“It’s a nice park. Nothing spectacular.”
#10 in Kitsilano
2091 West 7th Avenue
Likely the only park in all of Metro Vancouver named for a boys band leader (Kitislano’s Arthur Delamont), the backstory of Delamont is interesting in itself — the city purchased a number of properties in the area, hoping to build a six-lane mini-highway through the area, but when neighbourhood backlash changed their mind, the properties were turned into green space.
Aside from the backstory and the shape (essentially two small connected triangles, divided by the Arbutus Greenway as it turns right), Delamont is a fairly normal small park with a basic playground.
That’s how most of our team viewed it, but a wonderful thing about parks is they can speak to us in different ways. In this case, one of our members had wildly positive things to say about Delamont. Specifically, the way the two parts of the park are separated.
“We’ve been ranking parks on what they have, not so much what they do. I think most urban parks are for pressure relief, relief from being cooped up in the city (This is one reason I think Stanley Park is not really rankable with other city parks; they are mostly on the scale of relieving pressure in the neighbourhood, but Stanley and Queen Elizabeth are about relieving the pressure of the whole city),” he wrote.
“This low pressure environment needs separation from the city. That’s why I’m always going on about the bevels: they’re the basic way of protecting the park from the high-pressure surroundings. Delamont has those bevel buffers. But the real point of Delamont is how that pressure gets focused into the hinge.
“Either two parts would be respectable on their own as small parks. But together, with the contrast and the energy, that’s when it becomes magical. Going from one space to another. It’s a canal.
“There are other reasons Delamont’s great. Classic playground, greenway access, great bench placement, tall trees. There’s a herb garden where I picked mint I put in last night’s salad. You can see downtown and the mountains.
“But the key, and the thing I haven’t seen in other city parks, is that hinge. The narrows that speed the river before it spreads out again and slows.”