“a doggy park but it also has a nice view can see the ocean.”
#1 in Fairview
999 Charleson Street
Charleston Park is another park next to another bike path next to another body of water, and yes it’s exhausting, we get it, but by our measurement, 16 of Vancouver’s 38 great parks are next to the ocean.
Is that due to the city placing greater focus on green spaces with waterfront views over inland areas? Our biases as a park ranking team? A fundamental reality of Vancouverism?
No matter: Charleson is great — a large area right in the middle of the South False Creek neighbourhood, created as its centerpiece park to the planned community in the 1970s.
The seawall walk and cycling path is flat, but the grass next to it is decently hilly, giving excellent contours to see Downtown from. It also provides a nice bowl shape for the large off-leash dog area in the middle of the park as well.
(For the record, designated off-leash dog areas don’t get points because we like dogs — the proprietor of this website actually doesn’t — but because they fill an important need in the city and prevent the sort of conflicts that arise when an area becomes an “unofficial” dog park because of a lack of nearby spaces)
There’s a couple of ponds that are pleasant to look at (or for a dog to dip in), and if you go further south up the hill, you’ll discover a semi-secret forested area, with a couple small trails and a connection to Laurel Land Bridge. And there’s even a big soccer field, should you live in the area and need that space for sports.
The only thing preventing Charleson from being a top tier park for a while was the lack of a modern playground.
But the new playground that opened in late 2020 has trampolines, accessible swings, slides coming out of wooden ships, and while there are a couple better parks in the city, it’s incredibly well-used and will serve the neighbourhood well for decades. Somewhat frustratingly though, no washroom was added when renovations were done, making this the highest ranked park in the city without one.
Yes, ridiculous views like the ones at Charleson are ridiculously common in Vancouver. It still takes work to make everything around it work though.
It’s not a large enough park or unique enough to be truly amazing, but everything is well executed, with activities for all ages, and it’s the product of a community that has put its values into the space.