Welcome to a new series on Miss604, inspired by springtime and the urge to leave the house and get out in this great region of ours – rain or shine. Over the next little while some guest bloggers and I will feature some well- and little-known green spaces throughout the city, how to get there, what to do, what they can offer and any extras we might find useful to someone wanting to go out and explore.
First up: John Hendry Park featuring Trout Lake
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How to get there by Transit: Bus from downtown, #7 Nanaimo (East then Sounthbound, get off at East 17th). Bus from Nanaimo Skytrain, #7 Dunbar/Downtown (Northbound) or Skytrain to Nanaimo and walk north about 5-6 blocks on Nanaimo and take E17th to access the park.
Size: 27.4 Hectares/ 68 Acres
Features and selling points: Trout Lake Community Centre (including playground, pottery studio, fitness centre, games room, sauna, snack bar, gym, whirlpool ice rink), festivals (such as the Illuminares lantern festival), dog off-leash areas, covered picnic centre, and swimming in the summer.
History: “The land was the site of one of Vancouver’s most important features in the late 1800s – the Hastings Sawmill. Trout Lake, a natural peat bog forming the largest feature on the park, was the important water source for the mill which was owned by John Hendry, a prominent individual due to his influence in developing the region’s forest industry.” – Source Vancouver Parks. You can also read a more detailed history of the prominent and successful lumberman within this biography.
Notes: No, there are no trout in Trout Lake but what it lacks in fish it makes up for in sheer size. Last Saturday I was out there with John’s work softball team (they call it baseball but really, it’s softball says John). Runners, bikers, joggers, picnic goers and dog walkers were all out on this sunny afternoon amidst the grass fields, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, marshy brush, and giant oak trees. The park will be getting a facelift for 2010 including a new ice rink at the community centre.
If anyone out there has a favourite city park, drop me a line if you’d like to write a guest post or suggest a destination.