Top dog-friendly parks in Vancity
By Leslie Phelan
As a Toronto dog mom who has also spent quite a bit of time in Vancouver, I have to admit that pooch life is better out west. If you’re visiting Vancity with your canine companion, be sure to hit these three dog-friendly parks.
David Lam Park
This green downtown respite has a buzzing social scene for people and their pets, especially first thing in the morning, and again around 5 pm when people are getting home from work. It is spacious enough that it never feels crowded, but it’s not so big that friendly dog owners won’t have plenty of people to mingle with. My favorite Vancity coffee shop, Trees Organic, is only steps away from the fountain that graces the top quad. My visits almost always included a delicious soy latte, and a dip in the shallow end for my Pug, Brutus (It was hard to keep him out!).
Insider tip: This park doesn’t actually have a designated off-leash area, but everyone here bends the rules a little to take advantage of the large, rolling grassy area that creates the perfect setting for a game of fetch.
Just on the other side of the Burrard Bridge from downtown is Hadden Park, a big, sandy haven that is rich in off-leash running space. It is essentially a beach party for dogs, where they are free to dash, take dips in the water and sunbathe to their hearts’ content. It is arguably the most pooch-friendly space in Vancouver.
Insider tip: Pack a blanket and some snacks because you will want to spend the day just playing and relaxing.
This is the biggest park in all of Vancouver, boasting over a thousand acres of seaside green space with countless varieties of flowers and blooming trees, along with beaches and sport courts. It is a landmark filled with excellent photo ops and huge ancient cedars. Off Lagoon Drive, you will find the fenced-in, off-leash area, right by the shuffleboard courts. The off-leash area is a great stop, but the many trails and gardens are truly Stanley Park’s main attraction.
Insider tip: Take some time to find the bamboo gardens. Their sky-high shoots are sure to impress you.