On September 27, 1888, Stanley Park was officially opened by David Oppenheimer in the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada. In 1889, Lord Stanley became the first Governor General to visit British Columbia when he dedicated the 400-hectare park. An observer at the event wrote that Lord Stanley threw his arms to the heavens, as though embracing within them the whole of 1,000 acres of primeval forest, and dedicated it “to the use and enjoyment of peoples of all colours, creeds, and customs, for all time. I name thee, Stanley Park.”
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest, oldest, and most popular park. The park abounds in wildlife and is an evergreen oasis of majestic cedar, fir, and hemlock trees. The park’s natural beauty attracts approximately 8,000,000 visitors each year, including locals.
Stanley Park’s magnificent trees and variety of activities make it one of the top destinations in Vancouver for locals and visitors alike. The park has lakes, sandy beaches, swimming pools, and stunning vistas from the seawall. The large expanse of grassland through the park provides an ideal spot for picnickers, group outings, and sport activities. The park is often referred to as “Vancouver’s Playground.”
The area of the park is the traditional territory of several indigenous tribes. The Squamish had many villages in the area, and the Musqueam used it for resource gathering. A large Squamish village called Xwáýxway (Place of Masks) was once located at Lumberman’s Arch. The dwellings traditionally used by the indigenous peoples were longhouses built from cedar poles and slabs. One longhouse was 61 metres (200 feet) long by 18 metres (60 feet) wide. These dwellings were occupied by large extended families living in different quadrants of the longhouse. The larger longhouses were used for ceremonial potlatches where a host would invite guests to witness and participate in ceremonies.
Take the time to spend a relaxing afternoon surrounded by the beauty and serenity of Lost Lagoon. This piece of paradise is a short stroll from English Bay and Downtown Vancouver. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon birdwatching as you take in the stunning view. Your picnic can be as simple as a deli sandwich or as elaborate as a spread of gourmet foods and epicurean delights. For out-of-town visitors, I recommend visiting Granville Island Public Market, Lonsdale Quay Market, or Urban Fair to pick up the essentials for your delicious picnic. Urban Fair has four locations in downtown Vancouver: Coal Harbour, False Creek, Shangri-la, and Yaletown. The Coal Harbour location is closest to Lost Lagoon.
Stroll along the famed seawall of North America’s third-largest park and enjoy the spectacular scenery. If you are short on time, rent a bike from one of the many rental shops near Stanley Park: Bayshore Rentals, English Bay Bike Rentals, Spokes Bicycle Rentals, and Stanley Park Cycle. The seawall allows cyclists, rollerbladers and pedestrians the opportunity to experience the magnificent beauty of Stanley Park, Vancouver and the North Shore. Stroll the seawall or relax on a park bench and enjoy the stunning view.
Teahouse in Stanley Park
The Teahouse in Stanley Park offers a stunning view of English Bay, and is my favourite place to dine in the park. A delicious brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Reservations are recommended, especially for the patio in the summer.
Theatre Under the Stars
Theatre Under the Stars is musical theatre company that has been delighting audiences with popular musical shows at Malkin Bowl for more than 65 years. It is the best theater show in town!