Stanley Park is a public park covering 1,001-acre land in Canada. The park is located in downtown Vancouver and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean waters. Stanley Park is established in a land that was originally inhabited by indigenous people, long before colonization by the British. After colonization, the park that was blessed with abundant resources become home to aboriginal settlers. When the city recuperated in 1886, it was turned into the prime park of Vancouver. The name “Stanley” comes from a British politician, Lord Stanley, the governor general of the area at that time. The unique thing about Stanley Park is that, unlike other urban parks, which normally involve creating aesthetic landscapes landscape from scratch, Stanley Park has been the result of the evolution of urban space and forest for over many years. Today, Stanley Park is a renowned recreational destination where people can spend time enjoying nature's beauty, far from busy human haunts.
Stanley Park opened on September 27, 1888 and named after Lord Stanley, the sixth governor general in Canada. Mayor David Oppenheimer gave a formal speech during the opening ceremony giving authority to a particular city committee to manage the park. During the opening ceremony, some families were still living in some areas of the park. Most of these people were later evicted. However, an exception was made for those made for those who had built their homes in the park, more than twenty years prior to the opening of the park. In fact, the last resident of the park, Tim Cummings, lived there until his death in 1958.
Between 1913 and 1916, a project to construct a lake in the Coal Harbor shallow part started. The lake was called Lost Lagoon because of its disappearing nature during the low tide season. In addition, a causeway into the park was constructed. It was designed by Thomas Mawson who also designed the famous Brockton point. The causeway replaced the wooden footbridge, the only access point to the park from Coal Harbor. This project came to an end in 1926. The salt water pipes were replaced with fresh water pipes in 1929 to make the lagoon a freshwater lake. In 1930’s, the Causeway was expanded and extended through the center of Stanley Park. The Lions Gate Bridge was also built to connect the north shore and the downtown section. Two pedestrian subways, in addition were erected under the causeway, all the way from Georgia Street up to the entrance of the park. A stone parameter was constructed to prevent the erosion of the Stanley Park’s foreshore. The seawall and walkway around the park; of about 8.8 kilometers commenced construction in 1917 and took many decades to complete. Extensions have been made several times over the years making it the longest uninterrupted waterfront walkway in the world.
The Ferguson point was used during the First World War. A gun battery was used in this point to protect the city from the German traders. It was removed before the war's end in 1918. A watchtower was also built above the Siwash Rock and it is still intact up to date. Stanley Park played a significant role during the World War I. For instance, it housed some military barracks ate the time alongside other notable features, (which are still intact to date), such as the military mess, which is now used as a teahouse restaurant.
Stanley Park from the beginning was a home to a number of wild animals. In fact, by 1905, well-wishers had donated many animals to the Park’s zoo. However, the zoo was shut down in 1996 and the animals were relocated. It closed completely in 1997 after the last animal, a polar bear, died at the age of 36. The Stanley park children’s farmyard zoo was also another feature of the park. It was started in 1950 but closed in 2011. Few reptiles and domestic animals were kept in the children’s zoo. An aquarium was established in the Stanley Park in 1956 and become the world’s first facility to study a deadly whale. It was expanded in 1967 and in, 2000 further expansion was approved, despite much vocal opposition.
A counterculture atmosphere slowly emerged was in Stanley Park around 1960’s making it even more attractive to local and international residents. During the peak season, thousands of people assemble at Ceperley meadows to listen to poets, bands, speakers and to socialize.
In the present day, some of Stanley Park’s most attractive features include the Vancouver seawall, which is popularly used for inline skating, running, walking and cycling. There are two paths in the seawall in which the pedestrian use one while the other path is used by skaters and cyclists. Beaver lake is another attractive feature of Stanley Park. It is a cool place to rest and is located in an area filled with trees. The Lost Lagoon, a fresh water lake transformed from a former salt-water lake, is home to thousands of birds. Much marine life, as well as marine research, can be found at the Vancouver aquarium. Other available features include the nine o’clock gun, playgrounds, and sandy beaches amongst other's things.
Shoreline change between Prospect Point and Third Beach
There are changes between the prospect shoreline and the third beach shoreline. The prospect shoreline is a passage through a rocky place and is a good area for paddling. One can enjoy paddling in the Prospect Shoreline because of the cool breeze that it has. The basalt cliff makes a big wall along the shoreline of the prospect point.
The third beach is located at the Ferguson point of Stanley Park. The Third beach shoreline is naturally a sandy area surrounded by trees that are home to many diving birds shielded away from the urban noise. It is a fantastic place for quite bathing, sunset watching and picnics. The third beach shoreline is more of a relaxing hangout since it has a vast sandy beach with plenty of large logs that one can sit on. The change of the sky color comes along with pyrotechnic color. It is the best destination for summer evenings. In addition to this, the third beach has the seawall system and public washrooms. Barbeques are also allowed in this beach although they are some accompanying restrictions. There is also a humble pay parking area as well as lifeguards to enhance the shore’s security.
Natural calamities have led to the loss of landmark trees. Snowstorms have felled many trees clearing some areas of the park. However, the management of the park has replaced the fallen trees over time by planting others. Despite all developments in Stanley Park, the management restricts over modification of the park to maintain its natural state. The forest in Stanley Park continues to give it a unique natural character, which is not seen, in the other urban parks around the world. Consequently, Stanley Park can be considered one of the best parks in the world.
125 Years of Stanley Park: Before and After. (2014). Retrieved April 18, 2014 from http://stanleyparkecology.ca/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/03/State-of-the-Park-Report-for-the-Ecological-Integrity-of-Stanley-Park-full-report.pdf
Stanley Park Ecology Society. (2014). Retrieved April 18, 2014 from http://www.ubcpress.ca/books/pdf/chapters/2013/InventingStanleyPark.pdf
Ubcpress.ca :: University of British Columbia Press. (2014). Retrieved April 18, 2014 from http://activehistory.ca/2013/09/125-years-of-stanley-park-before-and-after/