A Visual on the Notre Dame Stadium Problem

An aerial view of Notre Dame School and the surrounding area shows at a glance why the addition of a destination sports facility on that site and in this neighbourhood is such a bad idea.

Notre Dame stadium problems

A comparison of the size and location of Notre Dame School as compared to other high schools with sports fields shows the problem in an even clearer light.

Other schools with large sports fields:

  • Have MUCH BIGGER campuses and more students
  • Are located in less densely populated areas
  • Are partly bordered by park or woodland to provide buffering between sports field and neighbours

The red box is the size of Notre Dame’s campus. Blue borders mark the campus sizes of the other schools.


3 thoughts on “A Visual on the Notre Dame Stadium Problem

  1. Well, this is an interesting, exercise, but we wonder what the real point is? All these schools are much larger in population than what Notre Dame can have as a student body.

    Also the actual field size has not changed from the approved Development Permit of 2007.
    As for seating, the original plans had seating. Again you throw around the 2000 people seating capacity
    when in fact the field can not hold that many people. The city has already clarified the size of the seating to be that of the present student body.

    Parking is based on what the city has already requested of the school in 2007.
    So again why the distortion of the facts.

    As for grass or artificial turf. Really we are going to dictate what surface they put down?
    Most new fields in Vancouver are artificial turf. So again what is the problem, less maintenance, no watering, always green. Wow apparently in East Vancouver this is considered an eyesore!

    It was neighbours who at the 2006 Public Open House raised concerns that they wanted the school to make it’s field available to the community. It wasn’t the school.

    A”Destination Sports Facility”, how is this a destination sports facility. It is a school field. There are no lights there is really one field.

    What concerns us the most is the miss information being spread but a small group out here who think they represent all of us. If you want to do that then put your name on a ballot on Saturday.

    We are not the schools biggest fans, but my god. This is insane. We want to see the dust and dirt go away. We wish those awful poplars would go too, but it seems they are staying as part of the plan according to the city.

    All we ask is the School Bring Back Neigbourhood meetings, and manage parking in a way that they agreed to in 2006.


    PS Don’t forget to Vote on Saturday


    1. Dear Kate and Pete
      Thanks for your comments. To answer them:
      1. The point of the comparison is exactly that – Notre Dame is a small school, on a very small piece of land, surrounded on all sides by houses. That is why a destination stadium is ridiculous in that spot (read on for my reasons for continuing to call it a “destination stadium.”)
      2. We would like the school to have a field — as in a grass field with no seating. This is what was in the 2008 permit and was agreed upon at a meeting at City Hall in May 2006 attended by the school, church officials, City staff and local residents. There was no seating in this proposed field.
      3. The figure of 2,000 spectators comes from the school itself. They wrote on their web site that: “The stadium seating will be sufficient for the entire ND student body to watch a game. The stadium seating, perimeter standing, and viewing the game from within the confines of the school itself means 1,500-2,000 can view an event.” They removed this information from their web site when we distributed the flyers, but I’m certain that 2,000 spectators remains their dream. You can still find the whole document here: : http://www.ndrs.ca/uploads/Field%20Press%20Release%202017.pdf
      Another quote from the school’s own document: “Notre Dame will have a football/sports stadium with an all-weather athletic field (not simply a sports field).” The school’s name for the project is McCarthy Stadium — that’s what’s on the permit, so definitely not just a field.
      4. The last parking plan was done in 2007 — eleven years ago. Single family dwellings have been demolished and replaced by multi-suite houses with lane way dwellings in the same spots now. We also have Car to Go type parking now. All of these things were not in play in 2007, so a new parking/traffic assessment is needed.
      5. Artificial grass has some conveniences, but it is also comes with heavy environmental, and possibly health, costs. I have done a lot of research on this if you’d like me to send you some links. One of the major problems with artificial turf is drainage. The proposed field is to be sunk 8-10 feet down in what is already a very wet area. A culverted creek runs through the lowest point of our neighbourhood and a concern of a sunken, artificial turf field is that it could disturb the drainage of the area and cause water to back up. By the way, that’s why the poplar trees (which some of us like) were originally planted — because they are such thirsty trees they pull a lot of groundwater away.
      6. While some neighbours might have been interested in using the stadium back in 2006, my concern is — what does that mean? Does it mean that the local Tai Chi group will be allowed to practice on it? Does it mean I can run laps on it? Or, does it mean that the school will rent out the field to other organizations so that it will be in use for far more than Notre Dame use only, with the attendant traffic and noise? If the school is to spend $1.7 million on building this stadium, won’t they be looking for ways to make a return on their investment?
      7. There is the potential for this to be a “destination” stadium if the school is allowed to install artificial turf and stadium seating. It will be attractive for other teams/organizations to rent. There are no lights on the current plan, but if you look closely at the new building plan, there are lighting footings included. We worry that the school could go ahead and later get another “minor amendment” to add lights, and maybe a PA system while they’re at it!
      8. We agree with you that the Neighbourhood Meetings should be reinstated. At this point I have personally written to the Principal and Vice-Principal about the stadium plans and received no reply. I’ve also gone in person to the school to try and talk with someone. No-one was available so I left my number to call when someone was. That was over a month ago and no call yet. Others have also received no reply or misleading replies from the school.
      In 2006 we had an agreement with the school that a grass field would be built. I believe that Notre Dame has acted in bad faith by putting through the upgrade to artificial turf and stadium seating as a “minor amendment” with no consultation or announcement to the local community. This, combined with their lack of response to any concerns or questions, leads us to feel very uneasy about how this project will pan out for the local residents. We feel that the process has been seriously flawed and lacking in transparency, which is why we’re asking the City to have a look at it again.
      Given that we will have to live with this stadium once it’s built, I believe it’s very reasonable to ask for some input before it’s too late.


    2. Hi Kate and Pete: You are right to be concerned about mis-information being spread around. But it is being spread by the school, not by the neighbours.

      The school is claiming that the stadium was part of the original permit. FALSE. It was part of the original application and it was removed from the application on April 12, 2006 (Urban Design Panel Minutes For: Wednesday, April 12, 2006). It’s on the city website. The stadium was never part of the permit. The permit (DE410128) issued April 29, 2008 was for a “natural grass field” and it did not include bleachers. For the school to claim they had approval for anything except the grass field is misinformation.

      In his press release Mr. R. DesLauriers wrote “The stadium seating, perimeter standing, and viewing the game from within the confines of the school itself means 1,500-2,000 can view an event.” Why would the school principal issue a news release to its benefactors, alumni and student/parent body with incorrect information? Why go to the expense of creating a stadium with that capacity if it is not going to be used?

      The original proposal had seating, but again, the stadium (along with the seating) was taken out of the proposal. There was not any seating in the permit that was approved. The school claiming that seating was approved in the permit is not true.

      Parking is only for the use of Faculty and staff. And yes, 70 spaces is enough for that purpose. How is that distorting the facts? But where will the spectators park, all 1,500 to 2,000 of them.

      2006 is a long time ago, I was there and I remember something coming up about public use. One person may have mentioned it. Are there any documents from the consultations? They should be full of praise for the redevelopment of the school, and they should also document the complete rejection of the stadium by the neighbourhood. However, the neighbourhood was very much in favour of what was approved – a “natural grass field”.

      Also, lighting. If you look closely at the site drawings of “McCarthy Stadium” you will see footings for lighting. For the school to say there will be no lighting is duplicitous because the stadium is being built to accommodate lights. There may not be lighting now, but there will be lighting in the future.

      Why is Notre Dame trying to build the stadium now without notification of those who will be most affected? In 2005/6, the neighbourhood rejected the stadium, why would we accept it now?

      The stadium was removed from the application before the public consultations took place. The consultations were for the buildings only, not the stadium. There has never been a public consultation for the stadium. Again, to claim there has been is incorrect.

      Liked by 1 person

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