Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Park’

Exploring Vancouver’s West End. Part 4. Parks and play areas.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

To end our series on the West End we will point you in the direction of the numerous parks in the district that you can enjoy. The parks and play areas in the West End vary in all shapes and sizes and appear in areas where you will least expect it, we want to make sure that you can get to enjoy these areas just as much as we do.

Green Space Parks within the West End
As built up as Vancouver seems to be you have to applaud the effort that has been made at integrating the Green spaces that seem to be dwindling from many other cities around the world.
As many people make their way into Vancouver for the first time you would not be wrong in thinking that the city just looks like it is a built up mass of Glass Skyscrapers, however, once you make your way to the West End area all is not what it seems. The West End has really done a great job with the immersion of nature and suburbia and many of the parks have their own unique style and charm, so we will guide you through them by starting with the smaller ‘hidden’ parks to the larger parks more well known parks in the area.

West End Garden Oasis among the Streets and Lanes.
Before we head to the larger parks in the area, take a small wander around the West End and look out for some of the many Bike Paths that connect the small streets to the more larger Streets that criss- cross the area, along some of these pathways you will come across cute mini gardens that are dotted all over the city. These areas are surprisingly cute and are awash with colour and all kinds of Plant and Tree life. These spots are quite good at nullifying the city noise and always have some cute animals going about their business, expect to be greeted by a Black or Gray Squirrel, or even later on in the day a Skunk or Raccoon will likely amble on its way.

One of the closest little gardens that connect the Bike Paths to the Streets in the city is just two very short blocks away on Burnaby St and the cross street of Jervis St, there is a really cute park with a cobbled pathway that is a used for biking as well as pedestrians, this is a stunning spot if you just need a small rest on your travels. It will take a little over 5 minutes to reach this little city Oasis.

Click on this interactive Map and you can check out where the local parks are situated in the West End.
https://www.google.ca/maps/dir//49.28718,-123.132167/@49.2871023,-123.1371274,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m3!4m2!1m0!1m0?hl=en

Nelson Park & Mole Hill
Located just a couple of small blocks away from us & easily reached when you head North on Thurlow St – you will be there in 5 minutes.
After some major redevelopment in 2007 Nelson Park has been treating our local neighbourhood for quite some time now, it looks beautiful at all times of the year, but is particularly striking in the Spring (with blooms) and Fall (with the falling leaves in the park).
At this park you will find a play area for the little kids, some nice benches dotted all around – and one quarter of the park is a dedicated Off Leash Dog park, where the pooches are allowed to be unleashed and run amok without a care in the world.
Mole Hill
Like we had mentioned in previous Blogs, the West End has many areas that are classified as heritage building, well, Mole Hill which is situated next door to Nelson Park is a whole block of Co Op Heritage Houses that have been kept in excellent shape by the people for the people who reside there.
The Alley and gardens are stunning and if you go for a little exploration in the area, you will find that half along the Alley you will come across a small pathway that connects the Alley to Nelson St, here, you will find a cute small creek and a little bench, its a really nice ‘secret’ nook where you can have a small moment among the flowers and trees.
Where? Thurlow St and Nelson St

Barclay Heritage Square
As we have also mentioned in previous blogs Barclay Square is surrounded by some very interesting Heritage Buildings that lets you step back in time at what Vancouver looked like at the end of the 1800s.
whether you are a local or visitor the Barclay Square gardens are among many a really nice and tranquil spot to enjoy all year round. The Gardens are well kept and are inviting for all who wish to laze around and enjoy the natural colours that flowers, shrubs and trees can offer!
Where? Barclay St, Broughton St and Nicola St

Alexandra Park
Just nestled into the corner of the West End where English Bay meets False Creek this corner nook is a great place to watch the ocean without stepping foot onto the sandy beach. You can enjoy people watching here if that is your kind of thing to do, and you can even check out the stunning Bandstand that is the center piece of Alexandra Park. The park has been around for over 100 years and the Bandstand is exactly 100yrs old this year opening up for the public in 1914.
Where? Beach Ave and Burnaby St

Sunset Beach Park
Sunset Beach park overlooks Sunset Beach of course! This just a small 5 minute walk down the steep hill from the hotel, the Park overlooks Sunset Beach and False Creek and is a hit among all the locals here, you get amazing views of English Bay, Bowen Island and some of Vancouver Island from here, and you can also enjoy a play Hockey, kick around of a football or skateboard and Rollerblade in the designated play areas here.

So get out there and enjoy the Green Spaces among the concrete Jungle!

Events happening in June

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

June is shaping up to be quite a busy season, please take a look at the events that are going to rock your socks off in Vancouver…and the best part – many of them are FREE!!!!

TD INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL – JUNE 21st to JULY 1st
A community based non for profit festival that has been wowing audiences and locals alike since its inception in 1986. Closely connected with other great festivals in the Vancouver calender, this one in particular has grown to be one of the biggest and best! Not only is there Jazz but there will be Blues, World, Creative and improvised music to delight your ears!

http://www.coastaljazz.ca/

RIO TINTO ALCAN DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL – JUNE 21-JUNE 23
Another very popular Festival – check out the Dragon Boaters as they compete in this wonderful and colourful event, you will likely see them train down by Granville Island and False Creek

http://dragonboatbc.ca/

WEST END FARMERS MARKET – Every Saturday!
Buy locally grown Vegetables and more at the every popular Farmers Market located at the local Nelson Park near the Mole Hill Heritage Houses.

http://met.bcfarmersmarket.org/market/west-end-farmers-market

Hidden Gems of the West End

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

As a part of Vancouver’s West End, we really feel very lucky to belong in such a pretty district, and what makes it even better is its superb location.

Cozily nestled between the Downtown core of Vancouver, with False Creek to the South, English Bay and Stanley Park to the West and Coal Harbour to the north, this area has pretty much retained its look since the 1960s – much of this due to the efforts of the long term residents of the West End who understand the importance of retaining an image and history that makes the West End unique.

When visiting this neighbourhood, we suggest taking time to wander and meander through the different streets as it is impressive to see how the area changes.  Street by street, block by block, you will see the colours,  style and shape of each building and apartment look very different from the next one. The trees and various other types of flora are absolutely stunning, especially at this time of year with the fall colours and leaves showing us an impressive natural display.

Not only do we enjoy the sights of the West End, it is its sense of multiculturalism and welcoming diversity that really makes this area what it is. It is home to Davie Village, which spans the blocks of Davie Street and Jervis, right down towards Burrard and Davie Street. The streets here are all decorated in an array of colour to predominantly celebrate the heart of Vancouver’s Gay scene and now official Gay district. The area is awash with Rainbows, colourful murals and pink bus stops – all to celebrate the sense of pride, love and diversity that is Davie Village. No matter who you are, you will always feel welcome within this love-able community.

The West End is home to many hidden gems – some of which are very well known, others not so much.  We would like to personally highlight a few that you may wish to discover when you come to visit us here. As mentioned earlier the West end is located at the northern side of False Creek, reaching False Creek you will be greeted with the Seawall and Sunset Beach. This beach has to be one of our favorites as it is tucked along the Creek were it is bordered to the East by the Impressive Burrard St Bridge, and English Bay to the West… all overlooked by the famous Inushuk monument at the seawall, a recognizable symbol of First Nations culture and also known as “Ilanaaq” which was one of the official mascot logos at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
This beach is a perfect place for hanging out in the summer, never overly crowded and generally filled with locals from the area. It is a great spot to watch the small boats and yachts zoom in and out of False Creek and from Granville Island through to English Bay. It is also one of the better spots to watch the vibrant Vancouver sunset away from the busy but bustling English Bay.

Our other favorite areas to explore are also just a stones throw away from Sunset Inn & Suites. These are the historic housing community of Mole Hill, Gabriola Mansion (formally home to the ‘Romanos Macaroni Grill’) and St Pauls hospital.

Mole Hill is situated just to the north of Davie Street/Village and south of Nelson Park, a cute little city park which is home to a smaller park where your dogs can run free. It’s pretty fun to watch the dogs have their day with their buddies. Mole Hill has its history dating back to the 19th century; it was named after two early settlers Elizabeth and Henry Mole. The housing here is basically a co-operative community advocating for people of all ages in the middle to low income bracket, members and tenants of the housing here all partake in the upkeep of the Mole Hill community, which is clearly visible with the stunning flowers and gardens that surround this hidden community.

Gabriola Mansion which was formally the home to Romanos Macaroni Grill is quite an impressive building. One of the very few ‘great’ mansions left in the city. In its day, this home would surely have been one of the most lavish in the area. Named Gabriola after the sandstone rock which was quarried at Gabriola Island and used to build the outer side of the house. Built in 1900 for Benjamin Tingley Rogers an industrialist whom founded BC Sugar. Sadly the mansion is now standing derelict and its future is unsure. Back in the 1970′s it was at risk of demolition, and we hope that this building is saved for the future and beyond.

St Pauls hospital, which sits between The downtown Core and Davie Village, is an impressive imposing red brick building. The site was founded in the late 1800s as a 25 bed hospital, with a large expansion of the hospital occurring in 1912. Its unmistakable red brick turn of the century architecture is quite something, especially among the many taller glass fronted buildings that is quite the modern look of Vancouver these days. The hospital was at risk of closing down until very recently, for the foreseeable future it is here to stay.

So there are just some tidbits of what the West End is like….come for yourself and see this wonderful community!

Some information was cited from the following sources: http://gabriolan.ca, http://www.miss604.com, http://www.mole-hill.ca