Portside Park featuring Crab Park Off-Leash Dog Park
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How to get there by Transit: Bus from downtown at Granville Station, #4 Powell or #7 Nanaimo (Northbound then Eastbound, get off at East Cordova and Main Street), walk two blocks north to Alexander Street and cross the overpass to access the park.
Size: 3.31 Hectares/8.18 Acres
Features and Selling Points: In addition to being an off-leash dog park, Crab Park at Portside features a field house with washroom facilities, benches, a children’s play area (including a water/spray park in the summertime) and a beautiful tile mosaic created by many of the neighbourhood’s children. As well, Crab Park at Portside is bordered on one side by the Burrard Inlet. There are countless fantastic photo opportunities to be found in this downtown eastside gem.
History: One of City’s younger parks, Crab Park at Portside has only been in existence since the year Vancouver invited the world to play, 1986. At that time, the name Portside was derived from the close proximity to the Port of Vancouver’s main terminal. In 2004, a neighbourhood park committee known as Create a Real Available Beach (CRAB) championed their support behind this recreational area, at which time it was renamed to Crab Park at Portside.
Notes: The key reason I visit Crab Park at Portside is because it’s one of the few parks in the City of Vancouver that allows your dog(s) to go off-leash. Being that the majority of dogs living downtown are apartment dwellers, having a lush green space for them to run and play is essential. Keep in mind, however, the importance of cleaning up after your dog.
On any given day, I can stroll to Crab Park and meet a colourful variety of people who always have interesting, and sometimes heartbreaking, stories to tell. It’s one of the few places downtown that still offers some solace without the usual large crowds found at many of the other parks in Vancouver.
You can read more by Keira-Anne on her blog.