An indoor skatepark has opened in North Surrey, in time for the local rainy season.
The new One Love facility got rolling last week in a former grocery store in Whalley, at 10681 King George Blvd.
Dan Pageau, a former pro skateboarder originally from Quebec, is the executive director of faith-based One Love International Society, which aims to “empower those in need, to help them succeed by steering them in the right direction by identifying, refining and unfolding their potential and gifting.”
The non-profit’s new skatepark features wooden ramps, a retail shop and snacks – kind of a “community centre for skateboarding,” according to Pageau.
“We’re just getting the word out now, just starting out,” he said on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 17). “People are still finding out about us. We had a group lesson this morning already, with seven kids.”
Surrey’s new indoor skatepark brings ‘One Love’ vibe to Whalley, after a year-plus of work by Dan Pageau, a former pro skateboarder (that's him in video), and others.@dtsurreybia #skateboarding #SurreyBC @CityofSurrey @SurreyNowLeader
STORY: https://t.co/3b28gWhiHQ pic.twitter.com/Uz1VazrJMJ
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) October 18, 2021
Pageau describes himself as a pastor with One Love.
“There’s a prayer room right there, so we always offer that,” he explained, “and the people in the community who are struggling, we offer help for that too. There’s a Sunday service we’re doing, right here. We move the ramps around – it’s hard to visualize, but we do that. Last Sunday was our first service here.
“It’s what worked for me, so that’s what I offer to people who need help, just passing along what’s worked for me,” Pageau added.
The original plan to open the facility last January was delayed by COVID-19, said Pageau, who later pinned August as more realistic. Now, the doors are open in mid-October.
One Love has offered skateboarding lessons in recent years, in Burnaby at Bonsor and also in Surrey at Chuck Bailey Rec Centre’s outdoor skatepark. Details are posted to the website skateboardingschool.ca.
“Burnaby is still strong, and now we have this, somewhere for people to skate indoors,” Pageau said. “Our summer camps are the biggest thing we do, and we’ll have 45 kids in a day there, and we’re hoping to start that here in Surrey. We do one at Chuck Bailey, but we want to get it done indoors here now.
“We’ll be doing a ladies’ night Mondays,” he added, “and another with an old-guys crew, 30 and up. We’re trying to separate it a bit, with theme nights.”
“With the rain we get here, a lot more facilities like this one should be open, for the kids to skate at,” the elder Cormier said.
“This is a fantastic place, and Dan’s done a bang-up job building it. He’s put a lot of work into it,” he added.
“We have friends coming down from Vancouver, and there are some guys skating here from South Surrey. More people are coming from Abbotsford today.”
Cormier said his son has skated at Bonsor, and “Dan does a lot of work there with lessons and getting kids involved in skating. (Gordon) took lessons at One Love (in Burnaby) last August, and since then he’s just fallen in love with skating.”
One Love is located in one of Surrey’s toughest neighbourhoods, but that doesn’t faze Cormier.
“We’re inside and it’s safe,” he said. “Those people out there are pretty harmless, and it’s just because of the shelter, right. It looks kinda scary, but we skate at the park over here, Chuck Bailey, and we’ve never had any issues there either. I helped a bit here, working on the place, and I’ve never had any issues in the parking lot.”