Vanier Park Overview
Of the 15 city parks in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood, Vanier Park is the biggest and most famous.
Situated on a gentle peninsula near Burrard Bridge, the park has waterfront views of False Creek, English Bay and downtown Vancouver, walking paths connecting it to Kitsilano Beach and Hadden Park, and a launching ramp for small boats.
Vanier Park is also home to the Museum of Vancouver and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, and plays host to several of Vancouver’s biggest summer festivals, including the International Children’s Festival and the Shakespearean Bard on the Beach. It's one of the best locations to view the annual Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition, too.
Getting to Vanier Park
Vanier Park is located at 1000 Chestnut Street. For drivers, parking lots closest to the park are $2 per hour. Or, if you live near False Creek, leave the car at home and take a False Creek Ferry.
Vanier Park History
Once a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) supply depot, the site was turned over to the Vancouver Park Board in 1966. Named for former Governor General of Canada George Vanier, the park officially opened on May 30, 1967. The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and the Museum of Vancouver complex opened in 1968, thanks to lumber baron MacMillan’s $1.5 million donation.
Making the Most of Your Visit
Spending the day in Vanier Park is easy, since you can spend hours at the museums and the park itself. Combining an outing at the park with a tour of Kitsilano's--and Vancouver's--other landmarks is easy too, given Vanier Park's fabulous location.
Make a day of it with these top five mini-trips:
- Walk west along the Park's pathways to Hadden Park and explore the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
- Walk further west to visit Kitsilano Beach, its playground, tennis courts, sandy beach, and Kits Pool.
- Enjoy dinner near the waterfront at the nearby Hapa Izakaya, right off on Kits Beach.
- Cap off a day of shopping on West 4th Avenue (nine blocks south) with a picnic and sunset walk around the park.
- Take a False Creek Ferry across English Bay (via the Aquatic Centre) to Granville Island.