Activities and Dining
Brockton Oval offers options for a multitude of sports including cricket matches on first-class pitches, rugby tournaments, and small track and field events. Athletic fields at Brockton Point were first opened in 1891 serving as many as 10 different sport groups. First built in 1927 and strategically located between the rugby and cricket fields, the Brockton Clubhouse received a major restoration in 1984.
Malkin Bowl is a historic outdoor performance space in Stanley Park that was originally built in 1934. The venue has been home to the Theatre Under the Stars musical theatre company for more than 65 years, and has hosted Canadian musicians such as Blue Rodeo, Broken Social Scene, and The Tragically Hip.
In 1982, Malkin Bowl burnt down and was quickly rebuilt. Major renovations were undertaken in 2011, adding a heating system, insulation and a stage door. The heated stage is available to rent for seasonal events and regularly hosts outdoor entertainment. There is also an indoor rehearsal space that is available to rent year-round.
Second Beach Pool
The Second Beach Pool is located on the west side of Stanley Park. It is an outdoor heated pool that is open from May to September. The pool offers graduated depths, lifeguards, and an area for swimming laps.
Stanley Park Horse Drawn Tours
Stanley Park Horse Drawn Tours operates from mid March to the end of October. Their professional guides narrate tours that highlight Deadman’s Island, Lions Gate Bridge, the red cedar forest and Vancouver’s Harbour. Stops are made at the Girl in a Wet Suit Statue, Rose Garden, SS Empress of Japan Figurehead, Totem Poles at Brockton Point and Vancouver’s Harbour.
Relax and enjoy a peaceful one hour horse-drawn carriage ride through the park’s eastern side. Tours depart from the kiosk at the Coal Harbour parking lot beside the first information booth off the Georgia Street entrance to Stanley Park. Up to 20 passengers can fit per carriage. No reservations are required and the carriages are wheelchair accessible.
Stanley Park Miniature Train
The miniature train winds along two kilometres of track that travels over trestles and through tunnels. It carries more than 200,000 passengers per year, and is a popular attraction.
Stanley Park Pitch and Putt
The Stanley Park Pitch and Putt offers sculpted fairways, mature trees and lush greens in a spectacular setting alongside English Bay. The pitch and putt course is minutes from Downtown Vancouver, and is located close to many of Stanley Park’s best amenities including the tennis courts, lawn bowling club and Second Beach swimming pool. The course features 18 holes ranging from 40 to 100 yards, and is bordered by the gorgeous Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden.
There are 11 free tennis courts near the Beach Avenue entrance to Stanley Park. Use of the courts is on a first-come, first-served basis, with a 30-minute limit on play if someone is waiting. More free courts are located near Lost Lagoon along Lagoon Drive at Robson Street. From late April to early September, six courts at the Beach Avenue entrance to Stanley Park are operated as pay courts. They can be booked up to a week in advance, contact Tennis in Stanley Park to reserve a court during the summer months.
The Stanley Park Tennis Club is an outdoor tennis club made up of adult intermediate players that meet twice a week for social doubles play on courts 15, 16, and 17 – the upper courts adjacent to the Fish House. The summer season starts on April 30 and runs every Tuesday and Friday until September 6. Games are held from 5:30 PM until dark with partners changing every half-hour. Tennis balls are provided by the club.
Totem poles are monumental sculptures carved from large trees, mostly Western Red Cedar, by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. The word totem is derived from the Ojibwe word odoodem, which means “his kinship group.”
The nine totem poles at Brockton Point are British Columbia’s most visited tourist attraction. The collection began in the 1920s at Lumberman’s Arch when the park board bought four totems from Alert Bay on Vancouver Island. In celebration of the 1936 Golden Jubilee, more totems were brought from Haida Gwaii. In the mid 1960s, the totem poles were moved to Brockton Point. Robert Yelton of the Squamish Nation carved the ninth and most recent totem pole, which was added to Brockton Point in 2009. Coast Salish artist Susan Point carved the three beautiful red cedar portals that welcome visitors to the Brockton Point Visitor Centre and to the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people.
Few examples of poles carved before 1900 exist today because of decay in the rainforest environment. The Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver have a few examples, dating as far back as 1880. While eighteenth century accounts of European explorers along the coast indicate that poles existed prior to 1800, they were smaller and few in number than in subsequent decades.
The Vancouver Aquarium was formed as the Vancouver Public Aquarium Association in 1951, and was opened on June 15, 1956. It is Canada’s first public aquarium and is a self-supporting, non-profit organization. The Vancouver Aquarium has become the largest aquarium in Canada and one of the five largest in North America.
Vancouver Trolley Company
In the summer months, the Vancouver Trolley Company offers a daily 45-minute narrated hop-on, hop-off tour of Stanley Park. The old-fashioned San Francisco-style trolley stops at 15 of the park’s most popular spots. The shuttle is wheelchair accessible. The tour is in effect from June 21 to September 3, and operates Thursday to Monday from 11 AM to 6:30 PM.
Cafés and Restaurants
Visitors to Stanley Park can dine at one of its classic restaurants while enjoying stunning views of the ocean and forest. There are several seasonal concession stands with affordable prices and a variety of fast food located throughout the park. Food carts from Vancouver’s Food Cart Program are also found in the park.
The Fish House
The Fish House is nestled between the park’s western bank of tennis courts and the Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden. This popular restaurant was built in the 1930s and has the comfortable feel of a private lodge or sports club.
Prospect Point Café
The Prospect Point Café has spectacular views of the Burrard Inlet, Lions Gate Bridge and North Shore Mountains. The full service café and gift shop are open year-round and are a popular choice in the park. Don’t miss their world famous ice cream.
Stanley’s Park Bar and Grill
Located inside the Stanley Park Pavillion, Stanley’s Park Bar and Grill is situated in a rustic park-style building from the turn of the last century. In 2011, the restaurant celebrated 100 years. It features a 200-seat patio and a 50-seat bar, and is open from June to September. The restaurant is also available for private functions throughout the year.
Teahouse in Stanley Park
Photographs of the restaurants will be published in June 2013.
Seawall and Trails
The City of Vancouver Seawall is a 22 kilometre waterfront path for cyclists, joggers, inline skaters and pedestrians. The seawall extends through Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, English Bay, False Creek, past Granville Island and the Burrard Street Bridge, through Vanier Park and ends at Kitsilano Beach. The Stanley Park section of the Seawall is 8.8 kilometres in length.
The Seawall is used by more than 2,500,000 people every year. Most of the park remains forested with an estimated 500,000 trees, some of which stand as tall as 76 metres and are hundreds of years old. There are approximately 200 kilometres of trails and roads throughout the forest that are patrolled by the Vancouver Police Department’s equine mounted squad.
The Seawall is the most popular recreational facility in Vancouver and is on many tourism top ten “to do” lists. The seawall is divided into two sections, one for pedestrians and joggers and another for cyclists and inline skaters on the inside path. Travel is two-way on the path, except in Stanley Park. People stay to the right to allow room for people going in the other direction. In Stanley Park, cycling and inline skating is one-way between Georgia Street and the Second Beach concession. Cyclists and skaters travel in a counterclockwise direction only. It takes two to three hours to walk or one hour to cycle. On shared paths cyclists and inline skaters yield to pedestrians.