In 2014, Stanley Park National Historic Site of Canada [yes that’s its official name] got ranked “Top Park in the Entire World” by TripAdvisor [based on] consumer reviews. For about 130 years, it has been designated as “green space.”
The land on which the park stands was home to First Nations (indigenous) people until 1858 when the British colonised the region. When the City of Vancouver was incorporated in 1886, the land was converted into the city’s first park. Its name comes from the Governor General of the time, Lord Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby.
The 405-hectare green oasis in the middle of Metro Vancouver was formed through natural forest evolution over the years (rather than constructed by park and landscape architects). There are about 500,000 trees, some of which have been around for a hundred years. In those one hundred years, three major windstorms destroyed thousands of trees; thus replanting has to be done.
Happiness is catching the autumn leaves still on their trees!
Biking and hiking are popular not just in all of Vancouver but especially in this park along forest trails, lakes, beaches, by the seawall and viewpoints.
A view of Canada Place just across the water at adjacent Coal Harbor:
First Nations Totem Poles:
The engraved message below:
The Totem was the British Columbia Indians’s coat of arms. Totem poles are unique to the north west coast of B.C. and lower Alaska. They were carved from western red cedar and each carving tells of a real or mythical event. They were not idols nor were the worshipped. Each carving on each pole has a meaning. The eagle represents the kingdom of the air. The whale the lordship of the sea. The wolf, the genius of the land, and the frog, the transitional link between land and sea.
If you have more time, you can also explore the Vancouver Aquarium, Lost Lagoon, Beaver Lake, Second Beach and Third Beach, eat at the cafes.
Here, nature, culture, history, fun and fitness are quick to run to for some detox and R&R in the middle of the day. What a lovely refuge from urban woes!