Rating Every Park In Vancouver: #220-211

#220: Roundhouse Turntable Plaza

“Mean,Sarcastic,judgemental Guy in frontdesk that plays volleyball.”

#21 in Downtown

181 Roundhouse Mews

For Kids

F



For Adults

D-



Design

C-



Atmosphere

C-



Final Score

12.03


Community centres are operated by the Park Board, which means generally the land surrounding community centres is a park, but what happens when the community centre is in the middle of downtown and there’s no space for fields? 

You get something like the Roundhouse Turntable Plaza, a space next to the community centre of the same name, featuring an old-timey train turntable and a few benches and tables, paying homage to Yaletown’s industrial rail past.  

Which doesn’t make it a good “park”, per se.

But it’s an interesting place to wait while you pick someone up from the community centre.  

#219: Kinross Ravine Park

“Its more like a walkway.”

#13 in Killarney

3350 Southeast Marine Drive

For Kids

D-



For Adults

D



Design

D+



Atmosphere

C



Final Score

12.21


A tremendously weird and underutilized space, Kinross Ravine is a mid-sized plot of land on a steep slope between Marine Way and Southeast Marine Drive in the far southeast corner of the city, at the very end of the looping cul de sacs and co-ops that make up Champlain Heights. 

You take a path through a wooded area with a dramatic descent, making it look very impressive on first blush, but at the bottom it’s mostly marshy weeds. Accessibility is a big problem: accessing the path on the high north side is only possible with stairs, and leaving on the low south side requires inching along a narrow, dangerous path right next to a busy road. 

The city said a long-term strategy was to establish a functional ecological corridor to connect this with the much larger and much better Everett Crowley Park. That would be nice. 

#218: Thornton Park

“grass and ducks.”

#5 in Strathcona

1166 Main Street

For Kids

F



For Adults

D+



Design

C



Atmosphere

C-



Final Score

12.38


One of the older parks in Vancouver, Thornton sits across from the historic Pacific Central Station, and sitting next to the Main Street-Science World SkyTrain station, it could conceivably be a vibrant park.

It isn’t. 

Yes, there’s the periodic farmers market. But the many small trees inhibit play, benches and chairs are minimal, and there are no other amenities. The biggest problem however is the geese, and their poop, which have made the park their domain since the previous headquarters of the neighbourhood geese was displaced by construction. 

The result is a underutilized park — a shame, since the Marker of Change monument in the middle, honouring the 14 women murdered in École Polytechnique massacre, is understated and worth seeing. 

#217: Langara Park

#6 in Oakridge

200 West 49th Avenue

For Kids

D-



For Adults

D+



Design

C-



Atmosphere

D+



Final Score

12.50


A small strip of grass between Langara College and the parking lot for Langara Golf Course, Langara Park is a pleasant enough space to throw a frisbee or have a picnic in between classes, but little else. There have been plenty of attempts to create more park land in or around the golf course over the years, but for now this is the extent of it. 

Premier John Horgan held an event at this park during the 2020 election campaign, partly because it was home to a riding the NDP hoped to take, but likely because it was a place where they could be confident setting up large amounts of cameras and people, given how empty it usually is.   

#216: Park Site on Jervis

#9 in West End

1300 Beach Avenue

For Kids

D-



For Adults

D



Design

C-



Atmosphere

C-



Final Score

12.88


At the intersection of Pacific Street and Beach Avenue in the West End sits an elongated traffic median that facilitates the effective merging of the streets, but amusingly is also its own park.

While there’s not much to do, the view of English Bay is tremendous, and tucked between a collection of somewhat tropical trees is a 10-foot-high fountain, donated to the city to honour its centennial, surrounded by a couple benches. 

#215: Jean Beaty Park

“Nice view of the city.”

#17 in Kitsilano

3993 Point Grey Road

For Kids

D-



For Adults

D+



Design

D+



Atmosphere

C



Final Score

13.00


Along Point Grey Road, Vancouver has a number of small waterfront parks, all of which have wonderful views, all of which used to have homes on them.

The westernmost one was also the last to be created — Jean Beaty Park, named for the homeowner who sold the land to the Park Board for far below market value. 

Today the homes on either side are valued at more than $10 million, but the park itself is a little smaller than the other waterfront pocket parks, with two paths limiting the amount of green space.

But if you live within a couple blocks and want a serene view, you’ll have no complaints. 

#214: Triangle Park

#13 in Mount Pleasant

151 Athletes Way

For Kids

D-



For Adults

D+



Design

C-



Atmosphere

C-



Final Score

13.25


The waterfront path along Olympic Village between Science World and Hinge Park is one of those places you would take people to if you wanted to explain modern Vancouver — a collection of immaculately designed public spaces and waterfront views and separated pedestrian and cycling paths that seems utopian so long as you don’t ponder the economics of it all. 

In the middle of that is a weird sliver of land that’s technically a park.

Called “Triangle” in the planning stages and in databases, but never publicly named as such, there are two long undulating benches (with overhanging structures that could be covered to protect from the rain, but aren’t, because Vancouver), surrounded by a bit of grass.

A fine space to enjoy a bite to eat, but another area where one wonders why it’s technically a park. 

#213: Arbutus Park

“Blaaaaa plain jane dead grass.”

#9 in Kerrisdale

7601 Arbutus Street

For Kids

D-



For Adults

C-



Design

D



Atmosphere

D



Final Score

13.46


Donated in 1958 by George Kidd, former president of BC Electric Company, this park provides a large expanse of trees (mostly of the willow and oak variety) on a mid-sized parcel of grass. 

Like many west side parks, if you live nearby it’s okay for a picnic, but its location next to Southwest Marine Drive makes it fairly noisy. 

If that doesn’t sound exciting, that’s because it isn’t.

But undeveloped triangle parks are a beacon of this city, and this is certainly one of them. 

#212: Commissioner Park

“Not much of a park but a nice spot to sit on a bench.”

#19 in Hastings-Sunrise

2709 Wall Street

For Kids

D-



For Adults

D+



Design

D+



Atmosphere

C



Final Score

13.50


As the west side of Vancouver has the Point Grey miniparks, the east side has the Wall Street ones — little pockets of land that used to be homes, and are small waterfront green spaces for the enjoyment of the public, assuming your enjoyment is mostly derived from quietly enjoying the view.

This one, just off Slocan Street, is the least essential, owing mostly to the fact that hedges and trees block 80% of the view, only providing tiny slivers of the north shore mountains in the distance. 

#211: Angus Park

“Usually completely empty, occasionally graced by a rich local from one of the nearby mansions, walking their untrained purebred bored and stressed out dog.”

#5 in Shaughnessy

3600 Angus Drive

For Kids

D



For Adults

D



Design

D



Atmosphere

D



Final Score

13.60


Another west side neighbourhood with another unremarkable triangle park, Angus is named for a Canadian Pacific Railway Director who never lived in Vancouver — which was common for much of the surrounding Shaughnessy neighbourhood, created by the railway company in the early 20th century. 

There are a number of interesting trees (including a Chinese Fir and Swamp Cypress), and enough space that the neighbourhood dogs can frolic freely even if it’s not technically an off-leash area.

But would one come here if they didn’t live in Shaugnessy? No, they would not. 

Next: Parks #210-201

One thought on “Rating Every Park In Vancouver: #220-211

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