Parks, recreation, and culture

Hastings Park Sanctuary Pond

Hastings Park Sanctuary destination walk

Route statistics

Distance 2.1 km
Steps 2755
Elevation change 12 m

Hastings Park is the City of Vancouver’s second largest park at 66 hectares. For more than a century it has served as a venue for public events such as horse racing, concerts, professional sports, conventions, trade shows, and the annual summer Fair. The Hastings Park Walk is a 2.1 km or 2,755 step route that travels through the lush Sanctuary, alongside several notable buildings, and through themed gardens and other recreational space. 

Route description

A walk in the southwest corner of Hastings Park near Renfrew Street is a fantastic way to experience the rich diversity of this expansive and evolving public space. Hastings Park has a variety of different attractions including theme and commemorative gardens, notable buildings, and a stream once covered for more then 50 years. A variety of diving and dabbling ducks, Canada geese and a hundred other bird species can be seen here all year.

Accessibility

This walk is wheelchair accessible. Paths include a mixture of pavement and wooden boardwalks.

Route details

Follow these step by step directions so you don't miss anything along the route.

Hastings Community Centre

Hastings Community Centre

Hastings Community Centre was opened in 1956 after extensive fundraising efforts. It serves the Hastings-Sunrise Community by offering a wide variety of recreational programs and events. The Centre is located in Hastings Community Park: one of Vancouver’s oldest parks. This park boasts a wealth of amenities for both children and adults. A highlight is the new children’s spray park. In the summer, shrieks from the adjacent Pacific National Exhibition help create a festive atmosphere. 

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Sanctuary

Sanctuary

In 1998-1999, 15.5 hectares of Hastings Park were cleared of structures and blacktop so that the Sanctuary could be created. Upon entering you are overcome with a feeling of peace in this lush refuge, as it overflows with greenery and bird calls. The main feature of the Sanctuary is the day lighting of a stream that, for more than 50 years, had been contained in an underground culvert. Engineering Services has enthusiastically collaborated on the project of guiding the storm waters from the surrounding neighbourhood into the Sanctuary marsh, where the water is cleansed through a sophisticated biofiltration system. Eventually, the water collected in the pond could run into Hastings Creek; which is planned to deliver the water into a salt marsh north of Hastings at New Brighton Park.

After only a few years, the lake, water plants, islands and still-fragile landscaping are attracting birds into the Park. Local renowned naturalist Al Grass, along with a number of avid bird watchers, has confirmed sightings of 106 species. They include everything from songbirds like the common yellowthroat, to a variety of sea birds such as Caspian terns. The Sanctuary represents the beginning of the greening efforts in the Park, and it is already a fantastic success!

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Hastings Park

Hastings Park

Hastings Bowl Skate Park

Catch a glimpse of some gravity defying aerials at the world renowned Hastings Bowl Skate Park. The concrete skate park has three winding connected bowls (ranging from 5 to 11 feet deep), plus a separate street course with plenty of coped ledges and wall rides.

Agrodome

The Agrodome is one of four buildings in the south west corner of the Park. It was built in 1963 and holds 5,000 people or 3,260 when configured to use the hockey or lacrosse surface.

Pacific Coliseum

For many years the Pacific Coliseum was the city’s largest indoor venue for sports and entertainment, accommodating close to 18,000 people. Designed by W. K. Noppe in 1966–67, with its simple geometric shape and distinctive ring of white panels, the building can be classified as formalist architecture. In 2010, the Pacific Coliseum was the competition site for figure skating and short track speed skating events for the Olympic Winter Games.

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Gardens

Gardens

Il Giardino Italiano

Il Giardino Italiano, completed in 2000, is one of the most elaborately detailed gardens in the City's entire park system. Following the Second World War Italian immigrants predominantly settled in the surrounding Hastings Sunrise and Grandview Woodlands neighbourhoods. This project was championed by many of the families and businesses residing in the area. Il Giardino’s distinctive Italian-style plantings include pear, lavender, mulberry and grape.

The Opera Walkway has intricate stone carvings that decorate the walls and flank the unique water features. The carvings tell the story of Italy’s love for opera. Bocce courts, numerous seating areas and a large feast table make Il Giardino Italiano a wonderful gathering area in the Park.

Momiji Garden

The Momiji Garden offers a more subtly disciplined choice of plantings, shading, placement and elevations. It was completed in 1993 and commemorates the tragic Hastings Park internment of more than 8,000 Canadians of Japanese origin almost 52 years before its completion.

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