Chris Son and Patrick found it:

Almost everyone thought this little park with roundabout was on the West Side, the North Shore, UBC or False Creek: upscale Vancouverism-style  neighbourhoods all.    “One thing for sure it’s not on the East Side of Vancouver,” said one.

That’s exactly where it is:

It’s part of the greenway network that runs through Collingwood Village – the forgotten megaproject, one of the seven that were underway pretty much simultaneously, from Coal Harbour to Fraser Lands, in the late 1980s and 1990s.

The City, the community and Concert Properties undertook a consultation process that worked so well, residents were willing to entertain one of the largest growth spurts in the city between 1986 and 2011, in the form of Collingwood Village on an old industrial and warehousing site, immediately southeast of Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain Station.  The result was “a highly successful transit-oriented mixed-use development,” in the City’s opinion, now reputed to be Vancouver’s densest residential area.

To repeat: Vancouver’s densest residential area.*

What the community wanted was an expanded neighbourhood house, megaproject amenities and a lot of park land.  Which they got:

Going by on SkyTrain, I’ve always thought there was a bland boxiness about the complex.  Acrylic stucco, very much of that period, looked cheap even when it was new.

But now that the urban forest is filling in, it’s apparent that the neighbourhood is aging well. And the evidence is that small exquisite space: still well maintained, not closed off for fear of crime, that serves both as nature’s relief and as a practical transportation network, evident in the Google Map that Patrick linked to:

That small exquisite space is a gem I had never seen before.  Perhaps I had walked through Collingwood Village in the past, just never noticing how the urban designers had structured the sequence of open spaces.  Before the lushness of the greenway made apparent what is so obvious today:


*Planners, help us out.  Is Collingwood the densest neighbourhood?  How about a chart that provides the data?


  1. Well, I think you should organize a tour there, for those of us who still can’t believe that such a calm and secluded patch of green exists amongst towering apartments. I would also be interested to know if surrounding residents consider that they have enough green space for their growing families or their own leisure needs. What do you think, Gordon?!

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