the late 90s.
Matasi was killed in a shooting in 2005, and the park became a memorial to his life.
Today, Maley says the park is about 75% complete, and the money they raise will be used to buy the materials to complete the park.