“Pretty much the Cadillac of city parks.”
#1 in Marpole
900 West 59th Avenue
Some parks get a good score because of how they feel, and some parks accumulate a good score because of the amount of things they have for people to do. Oak Park is the latter.
In fact, it’s the only park in the city with washrooms, a spray park, all-purpose fields, a baseball diamond, tennis and basketball courts, and a place for ball hockey.
Is that list a little bit cherrypicked? Perhaps, but those sorts of amenities form the backbone of a park system, and you can enjoy all of them at Oak — and only Oak.
There’s more to park than just a collection of amenities though. Oak also has a quirky 80s vibe to its entire design, a spooky batting cage and large lights that allow for nighttime sports. The playground has three separate structures for different ages, and the spray park has a number of bridges and areas where water springs up, providing variety for a child’s experience. It’s definitely a top-10 park for kids, even if there’s no wow factor (though again, that’s the theme at Oak).
And while most of the park’s amenities are bunched up together in the north, the tennis courts are in a quieter area in the south separated by trees, which solves the aesthetic problem that large fenced-off tennis courts in the middle of parks often create.
There’s pretty much no things to do or places to eat near Oak Park, and it’s one of the last parks in this journey where we can’t say it’s absolutely essential for Vancouverites to visit if they’ve never been. Construction on a new modern community centre within the park is scheduled for 2023, with completion a couple years after that, at which point the area might become somewhat more of a destination.
Still, we judge most parks by how well it serves its intended purpose — and Oak does that and then some.