Vancouver’s Best Little Park? You make the call!

When it comes to green spaces, Vancouver has some heavy hitters.  There’s 1,000-acre Stanley Park, always tops on visitors to-do lists.  Not to mention the world-class VanDusen Botanical Garden and classically elegant Queen Elizabeth Park.

But there are also hundreds of smaller parks in the city that offer their own charms and rewards.   Some of these – like tiny Emery Barnes Park in Yaletown – are neighbourhood gems that relatively few people know about.  Others – like Oppenheimer Park in Strathcona – are well known and loved but rarely get the praise they deserve.

The common denominator is that these parks, although relatively small, pack a big punch.  They have a great community feel, offer a quick getaway from the hustle-bustle of the city, and showcase Vancouver at its finest – lush, green, fresh and friendly.  So, I’d like to hear from you:

What’s your favourite “little” park in Vancouver?  Please share your picks by commenting below.  (For the record, you can define “little” however you’d like.  The idea is that these parks might not be on everyone’s radar).

I’ll start things off with a classic Vancouver park I visited over the weekend, Trout Lake.

At 27.3 hectares, Trout Lake isn’t exactly “little,” but it does have an intimate, community feel.  The park, dominated by a large, shallow lake, is situated in the Commercial Drive neighbourhood, in the middle of a very densely packed residential district.  In fact, part of its appeal is that it’s kind of a pleasant surprise – a glimpse of grass, trees and water right in the midst of the city.

There are rolling hills, ball fields and basketball courts, but the real draw at Trout Lake is the lake itself.  It’s the perfect size for walking around (a loop takes around 20 minutes).  Dirt paths wind around the shore and special wooden pathways slice through marshland and reeds to the water’s edge.  Along the way you’re sure to see an abundance of ducks (mallards, coots, buffleheads and more), seagulls and especially crows, which seem to roost here in the evening.  There’s also a small beach.

Another big perk is the brand new Trout Lake Community Centre, which Dana wrote about in a recent post.  Among other perks: a fitness centre, full gym, steam room, even an ice rink.

Do you have a favourite “little” park?  A quick escape from the urban grind?  Let us know!

Want more updates on Vancouver and beyond?  Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza


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9 Responses to Vancouver’s Best Little Park? You make the call!

  1. Deb

    Andy Livingston Park! We love our local park….the hills, the stream of water, the playground all right in the shadow of Rogers Arena and BC Place. Rain or shine there is so much activity in this urban park…a real gem.

  2. When my children were smaller and younger, we loved Chaldecott park, west of Dunbar. It has trees, sports fields, a playground with swings, and a waterpark. Bathrooms are also close at hand. The park always seems quiet, even in the height of summer when teeming with kids and families. It’s a great neighbourhood park.

  3. Kat

    Not sure if it counts, but the park area by Jericho beach. Love the hill and park benches, and the trails into where all the bunnies live!

  4. E

    My favourite park is Hastings Park, especially the little duck pond and bridge, right beside the Japanese Momiji Gardens.

    • MoogsC

      A little off topic, but *which* Japanese momiji garden?

  5. Rachel

    Grandview Park

  6. Patricia Gooch

    I love the City Hall grounds – lovely mature trees, tasteful community garden, and moving sculptures. I walk through it on my way to Canada Line and it always relaxes me after a busy day!

    • Nice call, Patricia – The City Hall grounds are definitely among the loveliest (and least visited) green spaces in the city.

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