Friday, November 29, 2013

Vancouver's Jewel - Stanley Park

 West of the Downtown area, a beautiful natural setting. . .
 

Prospect Point, late 1800s, Stanley Park, Archival photo, VC


In the late 1800s. . .

The 1000-acre (400+ hectare) park originated as a First Nations Reserve on First Narrows, one of the crossings between the Lower Mainland and the North Shore of Vancouver, BC. In the photo above, the figures are looking across to North Vancouver


One of the first resolutions of the Vancouver council in 1886 was to petition the federal government to turn the 'Reserve on First Narrows' (an aboriginal settlement) into a public park. In September 1888, Stanley Park opened, leased by the Federal Government and named after the Governer-General at the time, Lord Stanley of Preston. It was meant to stay a nature park, to offset the hustle and bustle of city life, and to remind the citizens of the beauty that surrounds Vancouver.

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In 1938, the Lions Gate Bridge was opened to connect Vancouver to the North Shore, via a causeway through the park.



The Lions Gate Bridge, circa 1940s, Archives,Stanley Park
 
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From the park level above, looking down at the approach to the Lions Gate Bridge. Those mountains on the other side are on the North Shore.


Causeway to Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, by DG Hudson


One of the representative lions, below, indicates where the Lions Gate Bridge goes beneath.


Lions over the bridge in Stanley Park, by DG Hudson


The terms, the 'Lions Gate' refers to The Lions, a pair of mountain peaks north of Vancouver. Northbound traffic heads in their direction. Two lions stationed at the pillars where the bridge begins, also remind us of the name of the bridge.

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Stanley Park Seawall, circa 1930s

Then. . .

Stanley Park Seawall, Park Archival Image, Vancouver


And Now. . .

A beautiful walkway which follows the seashore line of Burrard Inlet and the park drive. Stanley Park's Seawall is one of Vancouver's best known locations and is used daily by walkers, runners, skaters, flaneurs, etc. This is an ideal spot for photo ops.



Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver, BC, by DG Hudson


You might see the occasional politician from back east trying to catch a bit of sun while walking or jogging at English Bay or on the Seawall! We saw one of these rare creatures this summer. They tend to travel with an entourage and attract media.

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A little background. . .

Before the park was created, there were others who lived here. . .


Siwash Rock family, Stanley Pk, Vancouver City Archives



Archaeological evidence suggests a human presence in the park dating back 3000 years or more. Unfortunately, creating the park displaced the aboriginal tribes which first populated this area. Fourteen archeological sites were registered, per a UBC professor, as evidence of human settlement prior to the Europeans. Much of this historical evidence was found when excavating the areas selected for the Aquarium, Second Beach and other new additions to the park.

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Freighters in Burrard Inlet, seen from Stanley Park.

 
Vancouver BC View from Stanley Park, by DG Hudson

Designated a national historic site of Canada, Stanley Park today consists of green forests with old growth trees, two distinct beach areas, First Nations totems, sports ovals, picnic areas and tennis courts. Scenic views of the surrounding mountains and cityscapes blend into a west coast panorama.


In honor of Stanley Park celebrating 125 years. . .

This post is Part I of a series about Stanley Park, using my own photos in comparison with archival images of the early days in Vancouver. More to come.

Inspired by an excellent special feature on the history of the park in the Vancouver Sun newspaper. The Vancouver Sun, Westcoast News, Saturday, August 17, 2013, Stanley Park, the natural wonder. . . since 1888. Byline: John Mackie. His in-depth articles provide more information.

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Ever heard of or visited Stanley Park in Vancouver? Do you know of a similar city park in your area? Have any of your parks suffered damage from rainstorms, windstorms, fire or lightning?

Please share in the comments, and thanks for dropping by. I'm always listening.

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References:

Stanley Park
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx

Stanley Park birthday - 125 years
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park-125.aspx

Stanley Park story - including Images
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park-story.aspx

wiki for Stanley Park
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Park

Lions Gate Bridge
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lions_Gate_Bridge

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23 comments:

  1. Never heard of Stanley Park before, but it sounds lovely. :-)

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    1. It is, Misha, it's an interesting place and huge. These trees help our environment, and I'm so glad this area wasn't developed.

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  2. I only went to VanCity once in 2006 and my first day in the Park was very cloudy, but I did get one gorgeous day so I went back to the park when I got back from NoVan. In 2007 I was at Kin Beach in Chemainus on the Island and was surprised to see the twin Lions mountains from there!

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    1. Those darn clouds, they come and they go here in the rainforest. . .On a clear sunny day, however, the city shines. Some cities survive the rain well. (Most Vancouverites say they have webbed feet.)

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  3. Such a pretty place. Didn't have a chance to see the park when I was there, but there's always next time. :)

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    1. Let me know if you want a guide. One day I want to see Colorado and a few other places. .

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  4. I love seeing photos from the past and then seeing what the same places look like today. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. my reply below is to you, Sherry. Glitch in my finger control.

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  5. That's a good reason to take photos of things we like or notice, or those that have historical value. We may be the only one who does that before it changes. (whether due to nature or man)

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  6. There's some amazing history here D.G. I haven't been to Stanley Park, but my daughter has and raves about it.
    Lovely photos too. And it's wonderful to compare how things change over time.

    Just letting you know I head off on my latest journey tomorrow morning. My travels will include 2 weeks in Paris, so what a journey it will be. Will be staying in a 16th century hotel near Notre Dame which we have stayed in before.

    Merry Christmas!

    Denise :)

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    1. Ooh-la-la. Have a great time, Denise! We stayed fairly near Notre Dame, in the Marais! I wish you a safe and happy journey, and hope you'll share the photos on your return.

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  7. Oh, I love old photos like this. And I've always wanted to visit Vancouver - hope to make it someday.

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    1. I hope you do, Julie. I loved this city when I first saw it (even with the traffic, etc.)

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  8. I've been there, or at least I've been through it. I keep thinking we should stop when we drive by in Vancouver on our way to upper B.C. - it looks beautiful and restful.
    My favorite park that's nearish to my home is Pt. Defiance Park in Tacoma - second in size to Central Park in America.

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    1. I've never heard of that park, will have to keep it in mind if we drive down that way one day.

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  9. I've never heard of there, but it looks like an amazing place to visit!

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    1. It is, I was surprised at its beauty, coming from the southeast coast, I had never seen Old Growth trees.

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  10. I enjoyed the comparisons you did between the historic photos and your modern (lovely) photos. Thank you for sharing the history.

    The Warrior Muse

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    1. My pleasure, Shannon. I've always liked those comparisons and love finding the archival photos.

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  11. Replies
    1. Thanks, Milo. I like the seawall one best, but check the next park post, there will be more.

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  12. Sorry if I already commented. My computer is taking ages to let me comment, so I'm not sure. Anyway, I love Stanley Park. It's great to see old pictures of it.

    Be well and enjoy the season, DG.
    xoRobyn

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    1. May your holiday be warm and fun and chocolatey. Maybe all at once, Rawknrobyn. Glad you liked the archival photos, I did too.

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