Come for the views at this 128-acre (52-hectare) park located at Vancouver’s geographic center – it’s the highest point in the city. You can look out over the gardens and grounds all the way to downtown and the North Shore mountains. Within the park itself, there are Quarry Gardens, former rock quarries now filled with flowers, shrubs, and other plants; an arboretum – the first to be established in Canada – with more than 1500 trees; and a Rose Garden that blossoms with many varieties of the flower. In spring and summer, you can browse the Painters’ Corner, where local artists display and sell their work. Seasons in the Park, a restaurant overlooking the gardens, serves lunch and dinner daily.
If you’re looking for more athletic pursuits, you can golf the park’s Pitch & Putt course, play tennis on one of the 17 public courts, or join the lawn bowlers at the Vancouver Lawn Bowling Club, which welcomes visitors several times a week during the spring and summer.
Also in the park is the Bloedel Conservatory, a glass-domed greenhouse filled with hundreds of tropical plants and flowers and more than 100 birds that fly and swoop around you. It’s an especially nice place to escape cold or rainy weather.
Queen Elizabeth Park is bounded by Cambie and Ontario Streets, between West 29th and 37th Avenues. The main entrances into the park are at 33rd and Cambie, 33rd and Ontario, and 37th between Columbia and Mackie Streets. To reach Queen Elizabeth Park by public transit, you can take the Canada Line to King Edward Station and walk into the park. Or catch the #15 bus anywhere along Cambie Street between Olympic Village and Marine Drive stations and get off at 33rd Avenue.
Queen Elizabeth Park is open daily, dawn to dusk. From May through Labour Day (in early September), the Bloedel Conservatory is open 9am to 8pm Monday through Friday and 10am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday. Between Labour Day and the end of April, hours are 10am to 5 pm daily.