Unearth Stanley Park’s Dark Secrets on Forbidden Vancouver’s New Adventure

Courtesy Forbidden Vancouver/Kyle Pearce

We all know Stanley Park as a lush oasis offering a leafy respite from the urban landscape surrounding it – a thriving rainforest whose sprawling 400 hectares contains scenic trails, sandy beaches, historic landmarks and the world-renowned Vancouver Aquarium. But underneath the beauty and splendor of this national historic site lies a complex, exciting past filled with famous crimes, secret cemeteries and truly bizarre public art – and local walking tour company Forbidden Vancouver is sharing these secrets with the public through a new experience that brings to light the park’s lesser-known stories and attributes.

Secrets of Stanley Park is a 2.5-hour walking tour that covers the park’s scenic stretch of seawall, roams winding trails and wanders amid towering old-growth trees. Along the way, guides relays harrowing stories about crime, persecution, military installations, poetry, scandals – and even murder. Aligning with Forbidden Vancouver’s existing tours, which are fun and interactive while also jam-packed with fascinating historical, architectural and cultural information, Secrets of Stanley Park is designed for those of us adventurers who wish to forego a simple stroll in the park and instead take a deeper dive into the forest.

Tour participants learn about the Secrets of Stanley Park.

Autumn is the perfect time to tag along on the tour – the park is set ablaze with fiery riots of orange, red and yellow leaves, making for photo-worthy snaps at every turn. For the Instagram stars out there, rest assured you’ll pass plenty of no-filter-necessary photo stops, including a perfect view of the city skyline and the famous totem pole “forest”. History aficionados will appreciate the captivating storytelling that brings alive facts like the real reason the park was opened, how Lion’s Gate Bridge was built on beer and what really went down on Deadman’s Island. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or have logged hours exploring the park’s serene trails, ponds, gardens and attractions, you’re guaranteed to learn something new – and you’ll come away with a brand-new perspective and fresh respect for Vancouver’s biggest and arguably most beautiful attraction.

Secrets of Stanley Park runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2pm to 4.30pm (until the end of November) and tickets cost $25. Since adult subject matter is discussed (murder! scandal! corruption!), the minimum recommended age is 14. The start and end point is just outside the Aquarium, so we recommend allotting extra time – after all, nothing beats a fall afternoon in Stanley Park except a fall afternoon in Stanley Park followed by cute-as-a-button sea otters and penguins. For more information or to book tickets, click here.

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