British Columbia’s Central Park

Central Park Field

Central Park Field

When you think of Central Park, you immediately think of the massive span of lawn and trees in the midst of a concrete jungle in New York City. Canada has its own regal Central Park in Burnaby, British Columbia. A suburb of Vancouver, Burnaby is the third largest city in British Columbia.

Burnaby’s Central Park is a vast 220-acre urban park. The area was originally a coastal rainforest. While logging reduced many of the trees to mere stumps, a moderate rainforest climate remains in the park, allowing for an abundance plant and fresh-water organisms (the park boasts two man-made lakes and a stream) to flourish in the park’s ecosystem

History

Founded in 1891, the land of the park was originally set aside by the government for naval use in the Royal Navy. The park was named Central Park in honor of the wife of Vancouver’s second mayor, due to her hailing from New York City.

Central Park was opened in 1986 by Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Ecology

Central Park Fountain-Burnaby

Central Park Fountain-Burnaby

Moist and rainy, the temperate rainforest of the area allows for many types of plants and wildlife to co-exist in the park. Much of the plants, trees and shrubs are part of the second growth forest that occurs after a logging harvest.

Some of the plant life found in the park includes:

  • Douglas fir
  • Western hemlock
  • Spruce
  • Birch
  • Western Red Cedar
  • Vine maple
  • Huckleberry
  • Elderberry
  • Hollyhock
Central Park - Forest

Central Park – Forest

Edible blackberries can be found along the numerous trails throughout the park. The berries help sustain an elaborate array of bird, including sparrows, finches, robins and woodpeckers. Canadian geese, mallards and other waterfowl use the park’s two lakes as a habitat. The lakes are also home to crawfish, minnows and brown bullheads. Grey squirrels and coyotes also live within the park.

Things To Do

Hiking several of Central Park’s trails is the main attraction for locals. The park boasts three main hiking trails; the 3.1 mile Terry Fox Trail, the 1.6 mile Trail of Hope and a mile trail that circles the outer portion of the park. These hikes are a great activity before or after a visit to the best dispensary in the Vancouver-Kingsway area, WEEDS.

Aside from the hiking trails, there are many other attractions that make Central Park a popular destination for local families:

  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness circuit
  • Tennis courts
  • Baseball diamond
  • Lawn bowling facility
  • Golf course
  • Horseshoe pitch
  • Award-winning playground
  • Picnic area
  • Perennial garden
  • Cycling

Swangard Stadium

Swangard Stadium is the former home of Vancouver’s professional soccer team, the Vancouver Whitecaps. Located at the north corner of the park, the stadium was built in 1961.

The stadium is available for private event rental. Public events often held at the stadium include soccer and rugby games, community and cultural events and concerts.

Central Park is easily accessible by car or SkyTrain. There is a Skytrain station located in the northeast corner of the park. Central Park in Burnaby may not be as well-known globally as New York City’s Central Park, but it provides the residents of Vancouver with a respite from city living.

You can view a Google map of the park snd get directions below.

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