About CRAB Park

CRAB Park provides a gorgeous link to nature as a respite from the intense urban environment of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Whatever a person’s situation, here is a place where they can escape downtown stress and gaze out at the ocean, at the mountains, at the sky. Surrounded by grass and trees, they are able to feel a part of the world, a part of something bigger than themselves, a part of something grand.

What do you see in this space? How do people in the community enjoy it? :

  • In the midst of downtown hustle and bustle and industrial noise and action, it provides a place of calm and beauty for residents, visitors and tourists
  • The brilliantly planned and landscaped Park rests on the shore of Burrard Inlet with a spectacular open-water view of the majestic North Shore mountains
  • Much-loved CRAB Park is an oasis in the midst of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, happily shared by an amazing mix of demographics: the homeless, condo owners, SRO tenants, dog-walkers, nature lovers, hipsters, elders and children
  • The Park itself inspires a spirit of tolerance, acceptance and inclusion
  • The Park is surrounded by activity. In front of it, cruise ships, water taxis, freighters and pleasure boats ply the waters of Burrard Inlet. Float planes fly over the mountains, sometimes cutting a path across the clear blue sky and sometimes disappearing into a heavy cloud bank
  • Nearby is a Port container terminal with its trucks, trains and cranes.
    Yet, due to its award-winning design, the Park somehow manages to remain a place of tranquility
  • The Park serves to be a place of respite from the challenging lives of residents of the beleaguered Downtown Eastside, who reside almost exclusively in small apartments or tiny substandard hotel rooms with no garden or outdoor space
  • It provides physical, mental and spiritual healing
  • It is a historical First Nations site, having been a traditional summer settlement and fishing ground for thousands of years
  • The Coast Salish honour the Park for its cultural significance, so it is an optimal place for festivals, drum circles, prayers and celebrations
  • The Park is also the sacred site of the Memorial to the Downtown Eastside Missing and Murdered Women, mostly Indigenous. Every day, people visit this stone tribute on the edge of the beach to honour the memory of these women

Events and Festivals:

  • Friday Night Bikes–ride and rave Winter and Spring 2016
  • Missing and Murdered Women Memorial Service Winter 2016
  • Coast Salish Salmon Parade and Celebration Spring 2016
  • Red Umbrella Parade and Event Spring 2016
  • Crab Park Music and BBQ Festival Summer 2016
  • Canada Day fireworks front-row seat
  • Ce Soir Noir — public picnic with black theme Summer 2016
  • Faith Week Summer 2016
  • Year-round fitness classes, training and activities
  • Year-round pilgrimages to Missing and Murdered Women Monument
  • Bike the Night Autumn 2016

Economic and Retail Activities:

  • The tranquil ambience of the Park is refreshingly free of commercial activity, but it features great cafes, specialty shops and gourmet restaurants in nearby Gastown and Railtown

Historic or Heritage Features:

  • First Nations salmon, herring, smelt and crab fishing site for thousands of years
  • Traditional Coast Salish summer camp
  • Home of Methodist Church Mission 1867
  • Port Rupert Band cannery workers camp 1894
  • Park carved from industrial wasteland on the “wrong” side of the tracks through the efforts of local residents 1984
  • City of Vancouver Award to Don Larson, President, Crab-Water for Life Society, for his ongoing work on behalf of the Park

Memorable or Unique Characteristic(s):

  • Completely diverse demographic of park enjoyers: all ages, incomes, races, religions and gender identifications in a mutually respectful atmosphere
  • International-award-winning waterfront park
  • Monument to Downtown Eastside Missing and Murdered Women
  • Only park on Vancouver’s central waterfront
  • Spectacular open waterfront views of Burrard Inlet and North Shore mountains
  • Day and night urban views of Canada Place, Downtown Vancouver and working Port terminal
  • Swimming beach
  • Bandstand
  • Water park
  • Playground
  • Off-leash dogs except in playground and water park
  • Pedestrian viewing pier
  • Year of Reconciliation Public Art Project

Development:

  • The only development in the Park recently has been the maturation of its impeccably planned landscape, adding lushness and visual interest.

Quick Facts

Video: https://youtu.be/5-6ns0Rx0Uk

Map: http://bit.ly/2dw2jJG

Submitted By: Barbara Daniel

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