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Vancouver Parks & Gardens

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide to Parks & Gardens in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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With ancient trees that tower 76 m (250 ft) above the bustling forest floor, Stanley Park is suitably known as an urban oasis abounding with natural splendour. The largest city-owned park in Canada, the 404.9 ha (1000 acre) sanctuary attracts an estimated eight million people each year.

Situated on the periphery of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park was originally designated as a military reserve by the British in the 1860's. By 1888, the park was officially leased to the Vancouver City Council and named after Governor General Lord Stanley.

In addition to the park's natural allure, there are many man-made facilities including a seawall that circles the park providing a paved path for cyclists, pedestrians and in-line skaters. Other popular attractions include the water-park, miniature rail road, outdoor theatre, sports track and Children's Farmyard, as well as the many monuments, statues and plaques, which commemorate the region's history. Stanley Park is also the site of Canada's largest aquarium.

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This Vancouver park is located in the down town area of Pacific Place. It provides a green space for the residents in the area to play. Sporting fields and activities here include artifical turf used for soccer, field hockey and softball. There is also a skateboard park and basketball and tennis courts.
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These Ming Dynasty-style gardens should be one of the highlights of any trip to Vancouver. Serenity is the key here, and these high-walled gardens are the perfect haven to get away from the big city for a tranquil pause. Guided tours and complimentary tea are included with admission. Meticulously planned grounds with plants, trees, flowers and lots of flowing water will certainly restore any visitors spirits.
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Located at the University of British Columbia, Nitobe Memorial Garden is a traditional Japanese Garden--in fact, it is considered to be one of the top five Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Visitors are welcome to come for a tea and a stroll. Waterfalls, streams, reflecting pond with Koi and a ceremonial tea house are all onsite. Check hours before visiting as they vary by the season.
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Over 7000 different plants from around the world are nestled in 28 hectares of coastal native forest and designed landscapes including an Asian garden, an alpine garden, a food garden and a native garden.
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One of Vancouver's finest gardens, the VanDusen is set on 22 hectares in the middle of Vancouver. The gardens feature local and imported plants, flowers and trees planted in a variety of lakeside, woodland and lawn settings. The colours are always spectacular as each season's plants bloom. Particularly splendid are the rhododendrons in late spring and the fall foliage. There is an Elizabethan style maze made from hedges which is particularly appealing to families. For art lovers, various sculptures placed throughout the gardens.
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This free water park is part of Stanley Park and is Vancouver's largest outdoor spray facility. The spray park is particularly popular with families and young children for its series of water geysers and canons that drench all those within reach with unpredictable blasts. Other features include ankle deep wading areas, a small slide, grassy picnic area, washroom facilities and a beach. Operates May through September, no lifeguard supervision provided.
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This garden was designed and located on the site of the Pacific National Exhibition because of the site's history in the Japanese-Canadian internment process during World War II. The stadium on the contemporary expo site was where Vancouver area internees were gathered, their property collected and sold and the point from which they were sent out to the rural areas of Canada to live and work in camps.
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The home and garden of Arthur Erickson, Vancouver native and one of Canada's greatest architects. As well as this house, Erickson designed Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, the Provincial Law Courts and Vancouver Art Gallery in downtown Vancouver, and the Museum of Anthropology and the Koerner Library at the University of British Columbia. Tours are offered, but must be arranged ahead of time.
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David Lam Park is a green space in the Eastside downtown area of central Vancouver. It has views of False Creek and Yaletown and provides facilities like basketball and tennis courts and soccer fields. Its large grass expanse is used for concerts, like the Vancouver Jazz Festival, in the summer.
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This 27 ha (67 acre) park provides a full range of recreational facilities, including a lake (Trout Lake) and beach. The land was donated to the Vancouver Park Board in 1926 to provide this wooded green area.
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Vanier park on English Bay is home to the Vancouver Museum, the Maritime Museum and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (made up of the Planetarium and the Observatory).
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There is almost nothing better to keep kids quiet, happy and cool than a water park. Granville Island's fun oasis is free and features a large and a small water slide, a play area and a playground. Various summer activities are also offered.
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This 763-ha park is located west of Vancouver, and directly neighbours the University of British Columbia. The park features more than 50 kilometres of trails ideal for hiking, cycling and horseback riding.
BulletQueen Elizabeth Park
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Considered to be one of the finest public parks anywhere. The 52 hectare park was formed from two former quarries which had supplied rocks to build Vancouver's early roads. Built on a small hill known as Little Mountain, the park now commands glorious views of the city. The Quarry Gardens, Rose Garden and Arboretum are particularly notable. Golf and tennis, a restaurant and a sculpture are also featured. The park is a favourite spot for weddings.
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