“Great space for parents and lots of things to keep young ones busy.”
#1 in Victoria-Fraserview
1751 East 45th Avenue
When you think of the best family parks in Vancouver, Tecumseh wouldn’t necessarily come to mind, but this smallish park in city’s southeast is popular for a reason.
First, there’s the playground: it was the centrepiece of a $500,000 renovation to the park a decade ago, and it shows. There are swings and a climbing apparatus, a bendy tree that seems to be upside down in the centre, a sandy pit with play equipment…and most importantly a tractor. A big old, honest to god tractor, one that kids young and old can climb on top of and feel very silly and joyful, and if that does not sound appealing we express regret for your lack of childlike imagination. Tractor!
Anyhow. A curved path surrounds the play area, one with plenty of benches, along with shadow figures of people practicing tai chi, a popular activity in the park. Virtually the rest of Tecumseh is devoted to off-leash dog activities — gentle grass with dandelions, maintained well enough for a picnics if there are no doggos otherwise enjoying the space.
It’s well laid out, and the entrance — going over a small bridge, surrounded by plants and trees — is particularly enchanted, in the way that a relatively secluded neighbourhood park can feel like an escape to a less busy world.
And that’s pretty much it: no sports fields, no spray parks, no tennis courts and no washrooms (though the park has enough room for a washroom, and it wouldn’t hurt given how kid-focused it is).
But we grade a park partly by the scope of its ambition, but partly on how well it fulfills that ambition. Tecumseh’s aims are modest — a quiet place where kids can play, adults can watch, dogs can run free and people can enjoy tai chi.
None of us are dogs, or kids, or people who do tai chi.
But all of the parks we visited, few seem appealing as this one.