#204: Shaughnessy Park

“I sometimes amuse myself by imagining that the bloated plutocrats would all simultaneously emerge from the surrounding mansion-cum-palaces ( dressed in top hat and morning suits, like that jolly little fellow from the Monopoly game) to engage in an impromptu game of ‘Gurkha Football’ – no field boundaries, goal posts or referees, their only notion of the game being to kick the ball as hard as ever they could and then run after it laughing like madmen and shouting ‘footba’ !'”

this eventuality is unlikely to occur, but I think that the world would be a little bit nicer if it did.”

#4 in Shaughnessy

1300 The Crescent

For Kids

D



For Adults

D+



Design

C-



Atmosphere

D+



Final Score

13.75


If you were an alien studying Vancouver from afar, you might think Shaughnessy Park would be amazing.  

After all, it’s a park right in the middle of the wealthiest neighbourhood in Vancouver. It’a large circle, in a centrally-planned area built 110 years ago, with all roads in the community leading towards it. Surely, the park would evoke a grand experience teeming with people. 

And yet. 

The circle has a small dirt path through it. It’s home to a variety of trees, common and rare, that are too plentiful to make games of sport possible, but too few to create a true forested experience. It has no washrooms, and no amenities of any kind.

Of course, all neighbourhoods in Vancouver have these sorts of minimalist green spaces. But Shaughnessy is the only one of the city’s 22 neighbourhoods where a majority of its parks have zero amenities. 

“The Crescent”, as it was known originally, in the early days of Vancouver and Shaughnessy. Courtesy Vancouver Archives

Why? The obvious answer is that virtually every resident lives in a large single-family home with an expansive backyard. As a result, dynamic parks have rarely been needed or requested, especially compared to neighbourhoods like Mount Pleasant or Kitsilano. 

At the same time, Shaughnessy’s population has slowly diminished and gotten older over the last 25 years, further reducing community demand for new amenities. 

So if all you need is a bench to watch the trees, or a space to walk your dog, then Shaughnessy Park does just fine. 

It’s a symbolic park. But the symbols may be different depending on who you are.  

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