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Vancouver BC Parks and Gardens

When you start with the natural setting that Vancouver BC to offer, with its many beaches, the beautiful mountains, the sparkling ocean, clean air and crystal clear water, it should come as no surprise that there are also many parks and recreation areas to be enjoyed in the Vancouver British Columbia area. In fact, there are more than 200 parks, including destination parks, small neighbourhood parks, remnant woodlands and ravines, seawall walks and beaches, display gardens, botanical collections, golf courses and the streets of Vancouver BC are lined with more than 130,000 trees.

The parks in Vancouver British Columbia provide space for a city to breath and relax, they offer a place for organized activities and sports, a place for you to feel safe and gather with your friends or family and a location rich with natural beauty and ambiance.

Major Parks and Gardens in Vancouver British Columbia

Stanley Park

Stanley Park, Vancouver's first park, is an evergreen oasis of 400 hectares (1,000 acres) close to the heart of Vancouver's downtown core. Its natural west coast atmosphere offering a back drop of majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees embraces visitors and transports them to an environment rich in tranquility.

The park abounds in wildlife and its features appeal to the naturalist, the plant lover or one who would do nothing more than relax in beautiful surroundings. The Lost Lagoon Nature House, operated by the Stanley Park Ecology Society , offers natural history information, guided walking tours and volunteer opportunities. Lost Lagoon is the haven for many varieties of birds including swans, ducks and Canada geese. The rushes and small islands in the lake make a natural nesting place for the various species that live here.

A myriad of recreational facilities are available in Stanley Park including a pitch and putt golf course bordered by the spring-blooming Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden. At the Park's heart is the formal Rose Garden surrounded by mass perennial plantings looking their very best from April through September.

The Children's Farmyard, Miniature Railway, tennis courts, bathing beaches, a children's water park, a heated ocean-side swimming pool, Theatre Under the Stars, the Vancouver Aquarium and the 5.5 mile perimeter seawall round out the menu of what a great public park offers. Refreshment stands along with four restaurants are strategically placed throughout Stanley Park for your convenience.

Web site: Stanley Park

Queen Elizabeth Park

The top of this beautifully maintained 52 hectare (130 acre) park is the highest point in the city, at 167m (505 ft) above sea level. From the lookouts, visitors have a 360 degree view of the Vancouver skyline. The park receives nearly 6 million visitors a year who marvel at its superior standard of garden plantings.

A former stone quarry, the park was developed in the 1950s to include a pitch & putt golf course, paths and display gardens, and a large arboretum. The Bloedel Conservatory geodesic dome was added in 1969.

Web site: Queen Elizabeth Park

VanDusen Botanical Garden

Until the mid 1960s this site, owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway, was one of Vancouverís first full length golf links known as the Old Shaughnessy Golf Course. Destined to become a housing development by the 1970s, a dedicated group of citizens joined forces with the Vancouver Park Board to set aside 55 acres of the site for a botanical garden. This parcel of land also included the still undeveloped land (11 acres) located on the east side of Oak Street just south of Eric Hamber School. Through a unique partnership at the time, funding for the land, then valued at $3 million, was made possible by three contributors: $1 million (Provincial Government); $1 million (City of Vancouver) and $1 million (W.J. VanDusen). Mr. VanDusenís generosity was recognized by naming the garden for him.

This spectacular garden in the heart of Vancouver has matured into a botanical garden of international stature since opening to the public in 1975. The mild Vancouver climate allows the cultivation of an outstanding plant collection which is a delight any time of the year. There are over 7,500 different kinds of plants assembled from six continents.

The garden design features displays of plants in picturesque landscape settings. Specific garden areas are planted to illustrate botanical relationships, such as the Rhododendron Walk, or geographical origins, as in Sino Himalayan Garden. These areas are set amidst rolling lawns, tranquil lakes and dramatic rock work with vistas of the mountains and Vancouver cityscape.

Web site: VanDusen Botanical Garden

Hastings Park

Hastings Park, with its 65 hectares (162 acres) of land, is destined to become the second largest park in the City of Vancouver. It is located in the northeast sector of the city in a neighbourhood called Hastings-Sunrise, and is bounded by Hastings Street, Renfrew Street, McGill Street and the Trans-Canada Highway.

Web site: Hastings Park

Bloedel Floral Conservatory

The Conservatory is one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver and is open daily, rain or shine. A modest fee is charged. It is dedicated to the wonders of the natural world with an emphasis on plants and birds. As a matter of fact, over 100 birds of various species call the Bloedel Conservatory home and free-fly within its spacious dome. It was constructed through a very generous donation from Prentice Bloedel in 1969. That same donation enabled the Park Board to cover the main reservoir atop Queen Elizabeth Park.

Web site: Bloedel Floral Conservatory

Vancouver BC Neighbourhood Parks

Visit the City Of Vancouver's PArks and Gardens Web Site for more information on all of the regional parks in Vancouver BC.

Web site: Vancouver BC Neighbourhood Parks

The Grouse Grind TM

Challenge yourself with Vancouver's most famous hike, the Grouse Grind - often referred to as "Mother Nature's Stairmaster." This rigorous 2.9 km (1.8 mile) hike takes you straight up the face of Grouse Mountain, a climb that rises 853 metres (2,800 feet) half again the size of the CN tower in Toronto.

Web site: The Grouse Grind TM
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Vancouver British Columbia Beaches

Vancouver BC, a city on the ocean, has a good selection of beaches. All but Wreck Beach have Lifeguards on duty during beach hours and 2 beaches, Second Beach in Stanley Park and Kitsilano Beach have huge, heated swimming pools allowing you to enjoy nice warm water with the feel and look of being next to the ocean. Vancouver's beaches are well worth the visit.

The City of Vancouver Beaches Web Site

About 18 km (11 miles) of beaches surround Vancouver. We have special areas that have been designated for swimming, ensuring maximum lifeguard coverage. Vancouver beaches are staffed by lifeguards from Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day weekend (May 22-Sept. 6, 2004). Lifeguards are on duty usually from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Lifeguards are off duty at 8:30 p.m. in mid-August due to earlier sunsets. However, anytime the red light is ON, lifeguards are off duty.
Phone for beach information: 1-(604) 738-8535
Web site: The City of Vancouver Beaches

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Vancouver British Columbia Parks and Gardens

Parks & Garden Finder

Adding to the spectacular natural environment of beaches, mountains and sea, clean air and water, are Vancouverís more than 200 diverse parks, including destination parks, small neighbourhood parks, remnant woodlands and ravines, seawall walks and beaches, display gardens, botanical collections, golf courses and 120,000 street trees. Find a park by neighbourhood(s), by the type of recreation facility within the park, or by entering the name (or partial name) of the park, facility, or street.
Phone: 1-(604) 938-7747
Toll-free: 1-(800) 766-0449
Web site: Parks & Garden Finder

Garden Inspired Tourism

Beautiful British Columbia abounds with glorious gardens, each with its own unique charm and appeal. Scroll through our Garden page to find a complete listing of beautiful gardens.
Phone: 1-(604) 574-7772
Web site: Garden Inspired Tourism

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