By SHERI RADFORD
Vancouver’s favourite attraction turns 125 this year. We look back at some historical highlights
Vancouver’s first city council, in its first meeting, decides to request that the federal government lease them a 400-hectare (1,000-acre) military reserve to be used as a park.
Stanley Park officially opens.
The Nine O’Clock Gun fires for the first time. Unknowing visitors to Stanley Park still jump when this cannon booms every evening.
New York City makes a gift of eight pairs of grey squirrels. The huge squirrel population in Stanley Park today is the result of that gift.
Construction of the Stanley Park causeway causes Lost Lagoon to become landlocked.
Master stonemason Jimmy Cunningham begins building what will eventually become the Stanley Park seawall.
Malkin Bowl opens with a performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Today the outdoor space is used for concerts and Theatre Under the Stars.
The picturesque Lost Lagoon Fountain goes into action. Formerly used in Chicago’s World’s Fair, it was purchased for $35,000.
The Lions Gate Bridge opens, connecting North Vancouver to downtown via Stanley Park. The Guinness family (of beer fame) paid $6 million to build it.
Jimmy Cunningham officially retires, though he continues supervising construction of the seawall, occasionally in his pyjamas.
The Vancouver Aquarium opens. It eventually becomes the largest aquarium in Canada.
Hurricane Frieda makes it all the way to Vancouver, toppling 3,000 trees in Stanley Park.
The first official opening of the Stanley Park seawall takes place, even though the section between Second Beach and Third Beach remains unfinished.
Sculptor Elek Imredy’s “Girl in a Wetsuit” is installed along the Stanley Park seawall. This life-sized bronze statue of a female scuba diver was inspired by the famous mermaid statue in Copenhagen.
The second (and, presumably, final) opening of the Stanley Park seawall takes place.
Children’s performer Raffi releases “Baby Beluga.” The popular song was inspired by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Kavna the beluga whale.
Timothy Taylor’s much-praised novel Stanley Park is published.
A terrible windstorm strikes Stanley Park, damaging much of the seawall and destroying 41 hectares (101 acres) of forest. The public raises millions of dollars to restore the beloved park.
TripAdvisor’s first Travellers’ Choice Awards name Stanley Park the best park in the world, beating out tough competitors such as New York City’s Central Park.
August 24 and 25
A huge party celebrates Stanley Park’s quasquicentennial. The whole family is invited for a weekend of music, games and memories. Canadian rockers Arkells, The Born Ruffians and We Are the City perform at Second Beach. Bobs & Lolo, Music with Marnie and Will Stroet & the Backyard Band entertain the wee ones. Fans of experimental theatre watch Boca del Lupo’s outdoor performances of Fall Away Home. Sports fanatics cheer at cricket, rugby and Coast Salish Slahal games. Also on the schedule: ecological talks, wildlife trail walks, bike tours, mural art workshops, performances in the Shakespeare Garden and a Grease sing-a-long.