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

Table Tennis Players Need Room

Ping pong players gain skills to become better at the sport of table tennis

And when they get better, players need more room. Few players become as good as the olympic-level players shown in this video (Top Crazy Table Tennis Rallies at the Olympics | Top Moments) but all players need to have a safe place to play. Like tennis courts, future table tennis installations in Vancouver’s parks would need to be standardized: a 5×9 foot concrete, steel or composite table centred on a slab of concrete at approximately 30×16 feet, with the court surrounded by lawns. The lawns provide the safety barrier. Balls stop quickly on grass. The tables cannot be ridden and damaged by skateboarders.

Ping pong tables in parks, set on slabs of concrete surrounded by lawns, are common in Europe but not so in western Canada. At the time of publication we know of no such installations in a Canadian city outside of Quebec. If you know of examples of safe table tennis infrastructure in a Canadian park outside Quebec, let us know, and send a photo. Meanwhile, the photos below show really nice tables set on varying sizes of concrete pad. The important safety factor, from the POV of a player, is that this concrete pad be as large as possible so that the transition to grass, that uneven  border between concrete and lawn, be set as far away as possible from the active playing area around the table. No one needs to break an ankle playing table tennis. To the casual ping pong player, used to playing on pop-up ping pong tables set in open pedestrian plazas next to roadways, this might seem like a lot of fuss. The fact is, ping pong is table tennis, and table tennis is a sport with defined standards for play. Parks planners must consider this when planning for permanent table tennis installations in Vancouver’s parks. Future table tennis infrastructure can be standardized, safe and aesthetically pleasing.

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What's New

Ping Pong In Paris

It’s common knowledge among travellers from the table tennis community here in Vancouver that European and Asian cities are far friendlier to table tennis than cities in North America. Just look online at images of parks in cities across Europe and Asia that more often than not show table tennis tables among the trees and grass and other recreation amenities offered. In this post, we visit France, home to the upcoming 2024 Olympics to see what table tennis is like in Paris.

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BCTTA

The BCTTA: Then and Now

In the latest post in our “Investigating the BCTTA” series, we compare the mandate and mission original BC Table Tennis Association, started by Chandra Madhosingh in the mid-60’s, to today’s BCTTA, now completely unmoored from its original commitment to serve and build the table tennis community in BC. To order to learn about the BCTTA then and now, we spoke with dozens of adults, seniors and kids from the table tennis community.

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What's New

Celebrate 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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What's New

Barriers To Table Tennis Access

Barriers exist that prevent table tennis players like you or your kids from accessing the sport in your community and schools. In this post, PingPongInVancouver.com takes a look at some of these obstacles and suggests what you can do to break down barriers as an empowered citizen and fan of table tennis.

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BCTTA

Induct Dr. Chandra Madhosingh into BC Sports Hall of Fame

Chandra Madhosingh, who died in December of 2022, was known affectionately as the “father of table tennis in BC” for his life-long, multifaceted approach to developing table tennis programs throughout British Columbia. He started the now debased BC Table Tennis Association in the 1960’s with representatives from across the province and over the decades created a network of development services in every region of BC for table tennis players and officials. Let’s honour Chandra’s commitment to our sport posthumously by voting to induct him into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

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The VOOTTT

The Vancouver Open Outdoor Table Tennis Tournament

Ping Pong In Vancouver is proud to be the parent of a new baby, our little VOOTTT, whose full name is (the) Vancouver Open Outdoor Table Tennis Tournament. Over the next month or so of gestation, our little concept will mature rapidly to become Vancouver’s first-ever outdoor table tennis tournament! This much we know for sure: the VOOTTT will be free to enter and will run over the month of May. Registrants will arrange matches with one another at any of the free outdoor tables in Vancouver or Burnaby. Results will be submitted and tallied on the website. That’s the outline. Details to follow…

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What's New

Introducing Secret Weapon Sports

PingPongInVancouver.com is pleased to announce that after a long search for a responsible event and gear sponsor, we have partnered with Secret Weapon Sports, a trusted local online source of quality table tennis equipment, shoes and clothing. Secret Weapon Sports was created in 2018 by Jason Li a table tennis player who responded to the dearth of local suppliers by creating his own store, providing lower mainland table tennis players with a competitive alternative to the big online shops.

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BCTTA

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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The VOOTTT

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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What's New

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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What's New

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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The VOOTTT

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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What's New

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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Table Tennis Clubs

Protected: Community Centres as Table Tennis Clubs

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

Edmonds Park Tables (Burnaby)

While this table tennis table installation is in Burnaby, it’s worth mentioning because, 1) it is a table tennis installation in a park; and 2) it’s a table tennis installation added next to existing tennis courts in a recent park redevelopment. The Edmonds Park Tables are the closest local example of a municipality adding table tennis infrastructure to an existing park. We ask: we can’t this be done in Vancouver?

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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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Free Ping Pong

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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What's New

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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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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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The VOOTTT

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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