We are thrilled to announce that our proposed Port Moody project, which was formerly referred to as Kyle + Clarke, is now officially named 'Mary Anne's Place' in honor of the late Dr. Mary Anne Cooper -- a heritage and community activist who dedicated her life to improving the lives of those living in Port Moody. Mary Anne Cooper passed away on November 28th, 2021, after 107 years of a life well-lived.
If you do not already know Mary Anne Cooper, you will find her a fascinating and inspiring woman. Mary Anne built a legacy of hope, conviction, and positive energy – all around a hearth of homey goodness.
To the town of Port Moody, she was a prominent heritage advocate, senior rights activist, and dedicated environmentalist, but to her family, she was simply the beloved wife, mother, and grandmother. She was born in Mt Vernon, Ohio, and was married for 65 years to Bob Cooper. They had three children, seven grandchildren, and 14 greatgrandchildren. She had lived in Port Moody since 1986.
What is her secret of longevity? It was her love of “projects,” endless research and involvement with the community, unafraid of hard topics, and passionate of many. At 55 she earned a Ph.D. in environmental science from Michigan State University. At 99 she achieved her short-wave HAM radio license. At 101 she set a national record in swimming. At the age of 104, Mary Anne starred in the documentary, The Spirit of Port Moody by Producer/Director Eva Wunderman and Executive Producer Ruth Foster. The award-winning film premiered on October 1, 2021.
But her real passion was for heritage.
Mary Anne Cooper fought for the preservation of homes in the Ioco Townsite. She received the Freedom of the city from Port Moody (2011), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), and BC Community Achievement Award (2020). In 2001 she pushed to have the Ioco Townsite become a Heritage Conservation area. In the same year, she started the “Ghost Town Days” festival, in recognition of this heritage site. She coveted the old buildings on Murray Street where the Mary Anne’s Place project is proposed to be built.
“I imagine mother looking across the inlet here to her house and her beloved Ioco Townsite. This is the perfect memorial to her achievements and her passions,” quote Mary Anne’s daughter, Corinna Goodman.
We are proud to have submitted its detailed rezoning, development permit, and heritage revitalization application in September 2022. To honor the P.Burns heritage building, now Grit Café, we are planning to relocate it to a more prominent location on the northwest of the site facing Clarke Street and Queens Street Plaza; securing lasting recognition for Mary Anne’s legacy.
“I am thrilled to announce that we will name the project after one of the most respected community activists --Dr. Mary Anne Cooper,” Hesam Deihimi, President & Managing Principle of Placemaker Communities states. “She was a long-serving community leader and a passionate heritage conservation activist. We are honored to name the project Mary Anne’s Place.”
Mary Anne’s Place will offer the community diverse forms of housing including studio, one-, two-, and three bedroom homes in the rental and market buildings. Live-work units, geared toward artists, will be located on Spring Street to enhance the future Spring Street promenade and create a vibrant and inviting pedestrian realm.
With over 25,000 square feet of commercial space and the planned revitalization of the Queen Street Plaza, Mary Anne’s Place will provide future residents, small business owners, and community members with multiple community nodes to create a place of gathering and connection.