#70: Emery Barnes Park

“For a small City park it sure is well designed.”

#8 in Downtown

1170 Richards Street

For Kids


For Adults






Final Score


Like many parts of Vancouver’s growth over the last 140 years, the people came to Yaletown before the amenities were fully there. 

Per a 2008 article by Frances Bula in the Vancouver Sun, in the 1990s city planners had expected 11,000 people in the downtown south area by 2016 — but it happened in 2002. The city had promised to create 2.8 hectares of park space in the area, but for a number of years, there were pretty much no green areas for the thousands who moved in during the 1990s and early 2000s.  

But bit by bit over a decade, an inland park in the heart of Yaletown grew — first as nothing more than a fountain and some benches, then a playground and an off-leash dog park, then more trees and chessboard tables.

The end result is…well, it’s a slightly above-average generic downtown park, the sort you would fully expect to see in any large metropolis: nicely integrated into the downtown core, full of hustle and bustle, nothing particularly exciting unto itself, with an off-leash dog park that is fairly tiny and fairly dusty, all things considered. 

Still, the playground is full of fun curved shapes and quite excellent for kids under eight, the ample tables and benches are good for adults, and there’s just enough space for a wide range of activities. 

There are plenty of small things to quibble with (and have been, in a period where crime in Yaletown came to the forefront), but a well-balanced green space in the middle of downtown is always something to be grateful for.

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