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!