Looking at Lansdowne Centre today – with its ample parking, big box stores and Canada Line station – you’d never believe thoroughbred racehorses used to gallop there every morning.
Community group Friends of the Richmond Archives posted on its Facebook page this old photo from around 1960, which depicts racehorses preparing for their morning workout at the old Lansdowne Racetrack.
According to the group, along with farming, fishing and canning, wood processing and manufacturing, the thoroughbred horse racing industry “added much to the culture and incomes of Richmondites during the 20th century.
“With its two racetracks and families who bred and raced horses, Richmond was the hub of thoroughbred racing in British Columbia.”
Richmond had, in its past, one other racetrack, where Minoru Park is today. It ran as Minoru Racetrack from 1909 to 1914, before closing and then re-opening six years later as Brighouse Racetrack.
The city bought the land in 1958 to turn it into a park.