“Crowded. Weed infested. No great vistas.”
#7 in Victoria-Fraserview
6675 Commercial Street
If one wanted to make a case that Vancouver gives less attention to the south side of the city when it comes to amenities, you could start at Gordon.
The park is one of the 30 biggest in the city, a huge expanse of land comprising eight full city blocks, the only park of any significant size for more than a kilometre.
And yet, for all that space, there is a small field house, an unimaginative playground from the 1980s, and endless fields. Lots and lots of fields.
No real delineation between the fields, mind you, or interesting seating, or separation in the middle where people can have a proper picnic. Just a bunch of space for a baseball or soccer tournament, taking up more space than necessary, existing in an awkward void.
Which is all well and good! Goodness knows that green space for sports is needed — but when it’s done in a way that excludes anything else, in an era where parks have become much more multi-faceted (see the north side of the city) it’s a big disappointment.
And lest you think that Gordon has some stronger historical lineage — the park board didn’t bother to mention it in its 1972 book describing virtually every park in the city. Pictures are nowhere to be found in the city’s online archives. Newspapers rarely mention it outside of event listings.
In short, it may be the least interesting park, acre per acre, in the city. And that most of these types of parks are in the southern end of the city may or may not be a coincidence.