Gardens of Metro Vancouver: Queen Elizabeth Park

by - May 11, 2021

One of the finest places to check out in Vancouver is the Queen Elizabeth part which also houses the Bloedel Floral Conservatory, a botanical garden covered by a plexiglass dome and filled with exotic plants and birds. While the conservatory requires a paid ticket for entrance, Queen Elizabeth Park is free.

FUN FACT: Queen Elizabeth Park is located on an elevated area known as Little Mountain and happens to be the highest point in the city of Vancouver. The "mountain" gives great views of Vancouver, neighbouring communities, and nearby landmarks.

Queen Elizabeth Park is famous for its two attractive gardens created on the site of a former quarry. It contains other attractions besides the quarry gardens, including an arboretum, a rose garden, sculptures, recreational activities such as lawn bowling and pitch and putt, and a restaurant known as Seasons in the Park, which gives diners a scenic view of the smaller quarry garden as they eat. 

The main entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park is on Cambie Street at West 33rd Avenue, but the park can be accessed from other areas as well. At the entrance of Queen Elizabeth Park is the restaurant where you can park. There is also a cute clock tower there. From there, you can walk a short distance down the slope into the quarry gardens. You can also view these gardens from the top.

For most people, these quarry gardens are probably the main attraction in Queen Elizabeth Park. The larger of the two gardens is extensive, and home to a variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and annuals selected for their foliage, form and flower. There is also a stream and a waterfall. The smaller one, in contrast is a "dry" garden and has many oriental  influences including an arching bridge over a stony streambed, quite like the ones you'd see in Korea. 

The park contains other interesting things to see. It's the site of Canada's first civic arboretum, which is found in the north section of the park. The arboretum contains trees from across Canada as well as some from other countries. The lovely rose garden is located in the southwest part of the park. It was created in 1967 to celebration Canada's one hundredth birthday. It contains many rose varieties including hardy hybrids such as the Parkland and Explorer series developed in Saskatchewan.

The park also contains some iconic statue art. One of the art is known as the Photo Session, a sculpture showing a man taking a photograph of three people. All the four individuals in the sculpture are life sized and are made of bronze. The sculpture was created by J. Seward Johnson, Junior. It's been placed at an attractive viewpoint in the park, as shown in the collection of photos above. Its pretty common to see someone posing with this statue art.

The park is full of people doing their photo shoots. Also, the restaurant is quite nice though not the best food. However, taken together with the ambience, I would rate it quite high!

The park has the conservatory as I mentioned before. The conservatory is in the main plaza where you can see the dome. There are some amazing views of Vancouver as well. 

All in all, definitely a great place to visit and guess what, its FREE. You can aim to spend one to tour hours there, and maybe more if you want to eat at the restaurant or visit the conservatory. You'd need a car to get there, because public transit doesn't take you so far. However, it's still accessible by bus, but you'd need to walk a bit. Parking is paid, but you can find some free parking from the other sides of the park.

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