Stanley Park is an urban, 1,000-acre park. It offers several activities and attractions. Stanley Park has beaches, lookout points, lighthouses, restaurants and cafes, hiking trails, forest walks, park trails, educational and interpretive material, etc. But when our tour group went here, our guide only had us stop and get off at two locations. These were Totem Park and Prospect Point. The rest of the park we drove through, while he sited essential facts about the sites we saw. Therefore, the following information other than the Totem Park and Prospect Point information is based on notes I took while on this tour.
Albion our guide talked about the significant role Lord Stanley played in the history of the park. He said that Lord Stanley, Governor General of Canada in 1889 did a dedication at the time the park opened. He quoted Lord Stanley’s dedication: "To the use and enjoyment of people of all colours, creeds and customs for all time". And then he mentioned how a bank is named after him and so is the Stanley Cup.
Albion then told us that Coal Harbor had million dollar condos. Then he proceeded to tell us that Dead Man’s Island was an Indian burial ground but then England put a naval reserve on top of it and is that way yet today. The story is that many, many years ago one Indian tribe captured the women and children of another tribe. But then there was a trade made. The first tribe traded the women and children of the second tribe for the warriors of the second tribe. The first tribe then took the warriors of the second tribe to the island and killed them.
After the above narration, the tour guide dropped us off at Totem Park for 15-20 minutes. Here we all took pictures of the totem poles and I read the signage about the poles. And we took pictures of the body water across from the totem poles.
As aforementioned in the entry of the Totem Park, I enjoyed the Totem Park the most while I was at Stanley Park. There are eight totem poles here. It is the First Nation’s culture I was enthused with. What some people do not know about totem poles is that the figures on them are called crests and are part of s family’s inherited rights. The crests and stories associated with them are considered property owned by First Nations lineage groups. This expresses their origins, inheritance, and pride.
Albion then continued his narration with telling us that the Lions Gate Bridge was built by a family called the Guinness (the same family noted for Guinness World Records). It cost them six million to build it. Then it became a toll bridge but this family sold it to Vancouver for the same amount they paid to have it built.
We then were told by Albion that the Big Red Cedar trees we saw at the park were 1,200 years old; and that the First Nation people used its wood fiber to make totem poles, log houses, baby diapers, etc. In addition, he mentioned that you could actually plant trees from the top of a stump of one and they would grow because these trees are like sponges. Also, he said animals tunneled in them during forest fires and live there.
Prospect Point was our other stop we were allowed to get off the bus and take pictures, grab a quick meal or an ice cream. I noticed there were a variety of restaurants, a Starbucks, patio dining and a gift shop here. My partner and I just walked around and took pictures from the Lookout Point. The scenery here was fabulous. At Prospect point you will see the western side of the North Shore and glimpses of Vancouver Island. Along with this, you will see the flower bed that encircles The Prospect Lookout Point Landmark Area. Prospect Point also offers many park trails, forest walks, hiking and educational and interpretive material.