“Too many children.”
#3 in Downtown
1455 Quebec Street
At the risk of making this a further exercise in the Extended McElroy Universe, the reason Science World is considered the most iconic building in Vancouver has a fair bit to do with its shape, but a lot to do with what it represents and where it stands.
Science World, of course, was created as the signature building in Vancouver’s 1986 Expo; an event which itself was linked with years of city boosterism and development before it actually arrived.
As a result, virtually all of the key physical centerpieces of the Expo Era — Science World itself, but also BC Place and the first line of the SkyTrain system — coalesce in the same area, where False Creek ends and downtown opens up.
So if you were a kid living in B.C. in the 90s, and made a trip to Vancouver, you were making a trip to the big city. And it was on the Expo Line, when it curves around Science World and shows the full scope of downtown, that you were really wowed, and realized how small Victoria or Langley or Kamloops was in comparison.
All of that is to say that Creekside Park, sitting right to Science World, sitting right next to False Creek, with a walking path on one side and a bike path on the other, well, it has a lot of built-in advantages.
But even if you’re not enjoying the view and its symbolic joy, there are things to do, mostly if you’re a kid. The playground was renovated a few years ago, and is top-tier, with arguably the best slide in the city roaring down from a sort of fake tree fort high in the air.
It’s also worth mentioning a number of smaller slides and swings, a zip line and a little sandy area, all designed to be as accessible as possible — the only drawback being a lack of a spray park, just how busy it gets, and a minimal amount of sitting areas for adults.
And ultimately, it’s the lack of things for adults to do that holds Creekside back from being a Top-10 park: unless you want to compete with the geese for room on the lawn to suntan, there’s not to do.
Luckily, the conversion of Concord Pacific’s endless parking lots next to Creekside into a pop-up park has finally happened, and that has provided adults with a much better space to enjoy themselves (Ping pong tables! Fancy chairs! Benches galore!), but that’s not actually in the park.
The limited space is well-designed though, particularly how the bike path loops behind the park. And on a summer night, with the sun setting slowly behind Science World, False Creek, downtown, and the expanse of ocean behind it all?
You understand a little bit why this city entrances — and why this exact spot was designed as one of its main selling points.