“I didn’t want to give this place 5 stars because it’s a hidden gem of East Van.”
#3 in Hastings-Sunrise
650 North Penticton Street
Of the 241 parks in the city, the accurately named Burrard View is the only one to get a B grade in all four of our categories — which is to say, a mark between 7 and 7.5. Let us explore why there is such consistency in this unique park.
For Kids: the playground is quite old, with the smaller play structures for smaller kids in need of significant TLC. But those play structures are quite extensive, and the old wooden teeter totter and main play area hold ample charm, even if the gravel and rock bottom loses it some points. The underused wading pool is an underused wading pool.
For Adults: There’s a small but good off-leash dog area, with a gentle hill and a few rocks and bushes that provide some variety. There’s also two tennis courts on the far south side of the park, and several benches to take in the view of Burrard Inlet. And there are washroom facilities as well, which are never a bad thing.
For Design: It’s hard to go wrong with such an excellent view of the Inlet and the North Shore mountains behind it. Otherwise, it’s a tricky park to make the most of because so much of it is on a hill or used by the St. James hospice, but the dog park does a good job of using much of that space. Still, there’s no real fence or signage denoting you’ve entered The Dog Park Area, and the south side of the park between the playground and the washroom is a little underutilized.
For Atmosphere: “Atmosphere” can mean a lot of different things, and often people used it as a way to put their thumb on the scale for things in (or around) the park they particularly liked. Burrard View has a heritage feel in a quiet part of the city, a wonderful view and a neat backstory — the park was formerly home to an orphanage, juvy detention home, and family court — even if there’s no natural path through the park, or things to do around it.
In short, nothing about Burrard View Park is great. But everything about it is good.