#193: Pigeon Park

“Be kind be fair be safe ❤”

#18 in Downtown

399 Carall Street

For Kids

F



For Adults

D-



Design

C



Atmosphere

B+



Final Score

15.33


In 1968, in a story on Vancouver’s “skid row”, a reporter for The Province described Pigeon Park as “loaded with drunks” and “dangerous now for women and children to walk through.” 

“A dreary panorama of human misery,” declared a Vancouver Sun reporter in 1970. 

“Do away with it” declared reporter Harvey Oberfeld in 1972, saying that the park had “gone straight downhill” since the very day it was created by the city in 1938, saying “let’s face it, the battle for Pigeon Park has been lost.”  

Well, it’s still here. So are the folks who carve out space for themselves in a little triangle of land at Carall and Hastings. After a multi-year political skirmish that saw “Pioneer Place” transferred over to the park board in the 1970s, Pigeon Park — named for the birds that frequent it — has continued to be a place where the most marginalized in the Downtown Eastside have a bit more outside space than just a sidewalk.  

It is far from perfect or ideal for anyone, and many of the adjectives used in the 60s and 70s could be used today, if you were so inclined.

But it’s a well-used park by those who perhaps need it the most. 

Pigeon Park as it looked in the 1960s (Courtesy Vancouver Archives).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: