It was on May 19th, 1960 that Governor General Georges Vanier unveiled a statue of Lord Stanley the park named in his honor. The statue depicts Lord Stanley, who was Governor General in 1888, standing with outstretched arms, welcoming all to the park. The 8-foot tall statue, made of bronze and granite, is his week’s Vancouver Icon feature.
On October 29, 1889, Lord Stanley of Preston dedicated Stanley Park, which had been opened in September, 1888.
“On October 19, 1889 a letter was written (we’re not sure by whom) promising a suitable monument to commemorate the naming and dedication by Governor General Lord Stanley of Stanley Park. The city archivist, J.S. Matthews, discovered that letter in 1950, more than 60 years after it was written, and realized the promise had not been fulfilled. So he began a fund-raising campaign. It took another 10 years, but finally he raised enough money to commission the work.” – Chuck Davis’ Vancouver History.
The Lord Stanley Statue is located at the entrance to the park on the Coal Harbour side of the causeway. Take a slight jog left on the Sea Wall (if coming from downtown), cross the cement overpass, and you’ll spot it on your way to the bus loop, Stanley Park Pavilion, Malkin Bowl, and miniature railway.
“Lord Stanley threw his arms to the heavens, as though embracing within them the whole of one thousand acres of primeval forest, and dedicated it ‘to the use and enjoyment of peoples of all colours, creeds, and customs, for all time. I name thee, Stanley Park’.”
While the championship hockey trophy also named after Lord Stanley has only belonged to Vancouver once before, hopes are that it will once again return (preferably next season).
Other Vancouver Icons posts include: Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.