#201: Portal Park

“It’s a place where business people working in the downtown core smoke and chill briefly.”

#20 in Downtown

1099 West Hastings Street

For Kids

F



For Adults

D+



Design

C



Atmosphere

C



Final Score

14.33


When it opened in 1987 — “primarily for downtown office people”, as the Vancouver Sun put it — you could still see the mountains and Lions Gate Bridge from this small park. But in the intervening decades, towers and convention centres have blocked the view.

What remains is a little piece of Expo-era architecture, curved canopies and inaccessible paths, a perfectly average place to have that lunch away from the desk but little else.

There’s a picture of a globe in the middle; a sign of the city’s worldly ambition in the 1980s, with the politics of the park being a product of a land swap with a developer long forgotten.

Portal Park under construction in the mid 1980s (Courtesy Vancouver Archives)

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