#16 in West End
In 1974, construction began on a number of mini parks in the west end, small areas where a road stops and is replaced by a small walkway for 100 metres or so. At the time, city planner John Coates told The Vancouver Sun they were “primarily meant to deal with the traffic problem.”
Today, they retain the same basic purposes of controlling traffic first, and providing an interesting park experience second: most have some nice plants and benches, but there’s rarely any green space, things for kids to do, or space for any activities. We believe Gilford and Haro is the worst of them because it’s the most cramped, and half was under renovation when we reviewed it, but your mileage may vary.
But even the most average parks provide some benefits. Back to that Vancouver Sun story on their creation: a reporter went out and spoke to people enjoying them. One of them was K.J. Marshall, a 94-year-old who had lived in the city for — at that time — nearly all of its existence.
His verdict? “It’s a nice break to be able to sit here for a minute or two.”
Sometimes, that’s all a park has to be.