After shining the spotlight on a handful of 604 Neighbourhoods I’m turning the focus of my weekly series onto waterfronts and seaside recreational areas in Vancouver, just in time for summer. Today’s Vancouver Beaches feature highlights three popular picnic, park, pool, and pet-friendly destinations in East Vancouver.
New Brighton Park
Location: 3201 New Brighton Road. You can get there off McGill if driving or by cycling the Portside Bikeway. There is a small parking lot just off the Commissioner Street bridge and plenty of street parking along New Brighton Road.
Features: Sitting on the edge of Vancouver’s eastern boundary, New Brighton Park is a unique combination of community facilities, panoramic mountain views, beach-side paths… and industry. Flanked by traffic rushing by on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and trains pulling out from the port, it’s a surprisingly quiet pocket of green space though.
There are plenty of picnic tables (with a charcoal drop-off bin for grillers), a playground, and while it’s not recommended to swim at due to the inlet’s currents, there is a great community pool (with slide) just up from the beach.
Location: 3300 Victoria Drive at E 15th. There is parking lot space and you can also walk over from Nanaimo SkyTrain station.
However, Trout Lake (John Hendry Park) does have a lifeguard on duty when it is open for swimming, just keep an eye out for information from the Park Board during the season for updates. Sit back and watch the birds, hear children playing, and enjoy the “great outdoors” right in the middle of the city at Trout Lake.
CRAB Park at Portside
Location: 101 E Waterfront Road where Main Street meets the harbour. While it’s not technically in East Vancouver, it is on the Eastside of Downtown Vancouver. There aren’t many parking options but you can walk over from Waterfront Station or use the Main Street bridge.
Features: CRAB Park at Portside is a favourite for urban dog owners who need to escape their condos and enjoy a slice of the seaside.
It is probably one of the best places in Vancouver to snap a photo of the ever-expanding skyline, the North Shore Mountains, and the water all in one go. Lunchtime picnics, rounds of badminton with co-workers, off-leash playtime for dogs, and a spray park for the kids on hot summer days make CRAB Park at Portside a downtown-dweller’s dream. Check out some of the public art that is on display and the monuments that pay tribute to Vancouver’s melting pot of cultures.
Each of these beaches (lake and ocean) have a lot to offer for everyone from sun-bathers and swimmers, to picnickers and pet parents. Their views are pretty spectacular as well, any time of year.
If you have some favourite “604 Beaches” feel free to drop a note in the comments. I have a nice selection queued up over the coming weeks but would love to hear some feedback as well. Remember to always be sun smart and drink plenty of water when you’re out and about this season!