“It was a nice park to be stuck in traffic beside.”
#7 in Hastings-Sunrise
2875 Oxford Street
Callister is a nice park but fairly generic, the type we’ve mentioned a few times, with basic amenities but small design touches that elevate it.
So let’s do some more history time, because Callister has plenty.
Originally just a few acres of land owned by the Callister family, it was turned into a sports field by local promoter Con Jones — best known for his local cigar store empire — in 1912. Over the years, the field’s ownership transferred from Jones, back to the Callister family, and to the City of Vancouver, with a few jurisdictional skirmishes between the park board, city and PNE over the years.
The arena was home to soccer, baseball, rodeo, even demolition derby. It was the type of place less remembered for its architecture or design, and more for the fact it could hold all sorts of events and all sorts of memories for two generations of the city.
By the time it was destroyed in 1971, it had been in deteriorating condition for decades, eulogized by Vancouver Sun writer Denny Boyd as “a place of sweat and controversy, of athletic achievement and political bickering. It was burned down, plowed up, returfed and damned.”
Now it’s a perfectly acceptable park. There’s a small forest in the middle that little ones can explore, an older playground in a bowl shape, lots of benches and trees and green space, ideal for either light sports or chill hangs. Renfrew Street can get busy, but the park is deep enough and there’s enough trees that it fits in comfortably with the rest of the neighbourhood
Not bad for a place with plenty of history that bellies its modest stature today.