“Feed the birds. I wish there’s more food for birds. It breaks my heart when birds are crying.”
#3 in Strathcona
400 Powell Street
Oppenheimer has plenty of history, from being the former home of the famed Asahi baseball team to two different tent encampments in the last decade.
The most recent encampment, which lasted for two years, resulted in a multi-year shut down by the Park Board when it was over. The time was spent to spruce up what is a relatively new playground, sprucing up the fields, adding more seating, and improving the mini-community centre on site, which includes plenty of programming (including a bike repair clinic and weekly haircuts) to help a community that includes many people on the margins of society.
The end result is a park that does a lot of things, but many of them in an unwieldy way: the playground is a little sparse, the field is a little basic, and the mini-community centre feels like it could be twice as big.
In addition, Oppenheimer has become one of the worst culprits in the city of geese taking over wide swaths of the park, making the field hard to recommend for putting down a blanket and enjoying a quiet afternoon.
Overall, Oppenheimer does enough things for a wide amount of people that it’s hard to fault too much, and it certainly meets the needs for many in the community.