There’s a reason Vancouver consistently ranks high in ‘best cities in the world to live’ lists. On the one hand, you have a cosmopolitan, big city buzz, while the other holds mountain views, breezy oceanfront living and the 1000-acre Stanley Park.
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest urban park, bigger even than New York’s Central park, attracting roughly 8 million visitors every year. The park is a sanctuary with blossoming gardens, a water park, miniature railway and much more. You could spend days here exploring every facet of its diverse landscape and still not see everything, so we’ve put together just a few of our favourite highlights.
A symbol of Vancouver’s aboriginal heritage, the nine totem poles at Brockton Point are the most visited of Stanley Park’s features. Although the originals were replaced with well-crafted replicas in the 1980s to preserve them, they are still a master craft of artwork, standing proud and foreboding against the vibrancy of the forestry.
Named after Pauline Johnson’s poem ‘Ode to the Lost Lagoon,’ this 41-acre lake is near the base of the park, west of the Georgia Street Entrance. As well as being a nesting ground to the non-native mute swan and Canadian Geese, it’s also home to peacocks and great blue herons.
Particularly beautiful at night is the lit fountain, erected by Robert Harold Williams to commemorate the city’s golden jubilee.
Encircling the perimeter of Stanley Park is the Seawall. It covers roughly 5 miles and is used often by joggers and cyclists, but it’s also a great spot for a romantic walk. Photographers will wonder at the views here, particularly of downtown Vancouver, the North Shore Mountains and the Lions Gate Bridge.
Not only is this a public aquarium, it’s also a centre for marine research, conservation and marine animal rehabilitation. The aquarium is home to over 50,000 animals from across the world, including sea lions, sea otters, dolphins and penguins.