In recent years more park spaces and vacant lots in Vancouver have been turned into community gardens – sometimes where you would least expect them.
In the summer heat, sunflowers stretch toward the sky in a plot of land where gasoline and diesel were once poured into tanks. A Shell gas station once stood at Davie and Burrard where the thriving David Village Community Garden now lies. Vegetables and flowers blossom within the yarn-bombed fences of this oasis.
A few years ago I saw a story on the local news where a lot in the Downtown Eastside had been turned into a community garden. After some research I realized it is the old location of the Smiling Buddha Cabaret. The other day when I was writing a post about parks I stumbled upon so many listings for community gardens and didn’t realize we had so many scattered throughout the city.
Vancouver is filled with diverse neighbourhoods and robust communities from the Downtown core, all the way out to Boundary, and down to the Fraser. Our City has always had a legacy of creating public green spaces for all to enjoy and in recent years these have included community gardens.
I made a map below to indicate all community gardens however you’ll wan to visit the City of Vancouver’s Community Garden Listing for full details and contact information.
View Vancouver Community Gardens in a larger map
If you would like to explore several of these community gardens, the City of Vancouver has setup walking tours that will guide you from one neighbourhood to the next.
With assistance from groups such as the Vancouver Public Spaces Network, these are sprouting up all over the place. The VPSN (among other services) helps neighbourhoods get community garden projects underway by providing support when it comes to capacity-building and planning out these spaces. They have handled the administration of the Davie Village Garden (Davie & Burrard), the Yaletown Garden (formerly known as the Onni Garden at Pacific and Seymour), and 15 Oaks Garden (Oak & 15th). You can learn more about all of their public spaces projects on the VPSN website.
There’s also the SOLEfood Inner City Farm campaign that recently raise a community farm near the Astoria on Hastings.
It’s nice to explore and take part in something truly fruitful such as a community garden project. It not only beautifies the neighbourhood, but it brings people together and produces the ultimate local produce. If you have a green thumb yourself it may be a great way to volunteer your time. If not, the next time you’re out looking for a park to stroll through or a flower to photograph, consider checking out your nearest community garden.