This huge park on Vancouver’s west side, supports pine forests as well as birch, alder, and cottonwood trees. Extensive trails cross the peninsula from Point Grey to the University of British Columbia (UBC). The park features beaches, bluffs overlooking the expansive Spanish Banks, and the Camosun Bog, an ecological treasure.
Queen Elizabeth Park, W 33rd Ave & Cambie St • 604 257 8584
Visitors to Canada’s first geodesic conservatory are enveloped by steamy air as they step into this dome filled with more than 500 species of desert, tropical, and sub-tropical plants. The calls of free-flying birds complement the exotic ambience beautifully.
Starting in 1904, Mrs. Jenny Butchart created five spectacular gardens to beautify her husband’s excavated limestone quarry on the outskirts of Victoria. Her first creation was the elegantly manicured Japanese Garden, followed by the lush Sunken Garden. Approximately one million bedding plants blossom yearly.
Since 1858, Beacon Hill has been the queen of Victoria’s parks. Wooden bridges built over a stream, a petting zoo, and an English-style rose garden add to the charm. Visitors can walk around, ride horses, and picnic on the beach here.
This gem of a park located in Chinatown reflects the serenity of a Ming Dynasty garden.
With a large expanse of green space, this Yaletown park has lots of private corners for sitting and relaxing, as well as playgrounds and sports courts.
This pretty park in central Vancouver was once a stone quarry. The Quarry Garden is now its centerpiece. A small rose garden is planted with hardy varieties that blossom year-round.
Cedar, hemlock, and fir trees are all dotted throughout this park. Old-fashioned roses and lush hybrid rhododendrons share the space with cherry, magnolia, and dogwood trees, among others. The park staff plant 350,000 annual flowers for year-round beauty.
The English Bay serves as the backdrop for this expansive park close to Granville Island. Largely treeless, this area was named after Georges P. Vanier, governor general of Canada from 1959 to 1967.
The array of flowers, shrubs, and trees here (see VanDusen Botanical Garden) are unrivaled in Vancouver. Over 7,500 varieties from six continents enjoy the city’s four distinct seasons. There are rolling lawns and peaceful lakes.
The province’s economy was built on the lumber from this imposing tree that grows to a height of 300 ft (90 m).
Growing in colder elevations, the soft wood from this tree is the ideal choice for First Nations carvings.
Dark, scale-like needles mark the down-swept branches of this sometimes huge evergreen tree.
The most common tree on the West Coast, hemlock is easily recognizable by its droopy top branches.
The Carmanah Giant, a Sitka spruce on Vancouver Island is, at 312 ft (95 m), the tallest recorded tree in Canada.
Peeling red-brown bark identifies the arbutus, also known as the madrona, the only broad-leafed evergreen tree native to Canada.
Straight lodgepole and Ponderosa pines grow at higher elevations.
The white or pink flowers of this tree bloom in spring, and famously appear on BC’s official coat of arms.
More than 40,000 of these blossoming trees line Vancouver’s streets; many were given as a gift from Japan.
Canada’s national tree grows in bigleaf, Douglas, and vine varieties. Bigleaf wood is often used for First Nations canoe paddles.