Best Dog Beach in Vancouver? You make the call!

Fighting for the Ball at Spanish Banks Dog Beach in Vancouver

Vancouver has some lucky dogs.  In what other city do canines have their own special beaches?  And not just any beaches – beautiful strips of sand, prize waterfront real estate right in the heart of the city.  White sand to dig in, clean water to swim in, big chunks of driftwood to gnaw on.  It’s doggie heaven.  In fact, sometimes I get a little jealous.

I’ve done a bit of homework, and – according to the Vancouver Park Board website – there are no fewer than seven designated dog beaches around Vancouver (not to mention all those secret spots for dog dipping).  Options range from the wilds of Spanish Banks, way outside the city, to prime downtown waterfront at Sunset Beach, in the shadow of the Burrard Street Bridge.

But I have to confess, I’m not a dog owner.  So I’m turning this one over to you:

What’s your mut’s favourite dog beach in Vancouver?  And what makes it so special?  Please share your knowledge by commenting below.

To make things easier, here’s a list of the seven official dog beaches that I found on the Park Board website, in alphabetical order:

CRAB Park at Portside:  This unique park is right next to the industrial port downtown.  It’s a great spot to watch the massive container ships load and unload.  No people swimming, as far as I know, but apparently this is a good spot for dogs.

Fraser River Park:  At the southern tip of the city, along Southwest Marine Drive, this park butts up against the Fraser River.  Dogs have free reign on the west side of the park and can indulge in some river swimming.

Hadden Park: This park sandwiched between Vanier Park and Kitsilano Beach gets my vote for the most picturesque dog beach.  The secluded crescent of sand, lined with logs, driftwood and rocks, has great views of downtown and English Bay.

Dog Beach in Vancouver

Trout Lake Park: On the east side of the city, smack dab in the middle of urban sprawl, this park is a great little retreat for people and pets alike.  The freshwater lake is closed to human swimmers, so dogs rule the water.

New Brighton Park:  Way out by the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, this park is an unusual combination of green space, industrial facilities and great views of the Burrard Inlet.  There are nice beaches and a generous swathe of off-leash area.

Spanish Banks West: At the far western end of Spanish Banks, past the last concession, you’ll find the dog beach.  Terrain is alternately sandy and rocky and backed in parts by thick forest.

Sunset Beach Park: Prize for the most urban of Vancouver’s dog beaches may well go to this little patch of sand right under the Burrard Street Bridge.  Here, downtown pups can plunge into False Creek and yap at passing Aquabuses.

Are there other dog beaches?  Do you have a favourite?  Please share your comments.

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7 Responses to Best Dog Beach in Vancouver? You make the call!

  1. Mischa

    You’ve forgotten Ambleside Dog Beach in West Vancouver!

    • Jay

      The worse one ever there is broke glass all over the beach, I would’ve melted it down and built a damn dog house

  2. Dave

    As Mischa, above, mentions, Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver is my Lucy’s favourite beach. Luce is a Golden Retriever and is water mad!! She is a regular at Ambleside Beach which has a gorgeous south facing view over Lions Gate Bridge and Stanley Park. She has met many regulars and has made many friends where they can play together uninterupted and harrased by their owners!!! The beautifully clean and safe water lapping onto the sandy beach has lovely little pieces of drift wood to play fetch with or just to sit and chew for hours!!

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  5. Lisa

    The Buntzen Lake Dog Beach is awesome! One side is commited to dogs, including a place to rinse your dog and a small enclosure to put him in if you need to go to the washroom. And it is very beautiful.

  6. Doug

    Forget New Brighton Park. Its a huge park with a giant public pool and tennis courts, and room for 2000 people, but they have maybe 20 parking spaces. There is one dedicated parking lot only for Lifeguards.. Who designed this park? Utter fail.. Our favorite is McDonald Beach in Richmond behind the airport. There is a boat launch there as well and really nice sandy areas for dogs to play and swim. A really great beach park.