Vancouver Icons: The English Bay Slide

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

If I had a band, I think the English Bay Slide would be a pretty fun name. It could refer to a new, funky dance move or it could reference a great source of summer fun in Vancouver. All kidding aside, the slide in English Bay, proudly waving the Canadian flag each summer season, is a mainstay at the city’s First Beach and it’s also today’s Vancouver Icons photo feature:


1946: English Bay. Archives# CVA 586-4569.

There has been a slide in some form another at English Bay since the time of the English Bay Pier, about 100 years ago. The pier was demolished in 1938 but photos of rafts with slides remain from the 1940s, through the 1960s (according to my dad who grew up in Vancouver), the 1980s, and today. When this structure is pulled out from its winter mooring near Granville Island, you know summer is on the way.


1930s – Archives item# Be P73.2.

The Vancouver Park Board informed me that the raft and slide are referred as The Queen Mary, and it is removed a day or two after Labour Day each summer, returning a week or so after the May long weekend.

2014 09 Sept 03 False Creek 01a 5s tr
Photo credit: Doug Farmer on Flickr

English Bay, Vancouver
Photo credit: Blake Read on Flickr

Waiting for the Crowds
Photo credit: David J Greer on Flickr

Pontoon / slide at English Bay, Vancouver
Photo credit: threefishsleeping on Flickr

EnglishBeach-20110622 (8 of 16)
Photo credit: Ned Tobin on Flickr

English Bay Slide
Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

Let's go on the waterslide
Photo credit: Percy on Flickr

Celebration of Light 2010: Spain
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

English Bay Slide
Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

Slip Sliding Away
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

The Dog Days
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Previous Vancouver Icons posts: Freezing Water #7, Cleveland Dam, Heritage Hall, School of Theology Building at UBC, Gate to the Northwest Passage, St Paul’s Hospital, Capilano Lake, Stawamus Chief, Nine O’Clock Gun, Malkin Bowl, Search, Vancouver Rowing Club, Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, 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.

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3 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Judy Bishop – The Travelling EyeTuesday, August 19th, 2014 — 9:55pm PST

    Another awesome post, Rebecca!

    Particularly good as it helps relative newcomers to Vancouver get a sense of our history …

  2. NedThursday, May 14th, 2015 — 11:44am PST

    Hey! Great collection of this pretty iconic piece of English Bay! Thanks for selecting my photograph to use in your collection 🙂

  3. Jean HonigMonday, August 10th, 2015 — 10:02pm PST

    Awesome pics. I love seeing the old and new. Thanks for these!

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