“Too crowded, too many seagulls, and my bike got stolen. Worst beach in the world, hands down.”
#1 in West Point Grey
3941 Point Grey Road
Spoiler: after months of “research” there was no real debate in our group over what Vancouver’s best park was. And there was no serious debate over what the second best park was, though we’ll get to that next.
But what won the bronze medal was the matter of some debate, because ultimately it’s a question of what matters most for a great park: is it iconic views? Activities for people to do? A sense of place and history?
We chose Jericho, because it has all of that.
The beach is the thing that attracts the most people, of course — a nice smooth arc of sand that looks towards Stanley Park and the north shore, bordered by a private yacht club on one side and a public sailing club on the other (a nice dichotomy of this city if there ever was one).
It’s a good beach, but if we were going just by sand quality or quantity, Jericho would be behind Spanish Banks and arguably Kits as well.
It’s all the other things around the beach where Jericho shines though. Tennis courts and a rugby field, a good turf soccer field: add it up, and it’s a dense collection of larger athletic facilities you won’t find at other beaches.
And then there’s the more informal grassy spaces behind the beach. The long, sprawling field is home of the Folk Festival every summer, and is a solid hangout spot for frisbee or tanning the rest of the time.
But there’s also the pond and marshy area further south, and a heavily treed area with plenty of trails. There’s concessions at one end of the park and a pier that extends decently far into the ocean at the other.
The history of Jericho is also full of little local signifiers as well: its name a likely butchering of “Jerry’s Cove”, named for a logging manager in the area, its docks once home to the Royal Canadian Air Force and a United Nations conference on urbanism in the 1970s. After Vancouver purchased most of the land in 1969, there was a long debate on whether it would be parkland or housing.
All very Vancouver things, in ways loud and quiet. All in a convenient location to get to. All in all, a great park.