“This unique park was built at a cost of $1.5 million with all costs borne by Marathon Development Inc. as part of their community amenity contribution.”
#9 in Downtown
480 Broughton Street
You won’t find too many people in 2022 gushing about Vancouver’s Coal Harbour neighbourhood.
The lack of commercial outlets, strangely quiet streets, and relative lack of transit mean it’s the type of place that quickly bows out in a region-wide neighbourhood bracket, for example, or becomes a punchline for empty condos.
But while it’s fair to say the 1990s dreams for the neighbourhood didn’t pan out, the park and community centre right in the middle — funded through one of those newfangled development contributions — hit the mark.
The park is located essentially on top of the community centre, creating a number of fun transitions between the building and the serviceable green space on top. It’s slightly domed, but not so much that you can’t do stuff on it. The circular path along the outside, along with the variety of mid-sized trees and plants, provides a cohesive feel. And the playground is quite good for the 4-8 year old demographic, with a number of slides and tunnel bridges to explore.
Plus, there’s a giant sign that says “PARK”. And that a fun flourish of literalism in a small park that accomplishes its goal, even if the neighbourhood as a whole doesn’t.