Tri-City News: Road to Mossom rebuild in Port Moody

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by  Diane Strandberg – The Tri-City News
posted Dec 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Mossom Hatchery in Port Moody during the fire of Dec, 11, 2013 and today, after months of planning, fundraising and construction. - SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Mossom Hatchery in Port Moody during the fire of Dec, 11, 2013 and today, after months of planning, fundraising and construction. — Image Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTOS

The re-building of Mossom Creek hatchery in Port Moody is an example of community resiliency and co-operation with nature as the driving force, says co-founder Rod MacVicar.

Just over a year has passed since a fire razed the building that had welcomed thousands of nature lovers, stream stewards and students but in 12 months, a new building has risen from the ashes, built by volunteers with donations and in-kind support from individuals and businesses, and all levels of government.

“Although restricted in budget, it in no way diminished the final product,” MacVicar said on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Dec. 11 fire. “I think Mossom 2.0 is worthy of some sort of special architectural recognition for the way it reflects its purpose and the environment it is well set into.

Rod MacVicar quote

“The building’s first storey communicates a strength and ruggedness, just like a rocky stream base. We wanted a solid foundation for our future. This base has built into it the functionality of a gravity driven stream full of fish. A creek runs through it.”

Among the highlights of the reconstruction were the design workshops held in January, community donations from groups as small as school children and Lafarge Canada, which donated approximately $150,000 in concrete and formwork. There was also a ground-breaking ceremony in July and a fundraiser in August, and the placement of the first and second floor this fall and and a roof this winter.

As well, Imperial Oil donated a grant of up to $75,000, to which the provincial government contributed $35,000 for outfitting the building.

“We are ahead of schedule,” said volunteer project manager Pat Dennett, who expects to have the hatchery running shortly and an occupancy permit for the spring of 2015, although work and fundraising are still needed for furniture, equipment and landscaping.

To donate, visit

Mossom Construction


In December 2013, a fire destroyed the Mossom Creek Hatchery, including fish tanks and other equipment, as well as hatchery archives. This is what happened after that:

• Winter 2014: Design workshops are held and, eventually, a two-storey building with a green roof is designed by volunteer Gaetan Royer. Volunteers work to clean up the site and get rid of the burned materials.

• Spring 2014: Fundraising is underway, here children donate the proceeds from selling bracelets to Mossom Creek hatchery: In all, approximately $1.2 million will have been raised for construction and equipment.

• Summer 2014: After an official groundbreaking, construction begins, with formwork and concrete pouring provided by Lafarge Canada.

• Fall 2014: It’s full steam ahead for construction, with the first and second floors poured as well as a roof, walls are insulated and plumbing installed for settling tanks and hatchery equipment. Salmon made their way up the creek, including chum salmon, which died after spawning but left their remains, including these teeth, to provide nutrients for other plants and animals.

• Winter: 2014 Sunlight pours through the trees on the road to Mossom Hatchery, which became muddy during heavy rains and froze during cold snaps, and the creek itself ran high. But work continued and in December, volunteers, including (from left) project manager Pat Dennett, Ruth Foster, Mel Steemson and Neil Laffra, look at plans for the building’s interior, which is next on the agenda once the walls go up.

Below: Groundbreaking for Mossom Creek hatchery’s new building took place in July, 2014.

Ground Breaking Mossom Creek hatchery


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