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Delta throwback: A more comfortable experience at the track

Patrons of harness racing were to appreciate the improvements for the covered grandstand at Paterson Park
paterson park grandstand 1965
Added features were to give comfort to the ‘punters’ attending the 1965 harness racing season.

Let’s go back to May 20, 1965 when it was opening day for a new sulky racing season at Paterson Park in Ladner.

The grandstand had undergone renovations which included new paint, heating and both ends glassed in for spectators.

Every effort was made to ensure racing fans wouldn’t have their experience spoiled by the weatherman, the Delta Optimist reported.

The track received a new all-weather surface of 1,200 tonnes of crushed Texada Island limestone.

The $10,000 racing surface was the same used at most of eastern Canada’s harness tracks, the Optimist noted.

They hadn’t spared the horses when it came to accommodations as a new barn and paddock facilities were also added.

The local season was scheduled to coincide with tracks in Alberta, California and Arizona.

“During the past three years, Delta Raceways has spent $150,000 improving Paterson Park. Their confidence in the future of the sport appears to be well founded, as local track manager Ted Towers points out that last year harness racing outdrew thoroughbred racing throughout Canada, both in volume of attendance and dollars bet,” the Optimist article stated.

Within a few years, however, racing ended at Paterson Park and the site remains vacant. There’s no current development plans on the horizon by the city, which owns part of the site with Kwantlen university owning the remainder.