“A beautiful old park with old trees in a part of the city most people just drive through. It’s popular with locals, it seems, and rightly so.”
#2 in Kerrisdale
6875 Yew Street
While so many of Vancouver’s great parks scream their Vancouverness, Maple Grove has a more universal feel, as though it could be dropped in any growing city in the 1950s and suddenly be packed with families enjoying its pleasures.
There are two particularly noteworthy things about Maple Grove. The first is its pool, and while that might sound like repetition right after New Brighton, there are only five outdoor pools in the city, and Maple Grove’s has a unique shape, more of an elongated liver with little curves everywhere, providing plenty of exploring opportunities for youngsters.
The second is its trees. Or more specifically, the stumps: huge century-old beasts, kept in place in 1913 after the trees were logged, “so that children, years hence, would have an idea of the great stands of timber that once covered Point Grey”. Or at least so says the plaque.
These are excellent for small children (or adults who are small children at heart) to run into and create their own little worlds. But there are also plenty of regular trees — much more than most city parks, where they would likely have removed decades earlier to create more field space — and they provide a unique separation between each area of the park, along with a quieter section to explore or to picnic in.
And in general, we’re in favour of parks with little forests (you’ll see a lot of them near the top of this list) because aside from providing variety and a connection to nature, they also help create some internal routing through a park, instead of a hodgepodge of activity areas.
One must also note the washrooms and concession stands, picnic tables and two barbeques on site, a playground (though it’s old and needs an upgrade) and field space for soccer and baseball.
It all adds up to an excellent park for families, a fairly unique park in Vancouver as a whole, and a quiet gem.