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Metro Vancouver Park Series: Crab Park

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 — 7:00am PDT
Comments 15

The following contribution to the is by Keira-Anne of

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.

Photo credit: snarlen on Flickr

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.

Photo credit: keira-anne on Flickr

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.

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  1. Tyler Ingram says:

    I am enjoying these Park Series more and more because it shows off the various parks I did not know Vancouver had. Can’t wait to see what else Vancouver has been hiding from me!

  2. I *heart* this little park and walk my daschunds there daily. There’s a grittier history to it than at first glance. The dtes had no park! (pigeon park doesn’t count!) So a group of activists fought really, really hard for it. When I first moved to the ‘hood, there were a lot of needles and also a lot of homeless slept there. However, in the past few years most of the trees/bush have been cut down, to prevent people from creating their little nests for themselves. I have mixed emotions about that. On the one hand, I understand safety concerns. On the other hand, it seems a shame that we make even a park a place no longer accessible for make-do housing. But I’m happy the dogs can run without the same fear of needles.

  3. Raul says:

    As you well know, I’m unable to visit the Downtown Eastside for longer than 10 minutes, but I have managed to be able to walk through Crab Park for about a half hour. Its beauty and closeness to the ocean do help ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Keira-Anne says:

    Hi Nancy! I’m pretty sure I met you down there at one point over the last year. I remember meeting a lady with her two daschunds because Benji and Casey actually took well to them and they played a little bit. As I wrote above, Crab Park is a great place to meet new people ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. fotoeins says:

    Thanks, Keira-Anne; I never knew the name of this wae park since its creation.

    Before this, our dad used to drive us out over the Main St. Bridge and over to Waterfront Road at night to watch the loading/unloading of containers on the docks. I think coming out here helped to put him at ease far more than it did us.

  6. Keira-Anne – no way! I totally remember you! I had *no idea* that you were, well, you! Do you and your canine friends ever come down anymore?

  7. Keira-Anne says:

    Haha that’s great that you remember…I try to come down at least once a week (usually Sunday afternoons). I was just there for a couple hours this past Saturday in the gorgeous sunshine! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for you next time!

  8. Luc says:

    The Park Series it’s awesome – GVRD Parks should buy the rights to include it on the official site.

  9. […] my last full day with them, I grabbed my friend Phaedra after work and took Benji and Casey down to Crab Park for some off-leash fun! These were the times that […]

  10. DTESlim says:

    Nancy, this park has been around since 1977 with all the splendor it has today, as I distinctly remember visiting there as part of a second grade class field trip. So the activists you mentioned who lobbied for the park must have been pre-1977 era. Thanks for sharing their noble cause which sounds like it has benefited the DTES immensely.

  11. […] posts contributed to by Keira-Anne in the past: Blogathon 2008 Guest Post, Metro Vancouver Park Series, Crab Park, Blogathon 2007 Guest Post, and another Blogathon 2007 Guest Post. Tweet This Digg it Add to […]

  12. […] Inner-City Cluster Kickoff 1 06 2009 I’m sitting at Workspace looking out over Crab Park (the green space formerly known as Portside Park, if only to bureaucrats at City Hall who …) thinking that the much-ballyhoo’d Carrall Street Greenway consists primarily of new, fancy […]

  13. leeann chalmers says:

    I visited Crab Park for the first time and found it to be very charming.

  14. […] Crab Park Canada Day Festival (1:00pm – 4:00pm) […]

  15. bobby why says:

    I live about five minutes away from this park on alexander (in gastown), and it is definitely one of my favourite places to go on a weekday night after work. Love bringing a good book and sitting cross-legged on one of the big rocks right by the water, soaking up the sun as it slowly sets and looking at the mountains off to the north. Beautiful. //

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