New Brighton Park is a lovely green space between Vancouver Harbour and the Ironworks Bridge. It’s great if you’d like a bit of sea air and unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains. We visited here as one of our many self-isolation adventures exploring the parks of Vancouver. It’s easy to reach walking, or via cycle lanes…but cycling is probably better for this one as you need to walk through some ugly Industrial areas on the way from downtown.
Once things start opening up, there is a public pool here too, so you can swim with those amazing view.
Walk or cycle to New Brighton Park
There are really good cycle routes in East Van. I love that ever so often you’ll get fantastic views downtown or out to the North Shore mountains. Also, when you stick to roads with cycle lanes, they are normally pretty quiet.
Peek at street art
There is quite a lot of street art along the way, but my favourite was a long mural by William Street and Woodland Drive. Half of it is decorated by heritage houses…
…but it continues on to show the nearby mountains including the Lions.
The route to New Brighton Park
I recommend walking/cycling along Wall Street to get to New Brighton Park. It is a residential area, but there are plenty of grassy areas with views of Vancouver harbour. I loved the mix of industrial and natural vistas.
Dusty Greenwell Park was one of my favourites as it had massive blossom covered trees.
See what I mean about the mix between Industrial sights, seascapes and mountains? It’s not quite the same as my walks in the wilderness, but it’s pretty interesting to see the industry that makes up Vancouver.
For most of the route, there is a railway in between you and the sea. This means before you reach the park (and the sea) you’ll need to go under one of the tunnels.
Hastings – Where Vancouver began
We spotted a sign that said this is where Vancouver got started! When engineers first arrived, they surveyed this area dividing it into lots, and named it Hastings Townsite to honour Admiral Hastings from the British Navy. Back then this was all a large rainforest which they slowly cleared to make way for docks, bridges and the first buildings. The park even retains the name of the first hotel that used to be here, the New Brighton Hotel.
New Brighton Park Facilities
This is only a teeny park, but it includes quite a long list of facilities in addition to the gorgeous vistas.
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Picnic sites (and plenty of benches)
- Off leash area for doggos
- There is a building for food concessions too, although that was closed due to Covid-19.
New Brighton Park salt marsh
This section of coastline was filled in to make extra industrial land back in the 1960s. Then, a couple of years ago Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh First Nations worked together to restore the shoreline habitat for this park. The new tidal wetlands they created are like a creche for young salmon. It’s a place where they can rest and feed on their way to the open ocean each spring.
I found an article that said it worked! “We were excited to see that, even before the project’s completion, juvenile chum and chinook salmon were observed using the newly created tidal wetland as a stopover on their way through Burrard Inlet.”
The New Brighton Park isn’t particularly big, but it’s great that they created this area of slice of nature so close to the city. I hope you like the look of it.
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