Posted by: cherylyoung | July 20, 2013

Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver has views from all directions across the city to faraway places like Mount Baker ant The Gulf and San Juan Islands

Stanley Park’s ‘counterpark’ in Vancouver is Queen

Elizabeth Park.

 While Stanley Park is at sea level, surrounded on

 three sides by water, Queen Elizabeth is completely

 landlocked, sitting atop the so-called Little Mountain,

 an extinct volcano and the highest point in

 Vancouver at 500 feet (150 m).

From here, visitors have sweeping views in all

directions across the city to such faraway places as

 Mount Baker to the southeast, the Gulf and San Juan

Islands to the southwest, Vancouver Island to the

 west, and the Coast Mountains to the north.

This 131-acre (53-hectare) park is home to the Bloedel

 Floral Conservatory, a triodetic domed greenhouse

 that resembles a steel and plexiglas cherry atop

 a sundae.

 A well-groomed array of colourful flowers occupies

 the cone of the ancient volcano, the abandoned rock

quarries of Queen Elizabeth Park have been

 transformed into huge sunken rock gardens with ponds

 and waterfalls at every level.

It is quite deservedly the most popular spot for

 wedding photos in Vancouver.

Pathways circle the park, but it is best known as a

place to revel in the cultivated beauty of the

 conservatory, or engage in recreational activities like

 tennis, disc golf (played with a Frisbee), and

 pitch-and-putt.

 When it snows, the slopes of the little mountain

 become  a tobogganing haven.

The park is spread out between 33rd and 37th Avenues,

and between Main and Cambie Streets.

Queen Elizabeth Park Overview

 With its gorgeously-landscaped quarry gardens,

fabulous scenic vistas and 1,500-tree arboretum, the

 park is a world-class public space and one of the most

 beautiful places in the city.

Perched atop Vancouver’s highest point and covering

 130 acres (52.78 hectares), Queen Elizabeth Park is

 second only to Stanley Park in popularity and

 annual visitors.

At its peak is the park’s plaza, a paved area with

panoramic views of downtown Vancouver, a

 courtyard of dancing fountains and the

 Bloedel Floral Conservatory,home to tropical plants

 galore and 100 birds of various species.

From the plaza, visitors can follow the winding paths

 down to the quarry gardens, ponds, lawns, and

arboretum.

 The two quarry gardens are horticultural delights,

 with pathways and little bridges and mini waterfalls

 set amongst hundreds of plants and flowers.

Private spaces for rest and contemplation are easy to

 find, and the plentiful trees–over 3,000 throughout

the park–provide shade in summer and abundant

color in fall.

Sports activities at the park include the Queen

 Elizabeth Pitch & Putt golf course, Tai Chi in the

 morning atop the plaza, lawn bowling, and 18 free

 tennis courts that are first-come, first-serve.

 

Getting to Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park is located at the junction of

 Cambie St. and W 33rd Ave, but there are entrances

 on several sides of the park, including Ontario St.

and W 33rd Ave, or along W 37th Ave, between

 Columbia St. and Mackie St.

While there is limited free parking along the edges of

 the park, parking lots close to the centre plaza are

 $2 an hour.

You can avoid driving by taking the bus (#15 from

downtown may work best; check Translink)

 or by biking.

Cyclists can use the east-west

Midtown/Ridgeway Bike Route, along 37th Ave, which

 passes right by the park, or the north-south

 Ontario Street Bike Route.

Map to Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park History

Once called “Little Mountain”–the site is 501ft above

 sea level–Queen Elizabeth Park began its existence as

 a basalt rock quarry in the late 19th century.

Originally owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR),

 the quarry provided the foundation rock for many

 of Vancouver’s earliest roads.

 By 1911, the quarry had closed and the land sat,

 unused, for three decades.

Eventually, the CPR sold the land to the City of

 Vancouver, who renamed the site the Queen

 Elizabeth  Park in 1940, after a visit by King George VI

and his consort, Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II’s mother).

In 1948, Vancouver Park Board legend William

Livingstone began plans to develop the park into

the horticultural beauty it is today by planting the

 first trees in the arboretum.

In 1969, Prentice Bloedel, founder of Canadian timber

 giant MacMillan Bloedel Ltd., and a patron of the arts

and horticultural, gave the park over $1 million toward

 the development of the plaza, covered walkways,

 fountains and the domed Bloedel Floral

 Conservatory.

sidney meet up

www.sidneymeetup.com

 

www.bcadayatatime.com

BC A DAY AT A TIME

CHERYL C YOUNG, REALTOR

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.

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