Where to play table tennis in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Coquitlam

Edmonds Park Tables

A Brief Introduction…

At Ping Pong In Vancouver, our focus is to create and maintain a list of where to play table tennis in Vancouver, with an emphasis (so far) on highlighting free, outdoor places to play ping pong. We’ve also been focused on trying to encourage parks planners here in Vancouver to add safe table tennis infrastructure to Vancouver’s parks, much like what has been done with tennis over the years. Sadly, Vancouver doesn’t have one park-based table tennis installation with nothing in the works despite our efforts at promoting the idea. The closest we get in Vancouver to park-based table tennis infrastructure is Empire Fields where there are 3 table tennis tables set in the middle of a busy pedestrian concourse with no separation and consideration for safety.

Meanwhile, in Burnaby, parks planners are listening to residents. In a recent redevelopment of Edmonds Park, three new Cornilleau “Park” table tennis tables were installed on a dedicated asphalt pad next to the tennis courts, complete with a rules-of-play sign to make this table tennis court official. Great job, Burnaby! When will Vancouver do the same?

Ping Pong In Vancouver's Evaluation

The Tables 95%

The tables used in Burnaby’s first official table tennis installation are the extremely popular Cornilleau “Park” model. These are sturdy, outdoor, composite tables with a decent bounce and built to last for years. The table top rests on a very large, nearly indestructible steel legs. The net is made from 1/4 inch steel riddled with honey-combed shaped perforations. These tables should last forever but… already vandals have been busy trying their best to ruin the tables one of which is noticeably bowed near the centre on one side where there are no legs, a weak point in the design of these tables.

The Playing Area 90%

The size of the playing area for this three-table installation is excellent with at least 10 feet of asphalt extending behind both ends of the tables so players won’t be at risk of breaking an ankle (see the danger at the Kits Beach in Vancouver). The tables are a wee bit crowded towards the west side of the asphalt plaza and could be better spaced out.

The Wind factor 40%

Outdoor ping pong players learn to live with the wind. Over time, the wind suppresses a player’s hubris and teaches vague lessons about waiting or not, all the while toying mercilessly with the 3 gram table tennis ball. So, for any table tennis installation to incorporate, even by accident, any sort of wind block is like a gift. The installation at Edmonds Park has chain link fencing along two sides of the playing area, the northwest and southwest perimeters. A chain link fence will disperse the wind to some degree, but the wind-buffering effectiveness of the southwest fence, behind one end of the tables, is boosted by lightweight fabric, installed to prevent the ball from passing through. At the time of our visit, however, this barrier had been slashed in several places by vandals. This public ping pong installation has the lowest wind factor of all the outdoor installations we have reviewed so far, along with the oasis we call the Oxford Place Tables.

Busy-ness 75%

As one would expect at a facility of this calibre, the Edmonds Park ping pong tables are well-used. But, with three tables and well-marked rules limiting play to 30 minutes when others are waiting means you won’t have to wait too long to play. You’re likely to meet potential playing partners here. Edmonds Community Centre, just across the park, has a well attended indoor table tennis program.

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Events

Celebrating World Table Tennis Day

Join Ping Pong In Vancouver in celebrating the ITTF Foundation’s World Table Tennis Day (WTTD) on April 23, 2024. On this date annually groups around the globe celebrate the world’s second largest participation sport. Last year there were more than 440 celebrations in 111 countries. We invite you to be part of Ping Pong In Vancouver’s week-long celebration of WTTD 2024 starting April 16.

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My Year of Magical Thinking

From the author: “Here’s a lesson about being careful what you wish for. In a very short period of time, I had gone from being an average table tennis player to being voted in as the communications director of the BC Table Tennis Association (BCTTA). With the directorship came the capacity to initiate positive changes within an agency whose best days seemed to have passed. Or so I thought. This is a brief story of my year as a director of the BCTTA and what I found about about the state of the sport of table tennis in BC.

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This photo is of a large activity room at Marpole Community Centre where you can call-in to play table tennis when the room is free.
Community Centres

A Review of Table Tennis at Vancouver Community Centres

Community centres are the final frontier for those who love to meet up with friends to play table tennis. With few dedicated clubs and sky-high real estate prices in the city, there are no places to play that are as convenient and inexpensive as your local community centre. Despite a city full of community centres, organized table tennis programs are few. It’s our hope this article will motivate table tennis fans to advocate for our sport.

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Windermere Table Tennis Court

For fans of outdoor table tennis in Vancouver, the day has finally arrived. The new Windermere Community Table Tennis Court is open! When Ping Pong In vancouver visited on Sunday, December 17, playing conditions, just shy of the shortest day of the year, could not have been better. We played with abandon under sunny skies, no wind and a balmy 10ºC. Our conclusion: this is one very nice place to play ping pong in Vancouver!

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Ping Pong In New York City

Ping Pong In Vancouver’s Editor-in-Chief Beeyo travelled to New York city this past September to, apart from the touristy things, check out the table tennis scene in the borough of Manhattan. Expecting to find a long established downtown clubs and a thriving community of players around every free ping pong table in town, here’s what he found…

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TT4Ever for Everyone, Everywhere

Who says kids are self-absorbed with their heads buried in social media? Not the kids who make up TT4Ever, a non-profit dedicated to promoting access to table tennis for everyone, for ever. The Ontario-based table tennis advocacy group led by table tennis star and university student Kevin Guo, sprang into being last year. It’s made up of young people like Kevin who have a strong belief in table tennis as a sport that unites people, helps people heal, and extends the boundaries open to people with physical limitations. TT4EVER and the North Shore Table Tennis Club held an exciting fundraising tournament on September 9 drawing excellent local talent and visiting players from Japan and Ukraine.

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Coquitlam Municipal Hall Tables

We started out listing and evaluating places to play ping pong in Vancouver but since the city has so few places to play, we’ve moved on to adjacent municipalities like Burnaby, New Westminster and now Coquitlam. Over the Canada Day weekend, we dropped by the lower mainland’s latest outdoor public table tennis court, Coquitlam Municipal Hall Tables. Nice! There are two aggregate stone table tennis tables by Sanderson Concrete, the go-to table when you want the installation to last 50 years, set towards the edge of a large plaza that by design, invites people to stay awhile.

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Outdoor Table Tennis: Vancouver Vs. Burnaby

We are two years into our mandate to promote and support the development of outdoor table tennis courts in Vancouver parks so it’s time to briefly report on what has NOT happened in the past 24 months. We’ve concluded that Vancouver is really not into providing safe, standardized table tennis courts in parks around the city and things are not likely to change anytime soon. While adjacent municipalities are blazing ahead with outdoor table tennis courts, Vancouver park planners don’t seem to get it at all.

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Burnaby Parks Courts

Cameron Park Tables (Burnaby)

What can we say? Here is another quality table tennis court located in a Burnaby park! It seems Burnaby is treating table tennis like a real sport by building courts in parks, just like tennis but at a fraction of the cost. Surrounded by trees, the Cameron Park Tables may be the best outdoor table tennis court in Burnaby.

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401 Georgia Table

The lone ping pong table at 401 West Georgia seems like it would be a favourite for office workers at noon hour. This second table tennis court associated with a downtown office building is not the oasis like the Oxford Place Tables, but it is completely sheltered from rain positioned under the overhang of the office tower. Tucked in close to the building, the table is also likely shielded from some of the winds that often plague outdoor ping pong on plazas.

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Quayside Park Tables (New Westminster)

The Quayside Park Tables are easy to miss. They’re hidden away in a small green playground next to the Fraser River. Surrounded by trees and set one a concrete slab adjacent to the children’s playground, you could ride by without noticing the beautiful steel tables. The tables are the same as those at Empire Fields and make wonderful sounds when the table top is percussed by hand on when the ball strikes the net.

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Burnaby Parks Courts

Confederation Park Tables (Burnaby)

The Confederation Park Table Tennis Court is our latest “discovery” of great places to play free, outdoor public ping pong in Burnaby. Adjacent to the tennis courts, this new, spacious court sports three beautiful Cornilleau table tennis tables set on an isolated asphalt pad complete with a seating area along the eastern edge. Good job once again, Burnaby Parks & Rec!

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Burnaby Parks Courts

Willingdon Heights Park Tables (Burnaby)

Vancouver zero, Burnaby three, if you’re keeping score. The municipality of Burnaby is in the lead when it comes to outdoor table tennis courts in city parks, and the new Willingdon Heights Park table tennis court is yet another example of a safe, standardized place to enjoy your fave sport in your local park. Way to go, Burnaby! Pay attention, Vancouver park planners!

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What's New

Public Ping Pong Survey Results

It’s no secret: Vancouver isn’t big on ping pong in parks. To help advocate for safe public ping pong tables in parks, Ping Pong In Vancouver has been asking for your input on where you’d like to see table tennis tables in a park near you. If you live in Burnaby or New Westminster, you can head down to your local park to play table tennis on tables set on an asphalt pad surrounded by grass and shade trees. Why can’t it be the same for citizens of Vancouver? Tell us where you’d like to see a safe place to play ping pong near you!

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What's New

Completed: Vancouver’s First Dedicated Table Tennis Court

Great news for Vancouver outdoor table tennis enthusiasts! Last spring Health Minister Adrian Dix granted $44,000 towards the Vancouver School Board’s proposed table tennis court at Windermere Community Fitness Park located at 27th Avenue and Lillooet Street. And as of December 4, 2023, the dedicated table tennis court, a first for Vancouver, is now open. We can’t weight for a dry day to try it out!

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Moody Park Tables (New Westminster)

It’s great to see examples outside of Vancouver of table tennis tables safely located within the leafy green confines of parks. This latest discovery is located in Moody Park in New Westminster, and this past September when the Ping Pong In Vancouver crew checked out the two tables nestled under the canopy of big trees, we found a small community of players who meet to play nearly every day.

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Lonsdale Table

Someone recently contacted PingPongInVancouver.com to tell us about a public outdoor table tennis table in North Vancouver near First and Lonsdale. We don’t normally include tables in municipalities other than Vancouver unless the installation is an example of what was done right (i.e. Edmonds Tables in Burnaby) or what was done wrong. An initial glance of this installation (via Google street view) showed what appeared to be an example of where NOT to put in a public ping pong table. We hopped on our bikes on a fine summer afternoon to see for ourselves what a dangerously placed table looks like…

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What's New

The Players Directory

Ping Pong In Vancouver has finally created a players directory, one of the three main goals we set out to accomplish when we launched the website. We list places to play table tennis and we advocate for ping pong infrastructure in Vancouver parks (although all of our efforts so far to connect with Vancouver Parks planners has been completely ignored). Now we connect ping pong players with partners!

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Kits Beach Table

The Vancouver Rotary Club recently unveiled a ping pong table at Kits Beach. Situated behind the buildings along the main promenade of the beach, surrounded by trees and grass, the ping pong table itself is great. It’s got a beautifully finished aggregate concrete top yielding a superb bounce, a fine art-quality metal net, a sturdy, immovable concrete base…but there’s real danger underfoot, literally.

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Orchard Commons Tables, UBC

The Orchard Commons Tables are excellent aggregate stone tables with a surface more like 400 grit sandpaper than polished marble. Does it affect the ball? You be the judge when you visit. The ping pong tables are centred in a playing area that is… well, a pit, basically. This pit consists of a playing surface of undulating gravel that has a deepish hole at each end of both tables, a testament to the grinding duels that must have occurred here…

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Save On Table

The Save On Table is a really lively and generally awesome stone aggregate table but… it’s right in front of the busy entrance of a large grocery store! The Foosball table and nearby benches suggests that this set-up is someone’s vision of an outdoor rec room…

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Oxford Place Tables

In the heart of downtown, the Oxford Place Tables is a peaceful ping pong oasis. Two tables are positioned on a small shady plaza just far enough away from busy Hastings Street. Pedestrian traffic is minimal, and the playing area is ample and without any significant objective hazards. Ball containment is pretty good with walls and low barriers in most directions. This is a very nice place to play!

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Building An Awareness Of Our Goal

Ping Pong In Vancouver advocates for public table tennis. Our goal is to bring safe, permanent public ping pong installations to Vancouver’s many parks. There are a lot of ping pong players out there who’d love to play their fave sport outside within the safety of a park. Our main problem so far has been trying to get the attention of city officials and bureaucrats. The people who make decisions. We have pursued the recommended routes of communication over the past 4 weeks, since the launch of this website, but so far our efforts have been unsuccessful…

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Table Tennis Players Need Room

Ping pong is actually a sport. The sport is table tennis. It is the second most popular sport on earth. Players begin by playing ping pong, but as skills sharpen, ping pong players grow into table tennis players, and table tennis players need room to play the sport safely.

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Bars & Lounges

Back and Forth Bar

From Google: Cocktails, craft draft beer & snacks offered in a hip, upbeat space with Ping-Pong tables & games. The Back And Forth Bar has 6 ping pong tables for recreational and serious players, board games (Cards of Humanity, Jenga, Checkers, What the Meme), a TV dedicated to Nintendo Classic, beer and wine on tap, a small selection of spirits, snacks and friendly staff who want to make you feel at home in comfortable surroundings. Play and hang out!

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What's New

Let’s Take Ping Pong Player Safety Seriously

Ping pong players playing on any of the public ping pong installations we’ve reviewed on this website face objective hazards. Public ping pong tables are currently offered as “afterthoughts”, haphazardly placed, without much regard to a player’s safety, in busy pedestrian areas around the city. In Vancouver, there are no ping pong tables situated in safely within the grassy regions of a park as in the standard in the UK and Germany. Ping pong players deserve for no less than the safety considerations afforded our sister sport, tennis.

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What's New

Public Ping Pong Survey

Besides becoming a go-to listing for places to play ping pong in Vancouver, we want to be a voice for promoting public ping pong in Vancouver. Specifically, we would like to see ping pong installations in Vancouver parks consisting of a slab of asphalt or concrete with a table in the middle, surrounded by a safety barrier of lawn, a recreational installation very common in European parks from Derbyshire to Berlin

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What's New

Bryant Park Tables, New York City

From the film’s description: “In the middle of New York City, tucked away in the corner of Bryant Park, sit two outdoor ping pong tables where anyone is free to play. Young or old, rich or homeless, it doesn’t matter. During the day, the park provides paddles and balls, but after 7pm the regulars show up, armed with their own. Every night they come together to play each other and battle the elements, playing in the wind, rain and even snow. And out of this shared love of the game, a bond was formed between an unlikely group of people. Filmmaker Jon Bunning profiles the many lives these tables have touched, including the former gangbanger who helped put them there.”

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Free Ping Pong

City Hall Tables

All things considered, this is a nice spot for playing ping pong. And a nice gesture by the city to place public ping pong tables this close to the corridors of power. It gives a ping pong fanatic hope that public ping pong is within the purview of city officials who need only to look out their north windows and gaze down onto the plaza, where two tables, one great, the other so-so, become a momentary focal point for joy, exercise and friendship…

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Free Ping Pong

Cambie Bridge South Tables

Two of the four weather-sheltered public ping pong tables in Vancouver are located under the south end of the Cambie Street Bridge. The other two are under the north end of the bridge. The Cambie Bridge South Tables, like the tables under the north end of the bridge, are the German-made Tiger Ping Pong Plaza model: a great design and a lively bounce. Situated among picnic tables in the middle of a slightly cambered pedestrian plaza, there’s enough room to play safely. Keep in mind the several objective hazards like the boulder field about 15 feet behind the east side of the table, and the roadway and bike lane just a few feet from the tables. Some may call this unsafe; we call it multi-tasking.

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Free Ping Pong

Cambie Bridge North Tables

There are two excellent table tennis tables sheltered from the weather under the Cambie Street Bridge on the north side. Like the pair on the south side of the bridge, these tables are the Tiger Ping Pong “Plaza” model, and they are positioned on the brick plaza under the infrastructure of the bridge in an east to west orientation. One ping pong table is a bit better positioned; that is, sheltered better from the rain, but both tables are club-quality outdoor tables and on a fine day this location, with all of the recreational activity going on around, is inspirational and will bring out your best game.

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Free Ping Pong

Adanac Bike Route Table

This funky ping pong table is located at the Vernon-Adanac Plaza, a blocked-off section of Vernon Drive, right where the Adanac-Union bike route takes a wee jog north one block from Union Street onto Adanac Street. It’s an interesting location for a ping pong table to say the least, and it’s easy to see the hipster connotation in locating the table on a bike route…

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What's New

A Call For Public Table Tennis In Vancouver Parks

Unlike parks in other western countries like Germany, parks in Vancouver, despite the vast unused lawns available, do not contain table tennis playing areas by default. In fact, not a single ping pong table installation exists within a Vancouver park. We are late to the game when compared to our European friends. But what potential we have given our numerous parks for ping pong installations within the safety of a public lawned area. Ping Pong In Vancouver has written this post to help define a standard for a table tennis playing area within any public park.

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Free Ping Pong

Empire Fields Tables

The three steel tables at Empire Fields, in the shadow of Vancouver’s beloved wooden roller coaster offer the ultimate outdoor table tennis – ping pong – experience in Vancouver. For the breathtaking setting alone, this is the #1 place for free outdoor ping pong. Big open sky, breathtaking mountain views, an historic setting where the tables are nestled between the one of north America’s last remaining vintage roller coasters and the track where the first sub-four minute mile was won. The Beatles played mere metres from where today, right now, you can play on melodious metal tables…

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Free Ping Pong

Stonehenge Tables

Stonehenge Tables, are three tables in the Concord Pacific play area in the expanse of asphalt north of Science World. Named for the large arranged stones embedded in the grassy knoll immediately east of the tables, Stonehenge Tables offer the best of outdoor table tennis in Vancouver. These are stone tables with a great bounce. The area behind both sides of the tables is bounded by a low continuous concrete wall serving as a long bench, providing a stopper for most balls that pass your opponent.

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