Queen Elizabeth Garden, Vancouver
Queen Elizabeth Park sits atop Little Mountain and stretches over 130 acres of land at the hub of Vancouver city.
Nature lovers will appreciate the park’s horticultural displays and the spectacular views of the city and mountains.
The parkland has tons of tourist interests – quarry gardens, sculptures, conservatory, fountains, and many more. There’s always something to do and a sight to enjoy. Admire the colourful roses in bloom as you stroll through the gardens.
Enjoy a family picnic under the shades of trees in the arboretum or a romantic dinner at the Seasons in the Park restaurant.
So, are you celebrating a special occasion? Well, Queen Elizabeth Park is the perfect setting to create fond memories.
Brief history of Queen Elizabeth Park
Before it became a park, this spot existed as a mountainous forest and a spawning area for salmon in the creeks.
In the 19th century, road constructors constructed pathways with basalt from the mountain. Plants and animals were affected, and the salmon stopped spawning in the creeks.
For years, the land stayed deserted until 1936, when the BC Tulip Association proposed to the Vancouver Park committee to use the discarded quarries to construct sunken gardens. The committee mapped out the area for recreational purposes, and construction commenced.
In 1939, King George VI dedicated the park to his consort, Queen Elizabeth.
With donations from notable organizations and private citizens, the park has become a place of interest with thousands of yearly visitors.
Highlights of Queen Elizabeth Park
1. Bloedel Conservatory
Queen Elizabeth Park is home to the world-famous Bloedel Conservatory. This indoor facility has over 200 birds, fishes, and 500 plant species living in three habitats: rainforest, subtropical, and desert.
Enjoy the chatter of birds flying free within the dome, such as parrots, Chinese pheasants, and macaws. Some of these birds are so tiny that you would probably be wondering where they are; however, you’ll hear them chirping.
Bloedel Conservatory sits at the top of Little Mountain. Its name commemorates Prentice Bloedel, its largest donor, who gave a large sum of $1.25 million to the development of this Conservatory.
2. Quarry Gardens
This beautiful garden is a former basalt excavation site for road construction. Today, it is an enchanting terrain with a peaceful ambiance.
The quarry gardens are in two locations. One, the main quarry garden is west of the Bloedel Conservatory. The artistic landscape features a stream, waterfall, exotic trees, perennials, and shrubs.
The North Quarry Garden is near Seasons in the Park. It is a smaller “dry” garden with collections of flowers and plants.
Queen Elizabeth Park is the first civic greenhouse in Canada, with over 1,500 trees of different species. Some trees are up to 60 years old and include Douglas fir, Coast redwood, and Spruce.
Enjoy the view of 70 sprays of water at the Dancing Waters Fountain. This attraction is a sight to behold in daytime and nighttime.
5. Rose Garden
Visit during Spring or Autumn to watch the blossoming of flowers in the garden. Built in 1967, the Rose Garden features varieties of rose bushes, including hybrids.
Different sculptures from notable artists decorate the park. They include;
- Photo Session: This bronze sculpture is a man taking a snapshot of three people. J. Seward Johnson (Jnr) gifted the statues to the park in 1984.
- Knife Edge Two Piece: Prentice Bloedel donated the abstract bronze sculpture to the park. The statue is one out of the 3 copies of the sculpture made by British sculptor Henry Moore. The other pieces are in England and New York.
- Love in the Rain: Lock in your love with your partner on this sculpture. This statue by Vancouver artist Bruce Voyce came to the park in 2016.
- Four marble sculptures by Campbell River artist Cameron Kerr are on temporary display outside the Bloedel Conservatory.
- Painters’ Corner: Admire and give yourself a beautiful painting from the Painters’ Corner. This outdoor area is popular during spring and summer.
What activities can I do in Queen Elizabeth Park?
Apart from touring the area to see fabulous attractions, you can engage in other activities offered in the park.
Have a morning or evening tee session with friends or other tourists in the Pitch and Putt Golf Course area. It is appropriate for all skill levels.
If you are a tennis lover, there are 17 public tennis courts for your maximum enjoyment. But, first, visit the court early to book a space.
There is also a lawn bowling court, two outdoor roller hockey, three basketball courts, and a frisbee area.
If you’re more interested in enjoying the park, stroll the 0.26-mile walk path around the garden up to the mountaintop. Or you can go picnicking at the allotted picnic area in the park. It comes with picnic tables, a barbecue area, and washrooms.
Take your dog on a walk at the Dog Off-Leash area, open from 6 am to 10 pm at 4600 Cambie Street.
Are there dining options in Queen Elizabeth Park?
Yes. Seasons in the Park restaurant gives you a window view of Vancouver city and mountains while enjoying your meal. The fine-dining restaurant is at the park’s centre, on the mountain peak.
Where is Queen Elizabeth Park located?
Queen Elizabeth Park is at the core of Vancouver City, situated at Cambie Street and West 33rd Avenue intersection.
How do I access the park?
Use the central passageway at Cambie St. and 33rd Avenue or through other entrances in the park. Alternatively, you can try Ontario St and West 33rd Avenue, or West 37th Avenue between Columbia and Mackie Streets.
Access the park with public transit, bike, or car.
Paid parking lots are within and outside Queen Elizabeth Park.
Is admission free?
The park is accessible to the public, but you will pay a certain amount to enter the Conservatory.
Are events held in the park?
Yes, the Sakura festival is held every April in Queen Elizabeth Park. It features a decoration of the park to commemorate the seasonal appearance of cherry blossoms.