August 23, 2013
In honor of Stanley Park’s impending 125th birthday celebration this week, we thought we’d write a blog commending Vancouver’s largest and favorite public park.
THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT STANLEY PARK:
1. Treading on the dead
Few people know they are walking on unmarked graves at the eastern end of the park.
2. Swan song for the birds
People who enjoy the European swans’ elegant dances should enjoy them while they can.
3. Native villages found
It’s easy to forget that the park was home to native peoples long before Europeans arrived in the 1860s.
What isn’t generally known is that evidence of more native settlements has been found recently.
4. Ever-changing landscape
Park use has gone through several phases over the years as ideas change about what it should be.
The early stage encouraged playgrounds, with lawn bowling, rowing, rugby and cricket being established.
5. A real bargain
Long before the $1 store came into being, city fathers struck a bargain-basement deal to lease the park from the federal government.
A long-term lease was granted, calling for just $1 a year.
6. Sounds of the cannon
Everyone is amazed by the ear-splitting noise and heart-pounding excitement as the Nine O’Clock Gun roars every evening.
7. More big birds
There’s nothing like a colony of giant birds to excite a sense of nature’s wonder.
A colony of Pacific great blue herons can be seen nesting high in the trees near the tennis courts at the park’s southwest entrance.